Earth Day 2010

Headed over to the Earth Day Festival today at White River Park.  I will say I was quite impressed with the turn out from vendors and the community.  Right away, I was handed a reusable Wal-mart bag.  I love these things!  I typically have 2-3 canvas/reusable bags in my trunk for groceries or Sams visits.  Today , I scored 6 more!!  Everyone was giving them away and I really liked it.  It’s nice to get something for free that you will use instead of a company spending money on something to promote themselves that you end up throwing out.  It is in honor of Earth Day, so I think they made a wise choice.

And leave it to me to find the a mascot at the event.  The only smokey treat I’ll support!

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So today I vow to turn off more lights in my house. Shut off water when I’m not really using it. And learn how I can bring recycling to my doorstep and maybe my community.

Cin City

A group of us traveled to Cincinnati to celebrate Timmah’s birthday.  It was a surprise trip that minorly got ruined when he saw his buddy wearing Cubs gear walking into the Rock Bottom we were all meeting at.  Oh well, at least he still didn’t know who all was coming.  Here’s most of us enjoying the time in the sun. 

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K found a boyfriend on the way out and Drew approved!

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After the game, we hailed a cab and headed to Hofbrauhaus in Newport. Holy shit this place was crazy. I really felt like I was in a different world. Just a big open room of picnic tables and overflowing beer steins. It was madness. Drew and I decided it looked like good place for some Trust Fall action.  He got quite a few people really good.  Some even caught him and knew exactly what we were up to.  At one point, a bouncer came over and I was sure we were getting kicked out.  Nope, he just asked him not to do it in the main walkway.  The bday boy with his beer beeches at the Hof.

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After Hof, we headed to Cadillac Ranch for some grub since all the Hof had was kraut balls and pretzals. We wrangled a big table with the help of the hostess only to get kicked out an hour later for a bachelorette party that already had a large table and was moving to the other side of the restaurant to our big table. Really, pinkies? I had enough and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the most awesome Peguin Parade the next day.

Sunday brought a visit to the Newport Aquarium. We had a bit of diffculty finding this place because everytime we asked where the Aquarium was, people answered “Newport”. Well no shit Sherlock, how do we get there?! Guess we didn’t phrase our question correctly. We got there in time to catch the Penguin Parade just as they opened. Maybe K and I had built this massive display in our heads, but this was just absolutely disappointing. Not only did the penguins not walk out on their own, they were in little clear tubes riding on a cart! It almost looked inhumane. I video’d it, but not sure it’s worth posting other then the disappointment on our faces. I got over it real fast with some pictures of the aquarium mascots!

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I saw George’s long lost cousin.

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They didn’t have a lot of photo ops, so we made our own!

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The shark tank was probably the coolest thing they had. You could see if from all different sides, even above. You could walk through a tunnel and this dude swam over.

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Also, it was Sweet Pea the shark’s birthday so they had decorations everywhere, a cake in tanks and a banner in the lobby.  To which K said, “Certainly someone did not name their child Sweet Pea.”  She figured it out.  Overall, a great trip with friends!

Super Duper Weekend

Even though Mother Nature dumped snow all over our city, my friends and I managed to get out and find fun things to do!  Friday was game night where I am becoming accustomed to losing at Rummikub and I’m not likin’ it.  Saturday, a bunch of went to see some movies at the State Museum.  They were offering a BOGO deal on 3 different movies.  First up was the 3D Under the Sea. I had called in a special favor to my parents to ship me their Avatar glasses that had a hard frame, but they didn’t end up working right so we went with the museum’s free offer of oversized 3D glasses.

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We all had lines on our faces for an hour after the show, but it didn’t matter because the movie was great!  I’ve never watched a full 3D movie before and now I want to see EVERY movie in 3D!  I felt like I was in the ocean the whole time!  One scene had sea snakes that swam out at you and it did creep me out a bit, but the playful sea lions at the end made you think you could reach up and pet them.  Our free additional movie was either Louis and Clark or Mummies.  We went with mummies, but can’t say it was that great.  It was about recovering DNA and how tombs are found.  Oh well, off to our next adventure… Ice skating!

We hit the Pan Am plaza with 33 minutes left to skate.  The guy at the counter seemed very concerned that we were only going to get 33 minutes of skating, but I reassured him that the level of ice skating this crew was at, 33 minutes was plenty.  A few of us laced up and were out trying to show off our skills.  A few wipe outs happened, none by me thank you very much!  I did manage to do a 360 on purpose a few times, but they were so slow it wasn’t impressive.  K and I tried to do a round robin thing like you do on roller skates, but it didn’t even come close to working.  We opted for this instead.

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The weekend wrapped up with a few visits to Super Bowl parties and a great victory for the New Orleans Saints!  It was hard for me to watch the game.  I didn’t clap or cheer at all in the first quarter.  Really didn’t want to root for or against anyone at that point.  Then once the Saints started to turn it around, I was all over it.  I’m very pleased with the outcome and think the Saints played a better game in the end.  I’m very proud that Purdue gets to claim a Superbowl quarterback champion in Mr. Drew Brees!

And to top off the whole great weekend, I was chosen at random for completing the Drumstick Dash survey months ago, and received my prize in the mail today.  Looks like I have my hat for next year!

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Happy Veteran’s Day

Doing my part to support our country and the men and women that protect it, I participated in the Indianapolis Veteran’s Day parade.  My company, OneAmerica, sponsors the Spirit of America flag.  This isn’t just any old flag.  It’s a big ole’ flag!  30 feet wide by 70 feet long to be exact.  It requires 45 people to manuever this thing through our downtown city streets.  And when I say “requires” I mean you wear the flag.  You are literally in the flag. They have cut out 45 tank top-like holes that you stand in and the flag rests on your shoulders.  I did this last year and had a blast waving at the crowd and hearing people think how cool the flag was.  So, I got to be a veteran at this years Veteran’s Day parade!

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Race Across The Sky

I think anyone that knows me, knows my love of Colorado. So I tried to drum up some fanfare for a movie tonight about a little city known as Leadville and the big races it produces. Kristin’s the only one that joined me probably because everyone else looked at the running time of 205 minutes!  Holy crap, but it is worth it.  This is an exclusive screening across the USA at once.  Pretty cool to think some people I’ve met in my travels out west will all be watching at the same time.

I took part in the Leadville Half Marathon this year while my Bro raced in the full marathon. In addition to those, Leadville hosts a 50 miler, a 100 miler and a 100 mile bike ride. Brandon is nuts enough to have competed in the 50 and will compete in the 100 next year. There are even crazier people that enter all 5 LT100 race events, Trail Marathon, Silver Rush 50, LT100 Mountain Bike, LT100 10K, and the LT100 Run, within a racing season and finish each within designated qualifying times and you’re get to call yourself a Leadman or Leadwoman and get a large belt buckle. 282.4 miles for that?  No thanks, I choose to live the bike race out on the big screen.

So, yes we are at a movie, but at the same time, it’s epic to be watching with others across the US.  I shed some tears, did some clapping.  Kristin looked at me in digust, “Are you crying?!”  Shut up!  I finished the evening with a loud “Ewe-ewe” responded by a single “ewe-ewe” and applauded.   This city doesn’t get what I need.  I was curious to know how many in attendence actually have been to Leadville.  We know Lance Armstrong has.  He was fresh off the tour, uniball and all, he achieved stellar competition.  And he finished on a flat tire. He’s just that awesome!

Pearls of Pink

How fantastic of an event!  I became affiliated with Pink Ribbon Connection 3 years ago as a volunteer.  I stepped up my commitment to the foundation this year and became a chairman of the Nordstrom Fashion Show, Pearls of Pink.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I loved every minute of this role.  All of the models are breast cancer survivors or work in the medical profession of supporting breast cancer patients.  It is such a wonderful and moving event.  I held back tears quite a few time during the show.  Every single person that has a role in this experience is extraordinary. 

The Pink Ribbon Connection offers breast cancer support to survivors and families and, also, provides community awareness about this critical disease.  Nordstrom’s flew in representatives from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to put on this fundraiser.  I have very little real connection to this cause, but I do get my knack of volunteerism from my lovely mother Carole, who drove down from Fort Wayne with her best friend to support me and my charity.

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Thank you to my Mom and Betty for supporting this event.  A huge thanks to all the volunteers who help put the show on.  And a gigantic appreciation to all those that spent their hard earned money to attend this fashion show and keep raising awareness for breast cancer research.  I will gladly fill this role again next year and look forward to working with so many wonderful people and survivors.  Here’s video of the lovely fashion show and models.

If anyone needs a pink “Lance” type bracelet to support October’s cause, shoot me an email and I’ll get you one.

Boo Zoo

I woke up to blue skies on Labor Day, so I called my wingman K to see what was on our agenda for the day.  We decided an outdoor activity was needed, so we headed over to the zoo to see some animals.  The real attraction was WHO was at the zoo.  Holy shit we are an ugly city.  And we saw some canidates for indydouchebags.com. 

Anyway, we made our way through the zoo to find lots of animals sleeping.  Guess they are done for the season too and aren’t interested in entertaining us anymore.  There was one walrus that was hamming it up with the crowd.  He/She kept smashing it’s face and rubbing it’s body up against the glass as people would walk by.  Some kid yells “I see it’s hole.”  And on that note, the parents took the kid and left.  K touched a shark.  Probably the coolest part of the trip.

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We went over to the Plains section to see the Dragons of Komodo.  Well, they didn’t lie with their pluralization of dragons.  It was dragons, but only 2.  They marketed this as a big fancy exhibit and only had 2?!  Disappointing.  I was hoping the dolphin show would make the trip worth it.  Wrong.  It sucked too!  I think it was a total of 15 minutes with 2 cool high flying jumps.  The rest was boring.  Here’s some random animal shots.

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Our zoo entry allowed us into the gardens and butterfly exhibit.  Let’s go see what they have.  We saw about 10 butterflies total, checked out the gardens, grabbed a photo op and we were on our way home.  It wasn’t the most exciting or memorable time but at least I had good company to share it with.

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Here’s some video of an elephant taking a dump putting on a show, a monkey peeing and the awful dolphin show.

Michael Kelsey @ The Fair

After reviewing the 30 page Indiana State Fair program, I picked out a few things I wanted to attend if my schedule permitted.  Tonight was my first opportunity to go.  2 friends, Brew and CS went with.  I wanted to see a phenominal guitarist named Michael Kelsey.  I first met Michael at Purdue through my friend Bruce Barker.  They are both incredible musicians and always put on a good show.  Michael even opened up for the BoDeans when they were here in Indy 10 years ago.  His main venue in Indy is Birdy’s but he usually plays on Sunday nights, so it’s a bit hard to round up a crew to go.

If you are around when this guy is in town, go see him.  You are guaranteed a great show.  Even if you really don’t get into music or understanding that craft, you’ll like this guy.  He’s on-the-fly creative and sings about what he sees in the audience and even grabs things from the audience to play on his guitar.  Tonight he used a kid’s juice box and Pringles can.  It was great.  He was up on the tables and playing amongst the crowd.

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After the show, we walked around to take in the scene. We are a great looking city! We headed over to the “Shit under a tent sale” to see what kind of fun As-seen-on-TV stuff we could buy. None of us spent a dime on any products, but Tim spent some quarters feeding the goats and piglets. He even took some time for a photo op.

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Thanks for indulging my musical side, boys! I had a great time, and think they did too.

False Advertising

The Children’s Museum opened up a King Tut exhibit since K and I went 2 months ago.  It was free entry again, so we set off after work to check it out.  First thing I saw though… mascot.  Gotta get a pic.

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We got up to the 2nd floor only to find a ticket line.  I tracked down a worker to see what the story was.  $15 for adults?!  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Hang a damn sign on the giant 30 foot Egyptian cat out front!  Neither one of us were THAT into seeing the exhibit, so we opted for the gift shop and all the other exhibits that were closed when we were here before.  There was a small free Egypt section that we checked out.  We patiently waited our turn for some camera ops.  Here’s K and her Sphinx-ter.

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Here’s me trying to figure out where my ass is going.

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Then K let me touch her beaver.

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Check out our postcard memory of the event. Mama Carole is coming in town this weekend and mentioned seeing this exhibit. Yea, not so much.