Lake Living

Memorial Day weekend = Open the lake place!  My parents have usually gotten most of the menial tasks out of the way by the time I arrive to the lake, but this year it was my turn to get dirty and help out.  Usually my brother and I would help with the boat, the jet skis… you know, the fun stuff!  This year, I arrived early Saturday to even help get the water turned on.  That task seemed to take a few hours, but I learned how to soder pipes with water in them!  It’s always a learning experience when working with my father.  It’s amazing what a piece of bread will do!

After we got the water issue settled, we vaccummed, cleaned floors, cleaned fridgerators… we did it all.  But Mom and I did manage to get some water and sun time in between.  Sunday, we got the ladders on, pier posts in, lauched the SS Carole Jean and took her on her maiden voyage, got the Fuller Formula running and in the water… it was a full day.  But again, Mom and I found time for water and sun.  Today, we got up at the crack of dawn to beat all of Elkhart to the flea market capital of the north.  AKA Shipshewana.  It’s fun, but every 10th booth is the same.  If you need a trunk full of tube socks, embroidered bluebird sweatshirts, novelity t-s that read “I’m a multi tasker, I can talk and piss you off at the same time”, head up HWY5 and follow the horse and buggies.  We did pick up a few items but headed back to the house so we could all get on the road and home in decent time. 

Here’s some pics of the place.  The first is the front of the house, next is the view from the yard, the next is the view from the pier.  My little oasis in the midwest!

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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.

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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 🙂

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

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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!!!

Purdue’s Loss = My Fault

Sorry Purdue fans! It’s apparently my fault we lost.  I changed seats during the game.

My friend Andy had an extra ticket with him, so I decide to sit in the Pit for the first half.  The seats are just 3 rows behind the bench so you really feel like you are part of the game.  For the first half, Purdue looked ok.  We weren’t doing anything spectacular, but we were winning by 7.  

Since it was our last home game, I wanted to sit with my normal crew for the second half…  Especially since Jessi made great signs for Senior night!!!  Our goal was to get Calf-Tat’s attention with our We “heart” Calf-Tat signs.  It worked!!!!!  He gave us a smile and a wave and said thanks.  Made my day!!  Back to the game… Purdue looked awful the second half.  Our passes were lobs, JJ couldn’t post up, offense and defensive was bad.  We just didn’t have it together.  Northwestern is tough.  They beat MSU at MSU!  I just hate that they came into our house on Senior night and beat us.  Hopefully we will learn from this and apply some better consistency for the Big Dance coming up.

Here were my seats for the first half of the game…

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From Nate’s view…

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Here are my seats for the second half…

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My beloved Calf-Tat.  You will be missed.  If this banner goes missing, I’ll have an alibi prepared.

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#21 Purdue 81 #Nothing IU 67

After my race, I raced home to get ready to head up to West Lafayette for the highly anticipated Purdue vs IU basketball game.  I say “highly anticipated” lightly.  We all know IU doesn’t stand a chance this year.  I would prefer to beat them when they are actually decent so the bragging could mean more, but a win is a win.  My group headed to our beloved Harry’s for our own pre-game rituals.

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Since I was hoping for a landslide victory, I expected Calf-Tat to get some great playing time towards the end of the game.  I even tried to emulate my favorite player.
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Well, my boy only got 12.8 seconds and 0 shots.  Maybe next time.  The exciting part was as we were watching for Calf-Tat to go in the game, we noticed him hand-signaling with someone in front of us in the pit.  This guy comes up to us after the game and it turns out, it’s his brother.  We told him we are just fans of #55 and know he doesn’t play much but appreciate him being on the team.   I showed him my tribute to #55 and he takes a picture with my calf-tat.  Awesome!  
Any bets on how long it will take me to get this thing off now?!

#21 Purdue 72 – #5 MSU 54

That’s what I’m talking about!!!!!!!!!!  Pha–nom–in–al!  The energy at Mackey the second half was just a great as it was for the first half of the Duke game, but with a better ending!  We did great.  We looked like the team we were at the end of last year.  Let’s just carry it though to March Madness now!  (and to their home court in March)

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I didn’t like Hummel starting, but I rationalized it as a mind game with MSU.  If they saw him not start, maybe they’d see us as weak and get a jump on the game.  Hummel did play a bit too much for my taste at the end of the game.  We were up by 10-15 points and 4 minutes to go…. take him out!  That is notoriously when something bad might happen. 

One of my new favorites, Bobby “Buckets” Riddell, made his signature firing shot that pumps up the student section.  Normally you have to dunk, make a big 3… something substantial.  Not with this kid.  Any shot he makes brings energy into the crowd like no other player on our team.  But, my Subway-sub-of-the-game love goes to Calf Tat, Chris Reid.  Hang in there Chris!  I feel a field goal in your future!

No Hummel at Home

It was another non-Hummel game for Purdue.  But this time, we got the victory!  Purdue 61, Penn State 47.  It seemed like we hadn’t been to a home game forever, and turns out it kind of was a long time… January 31st!  With only 4 home games left, I’m starting to get sad already!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the road trips to Boiler country.  Well, except last night.  On the way there we about got washed away by a monsoon.  People were pulling over but we kept trucking in the Cavalier.  On the way home, we stopped at DQ.  Me and the car about got swept away by tornado-sized winds AND we think some rabid animal got stuck to Sara’s door because weird noises were coming from it the entire way home.  Or maybe that was what she ate from DQ.  I’m not sure.

Colorado Adventure Day 4 – Are we done yet?!

No time to rest!!!  Last day in Colorado… what haven’t we done yet?  Oh yea, hiking!  Since I’d stolen my brother away from his family for a few days, we did a family event today.  We drove through Boulder and hit Flagstaff trail.  We had a crew!  4 adults, 2 kids, 1 soon-to-be-kid (Kim’s not mine), and 2 dogs.  We headed up a trail until we got to a part that had some really large rocks to climb on.  We played with the kids and the dogs for a bit and enjoyed some scenery. 

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I used to say “Rocks and trees… they all look the same”.  That was back in my prissy years when I thought this stuff was stupid.  Now I can’t get enough!  We stopped for a group photo op, then headed back to the car. 

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Many many many thanks to the Fuller’s of Colorado!  Brandon, thanks for hauling us around and planning such a great trip!  Kim, thanks for letting us into your home (for the last time) and taking Brandon away for a few days!  Syd & Reagan, thanks for getting my room ready and playing games with me!  Time to start planning my fall trip… what mountain(s) should we climb this time?

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 3

Today, we took Miss Sydney on our skiing adventure.  We arrived at Eldora Ski Resort a little before noon.  Just in time for the half day skiing prices.  I started skiing in 1997 at Boyne Highlands up in Michigan and have since racked up skiing in Indiana, Nevada, California and Colorado.  I counted how many times I’d been skiing in my life and decided it was time to try snowboarding.  15 times… yep, ready for something new.  Here’s Eldora.

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Brandon and Syd went off to the greens while Kyle waited with me to get suited up with a snowboard.  I got my boots and went to get the board.  The guy just hands it to me and says “have fun”.  I go…. ahhhh…. can I ask you a question.  Since I had never been snowboarding I needed to know what foot was most likely to always stay strapped in.  I’ve been told I wakeboard goofy foot, but to me it feels right.  Turns out, the way I wakeboard is the way I should snowboard.  We walked over to the easiest green lift and I strapped a foot in.  I about fell right there.  This damn board was slippery!  It took quite a while to get used to dragging a 5 foot long board around while the other foot is trying to keep traction on snow.

Getting off the chair was fine, but maintaining my balance on one foot was not.  I think all day I successfully got off the chair lift without falling 5 times, but luckily you have to sit down to strap in your other foot so you can kind of play off the fall if it’s graceful enough.  After a few falls on my first two runs, I was ready for some bigger greens and blues.  I think I did pretty good for my first time out.  My only falls later in the day were because there was a 15 kid pile up for ski school and I didn’t want to make snowballs out of any of them.  Kyle stayed with me for some runs until he was bored and ready for more challenges himself.  I went back to find Syd and B.  When they were done, I went back to the blues to find Kyle.  I could have stayed up there all day, but everyone in my party was ready to leave.  I think I found my new winter hobby.  If anyone is looking to buy me a gift, I’m a size 9 boot and about a 150 board!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 2

Today’s adventure… 4 wheeling.  We took the Hummer over to my brother’s “shop” (storage shed) to pick up the ATVs.  We headed up to a trail in Roosevelt National Forest.  Usually, when my brother has company, he takes one person at a time and leaves the other person to sit waiting for their turn to ride.  He was bored with that, so he brought his other kids, Dakota and Wyatt, along.  He was going to run them around the trails while Kyle and i went off adventuring.  Here’s where we started.  The trailhead is just in front of the truck.

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There used to be a shooting range on this trail too.  I got the pleasure of driving right through it one time without knowing what the hell was going on.  My brother forgot to tell me about that part.  This time, it’s been closed down.  Smart move I think.  Kyle and I got moving pretty well up the trails and got to a steep part.  My ATV didn’t seem to want to gas it up there.  It was stalling on me.  I gave it a third try and off we went.  I got out the video camera to take some shots and when I slowed to put it away, my ATV stalled again.  We couldn’t get it started.  We got into the packs on the ATVs and fashioned a pretty good tow system to get mine down.  On our way, we ran into my brother.  With one pull of the manual start cord, my ATV was running again.  Kyle and I felt pretty stupid but we’re pretty proud of our towing skills.  Kyle and I wound our way up the mountain and took some stops to check out the scenery.

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Day 3… here we come!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 1

I have the luxury of my brother living in Longmont Colorado.  Easy access to a ton of adventures.  My winter trip was approaching, so Kyle agreed to come with me to see what Colorado was all about.  We arrived Wednesday night and went straight to rent Kyle’s skis and get our lift tickets for first day of adventures — Skiing at Breckenridge.  

The alarm clock (a.k.a. Sydney and Reagan) went off early Thursday morning so we all got ready to go our separate ways.  Kim took the kids to their daily routine, while Brandon took us to the mountain.  Since we all had our gear, we went straight to the gondola and up to the slopes.  Kyle got his “ski” legs last week in Indiana, but this doesn’t even compare.  He and I went to hit the bunny slope so he could practice, and B left to grab some food.  

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The bunny slope sucked, so we decided to head for the greens and work on some fundamentals.  Kyle excused me to go on my own way then check back.  I went to look for B at the lodge, but couldn’t find him.  I was itchin’ to ski, so off I went.  I hit some blues and blacks then managed to find B again.  I’d been eyeing the bowls at the top of the peak, so he agreed to go up with me… up to 12,830 feet!

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You could go up a little further but you had to walk with all your gear… no thanks.  We both got down the double black diamond and decided while we were up there, to do another one then we’d meet up at the end to find Kyle.  Well, I had a little trouble the second time.  I hit a rock, gained control, but then hit another one.  Apparently even though you are so high, there isn’t enough snow cover for everything.  I slid about 30 yards and lost my skis.  The nice skiers around me collected my belongings.  It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to get 2 skis on while not sliding down any farther and maintaining my balance on a 70 degree slope.  I made it, lost Brandon, but headed down to find Kyle.

He was still mastering the greens and working on his “S” skills.  He was doing really well, but was ready to call it a day.  We caught back up with B and headed to the car.  It was a great sunny, clear sky day full of skiing.  Just what I ordered!

Check out my brother’s story.