Wheel of Fortune

I haven’t had very many vivid dreams lately, but last night I did.  I had a few, but this one seems to make the least sense.  Pat Sajak and Vanna White showed up to my condo around 3 am and let themselves in while I was upstairs sleeping… naked in my guest bedroom.  They knocked on the door and said “Hey we just wanted to stop by and say hi.”  I acted like I knew them and knew they were coming.  I said “Great, give me your cell phone numbers so I can call you later after I’m ready.”  They both gave stories as to why they didn’t have a number or even if they gave one to me, I wouldn’t be able to reach them.  So I said, “So how do I get on the show then, just go down to the studio and stand in line?  Anything special to get me in?”  Vanna says, “Nope you’ll have to wait in the hopper like everyone else.”   Guess it doesn’t pay to know to big dogs… even if it’s fake.

No clue where this came from.  Haven’t watched that show in quite some time.  Can’t relate it to food or drinking… I had steak stir fry with milk and 2 cocktails last night while watching the movie Australia.  No referece to WoF or those 2 in that movie.  Oh well.  We’ll see if I get something fun tonight. 

FYI – Australia is a phenominal movie.  For me, it ranks up there with the greats like The Patriot or Dances with Wolves.  Definitely see it in HD too.

I’m Afraid of Homeless People

Whenever I see a homeless person, I get a little scared.  I am not saying they are bad people.  I fear that the person will be unpredictable and you never know if something bad might happen.  I just steer clear of it.  Even if I’m in my car, my window is not opening to give food or money no matter how much I want to help.  And I really do want to help.  Maybe this will work for me…


Cinderella and My Wicked Step-Boyfriend

I never want to scrub a floor like that again! For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been helping Kyle with his latest home remodel project. After his bathroom remodel a month ago, he wanted to update his 80’s Aztec kitchen. I was fully on board because I hated the wallpaper, the lighting, the curtains, the blinds… well just about everything. Plus it was quite dirty since 3 guys live there and needed a good scrub down. Kyle offered up his kitchen as my Divine Design opportunity with the caveat that he could veto something if he didn’t like it. Deal! Let’s get working!  Some before shots…




Week 1 – First order of business was peeling wallpaper. This paper did not want to come off! It had been on there since 1982. The first round of gel didn’t even make a dent. So, I reverted to steaming the top layer off with an iron then using gel on the remaining layer. Once Kyle finished installing new flat switches and outlets, he got on the steam train and it went much quicker with 2 of us. During this week, we were also able to put a new light above the table, take down the old blinds and prime the walls. Here is an action shot.


Week 2 – Kyle is a bit adverse to color. He likes white, beige, neutral. I say “blah blah blah” to those colors. When I redid my condo, I went way too light upstairs and learned my lesson to try some bold colors when I redid my downstairs. Kyle had picked out a light gray. I vetoed that. After some negotiations we ended up with Charcoal Seal Gray. If you ask Kyle, he’ll say it’s purple. I disagree… maybe there’s a tinge of a tiny hint of purple.  We put a coat of white on the trim and windows to freshen up the look and added white wood blinds.

I put together a decorating budget of $350 and took Kyle to all my favorite discount stores to get vases, baskets, rugs, art…. And my favorite, a new stainless steel trash can. His trash can was so bad I didn’t even want to put trash in it. My last order of business was to scrub the floor. With a bristle brush, my Barkeepers friend powder and a bucket of water, I spent 5 hours scrubbing 50 square feet of linoleum. At this point I had kicked Kyle out of the kitchen and slap-happy set in. This is when I became Cinderella and starting complaining about my Wicked Step Boyfriend and the work he made me do. Instead of getting a glass slipper at the end, I got a glass of Jack. Tomato… Tamato… Here’s the finished product.  




A few things are still left to be done, but the budget has been exhausted. New countertops and cabinet pulls will come soon. We are debating staining the cabinets from the 80s brown to a cherry finish. What’s your vote?


Vegas Odds?

Normally, Vegas takes your money.  You’re lucky to break even and really really lucky to leave with cash in your wallet.  My buddy, we’ll call him “Pete”, went to Vegas for his yearly NCAA kickoff with old college frat bros and friends.  They go Wednesday thru Sunday.  Normally he’s balls to the wall excited… apparently I killed that with my text on Wednesday when he landed… scroll back to my Wednesday… pink slip day.  I knew “Pete” would be gone, so I text him to let him know I was safe and what was going down at work.  This sent him into a mild tailspin.  He was able to confirm, in a very short time, he was also safe and get on with his trip. 

He does have a rule to not bet on Purdue since he’s an alum, but something struck his curiousity as he sat in a sports book on the strip.  I know some things on gambling, but got an enlightening education today.  When a game is only a 1 point spread, the sports books don’t do a money line bet.  The Purdue-Washington game ended up being a 1 point spread.  Somehow… the money line bet was $240.  “Pete” noticed this and rounded up a few friends to make sure his logic wasn’t skewed by the oxygen being pumped into the casino.  Turns out, they all agreed that it was a once in a lifetime Vegas fuck up and a few got some bets in…. right before one guy was at the cage, a casino worker came up and said “take game” blah blah “off the grid”.  So, Purdue won and those that made it, were able to cash in and make some easy money.

“Pete” being the smart guy that he is, was still trying to figure out how this happened.  His logic makes since to me.  The game in Indy time was 5:40pm.  That’s 2:40 Vegas time.  Could some worker actually have accidentally typed in the game time and made a few alums alot of money????  We’ll never know!

Holliday Park Trail Run 2009

It was time for my favorite race of the year!  Indy has a ton of street races, but very few off road ones so I always look forward to the Holliday Park Trail Run.  The course is about 3 miles from my home, so I COULD have easily been training for this, but for those that know me, I don’t train.  That is just not my style.  My friend Jared was looking for a run to compete in, so he joined me for the 5 mile trek.




And one from after… 


During the race, I was in front of Jared and trying to take some backward shots of him running.  None turned out.  I gave him the camera for at one point and he was trying to take some “art” shots.  I told him as long as “art” didn’t involve my ass, shoot away!  Turns out, the camera was on video setting and we got some great Blair Witch like video!  Thanks for running with me Jared!!  We finished in a 10:27 pace with an overall time of 52:17.  I SWEAR the race was a half mile longer than they claim.

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