Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cold, Just Cold

I woke up this morning to a blustering (thanks dad for the word) 6° F at 6:30 this morning to walk penny. After getting ready for work it had rise to 7°F. I went out to start my car and after it started the gas light came on. The coldest day of the year and I had to get gas. I’m pretty sure I left a finger frozen to the gas pump and one of my ears fell off while I was pumping my gas. I like the cold weather but this is ridiculous. It begins to get a little much when I have to put on three layers just to take penny for a twenty minute walk. But the dog loves it. She has a nice big fur coat, she just trots around like it’s nothing, looks up at me and says, “You cold or something?” “Why are you turning blue?”
Speaking of dogs talking, Amber and I were watching some funny dog videos on the Ol’ internet the other day when we came across a few that had captions, as if the animal was saying something. I don’t know if you have ever seen these but none of these animals can spell. Is that what it takes to make something look cute or funny is if the captions are misspelled? If penny could talk I would like to think she would learn to read and write correctly as well.  I’m not the best at grammar but I have the basics down like the word “was” I know isn’t spelled “wuz,” or “because” is not “cuz.” Come on people let’s give these animals some credit some of them are smarter than us anyway.
I got home last night and after dinner I went to wash the dishes and there was no hot water. I don’t mean there was luke warm water or that it just took awhile for the water to warm up I mean literally no hot water in the kitchen. I turned the lever all the way over to the left and nothing. No water at all flowing from the faucet. There was cold water but no hot. So naturally I went up stairs to the bathroom and of course hot water up there. Then I went down to the basement. The clothes washer had hot water. Come to find out there is a section of about ten feet of pipe under the kitchen floor that has, I assume, frozen in this arctic blast we have gotten in Ohio. I did the first thing that came to mind, grabbed a hair dryer. After heating up what sections I could reach with no success I gave up and did the dishes in cold water. This cold is going to kill me.
That’s my rant for this week.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lance, Notre Dame, and Hockey

            So let’s talk sports. With all the sports in the world there are only a handful that matter here in the USA, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, NASCAR, and golf, which I don’t know why. But every where else in the world a couple other sports rein supreme. Soccer, for instance, is huge in every single country in Europe, Africa, South America, and even Asia. We have our fill here though with the Major League Soccer and as you know now, if you are a frequent reader, college soccer. The MLS had its super draft this past week and it didn’t go exactly as I thought. My home team, Columbus crew, however, did pick up the second leading scorer from the NCAA, Ryan Finley from Notre Dame. Hopefully that will help the Crew to another MLS championship this upcoming season.
            Another huge sport in Europe is cycling, and its popularity has been spilling over into the U.S. In the past 15 years it has been growing since the cycling spot light has made its way over to Lance Armstrong. In the past few days his light has grown in intensity since his interview with Oprah where he finally openly admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. And this shocked people? Come on? He won the Tour de France seven times after beating cancer. Seven times! No other rider has ever done that. There are only four riders that won it five times and they very well may have doped also. I still support Lance even though he lied about never doping. If he never would have doped, and never won seven, do you think his Livestrong foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for cancer research, would have been such a big success? Aside from that, an athlete that did something remarkable, who turned out to have doped, is that really surprising? Can you say Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, and Roger Clemens just to name a few of the hundreds who have doped in just baseball. The list is HUGE of players who have been caught using performance enhancing drugs. And the sports that test are out there as well. Like snooker for instance. What the hell is snooker? Wiki, can you help me out? Snooker is a billiard sport played on a table covered with green felt blah, blah, blah. Ok, it’s like pool that is played in Europe. There were two people tested in the UK and were found guilty for using cannabis or pot. Also on the list for using cannabis are some snowboarders. Really? That’s no shocker. That would be like testing a pro-bowler (a guy who bowls professionally, not a football player who makes it to the Super Bowl) for alcohol. Anyway, back the main subject, Lance, I’m disappointed you used but I’m still a supporter and like to see you get back on a bike and kick some French ass, with or without drugs. Just because it’s funny to see the French get mad at you, they hate you.
            Another huge story in sports is Manti Te’o, the linebacker from Notre Dame. Poor kid lost his girlfriend to leukemia or she just deleted her Facebook profile. Either way it was a tragic loss for him and was the victim of a badly played hoax. Whether he knew anything of the hoax I don’t know he hasn’t said. If not, I do feel bad for him, more for developing an emotional relationship with someone he never actually met in person. If he did know, well then he is just an asshole. A piece of advice for all you single folk out there, if you meet someone online whether it’s a dating site, Facebook, or whatever, don’t consider them your significant other until you have actually met them. I’m amazed that people are just now finding that this sort of thing goes on. I mean, if you can’t trust the internet then who can you trust.                   
Well that’s all I got for this weeks rant, as for my challenges… I have none. I’m all out. I’ve done all types of challenges and now I’m out of them. I need some suggestions, so let me know what you got. You can leave a comment, email me (email address in the "abou me" section), call me, write me a letter, or just tell me next time you see me. So until next time, welcome back hockey.

“If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”      
-Lance Armstrong

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No Techno and Rock Rings

            One week being without technology, well for the most part. No texting for the past week was nice. I actually got to talk to some people on the phone and hear their voices. I did have to look up a couple of things on the internet during this past week but I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. One thing I had to look up was a certain owl hoot. I had taken Penny the pup out to pee before bed when I heard it. A well rehearsed series of “who’s.” So naturally when I came in and had to know what kind of owl it was. It didn’t take but a few seconds, thanks to technology, to find a site where they have owl sounds. After clicking on a few wrong sounds I found it ( The sounds came from a barred owl also known as eight hooter, rain owl, wood owl, striped owl and hoot owl. One of the most common owls in north America and the only typical owl in the eastern USA to have brown eyes, most have yellow eyes. It was the same kind of owl that I wrote about back in May in the post "The Owl and Fox". It always nice when you live in the city to see or hear wildlife, it gives you a sense that there is still some wild places out there.
Working out has never been anything I have ever loved doing. But I have picked up more in the past year than I have done in awhile. In 2012 I did pretty well to work out 2-3 times per week, whether it was just doing some pushups or riding the bike or a full out workout I still did a little more than usual. I did have a few spurts where I wouldn’t work out for a week or two but for the most part I did better getting in shape last year. That brings to 2013, and my plan to continue to get better at working out.
 For Christmas I got what is called Rock Rings made by a company called Metolius. Basically they are just a rock climbers training tool that hangs from the wherever like a pull-up bar. Even there are just a few exercises you can do on them and they are purely arm and shoulder exercises with a few core muscles being worked indirectly, they can still be tough. So first to warm up, I hang there. Seems easy right? Well its not. Keeping your back perfectly straight as if you were in an upside down pushup position, while hanging arms extended for about a minute then moving each hand down to the next position for another minute without letting your back drop, then down to the next, all the way to the bottom then climb your way back up. Still seem easy? Did I mention each position is smaller than the previous, so you start using your whole hand on the top then move to just four fingers then three, and the last is just two fingers only about one knuckle deep? Alright warm up done. Move on to pull ups. I know how hard is a pull up right? Not hard… at first. First five are easy using the whole hand then take a break. Now move onto four fingers, three, and finally two again, if you can manage five reps. Oh wait, I forgot an important part, after you climb to the bottom with your hangs and pull ups you have to climb back to the top. Pull ups done? Time to move on to more hanging with opposite hands in different positions followed by more pull ups with hands in different positions as well. Ultimately you work to build up to doing more minutes on hangs, more pull-ups, and  eventually one handed everything and maybe one day two finger, one handed hangs and pull ups. That’s the goal anyway, right now I'm good for about 45 seconds on the two finger hang and no pull ups with just two fingers but a few on the other holds. Time to get to work.  
My challenge for now is pretty much as above, so that’s what ill be working on for awhile. So until next time, hang on.

“It’s ideal to walk the middle line in life. It’s for sure the way of peace. I’m trying every day to find that way. I get lost on the path that from afar seems so simple. Sometimes I’m too lazy and sometimes I hurry so much. I’d like to be right between those extremes.”                                      -Chris Sharma