Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A review of my new Ford F-150 Crew Cab Truck

After owning it for a little over a day, and driving it 4 times now, I feel qualified to give an in depth review of my new truck. And quite honestly, I hate it. Allow me to explain.

For starters, it's too big: It is a full size truck, with a crew cab body style. For the lessers out there, that means it has 4 full size doors. And it has a 5.4L Triton V8 engine powering it. This is all excessive. What's to now stop me from putting the hammer down and literally running over people when it's slightly snowing and people go into moron mode on the drive home? Ford really should've been thinking about those of us with rage issues when building their trucks.

The Crew Cab has too much room: With my little Ranger, I was forced to toss and pile things on top of each other in the little space behind the seats. For a duck hunting excursion, I had to cram and maneuver and perform black magic to load up all of the stuff. Now, all the stuff that was once in plain sight and easily accessible is all tucked away in slots and cabinets within the truck. Honestly, there's nothing laying about. And even though it's a short bed truck, my duck boat slids neatly in and the decoys lay nicely next to it. Damn you Ford! The mark of a true duck hunter lies in having their truck brimming with gear and having their view horribly obstructed with mountains of stuff piled all around them. I now have to wrestle money from the wife to buy more gear. Thanks a lot!

It looks way too sexy for my comfort level: Why o' why Ford did you paint the thing Jet Black? And not just dark as night Black. Oh no, that would've been the sensible thing to do. No, you went and made it Batman riding in a stealth bomber that Macguiver fashioned with Bond acting as a lookout cool like Black. Seriously, the whole drive home from work involved women throwing bras at me as I drove by. Not only is that uncomfortable for me, but it was damn cold out. Think of those coeds and their frostbitten skin!

If you want lame, boring, run of the mill wheels, seek elsewhere. Otherwise, you've been warned.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Road to Nowhere...

Endurance cyclist are a crazy lot. Think about it: we wear spandex (some even wear it when they really shouldn't, we take all kinds), we eat pasta on end and love every minute of it (sarcasm), we go out in wind, heat, rain, and here in the midwest sometimes snow. We eat packets of slime and jelled blocks and call it food. We mix and test every kind of concoction we can think of to find something that we can drink when it is 1000 degrees out and not puke it all up. Our events last on average around 8 hours of saddle time. When you think about it, anyone who does all of that is somewhat nuts, i.e. crazy.

Training in the offseason takes it all up a notch.

Yesterday I purchased an indoor trainer. More specifically, a rear wheel spinner. What is this you ask? Basically it something you prop your back wheel into and your bike is held there and you climb on and start pedaling.

And go nowhere.

I experimented with one of these before to absolutely disasterous results. In fact, I didn't even climb on the thing because I couldn't get my bike secured to it properly. You get what you pay for. So this time, armed with gift cards and some Christmas cash, I marched on in and bought a very popular middle of the road model. After a few choice words last night, the bike was secured and ready to go.

So with my half day today, I came home and put on some bike shorts (which after a few months of holiday goodies aren't nearly as sexy on me as I remembered), grabbed the iPod and jumped on.

After about 10 minutes I was bored out of my mind. However, it was indeed a good workout. It should be beneficial in the long run since you can do interval training and various other workouts, but I will definaetly need to find something other than music to entertain me as I pedal the road to nowhere. That, and I need to gain more confidence that I am not gonna detatch from the thing and go blazing 20mph into our new dryer.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Since we will be extremely busy starting in the next few hours and then going straight on through tomorrow, I'll post this a day early.

Merry Christmas All!! Travel safe!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Doesn't anyone want me to buy a truck!!!

Dear Citizens of MN-

Please stop buying the truck that I am wanting the day I go into buy it. Thank you.


Friday, December 18, 2009

I didn't realize a toddler could teach me this much...

First off, my intention with this blog was to do a lot of writing about hunting and outdoorsy stuff. Unfortunaetly, I started writing towards the end of the duck season, and now we are in that rut for us outdoorsmen where we aren't able to do much. I promise when it's the heart of the hunting season, there will be a lot more of that stuff around here. With that said, let's continue on with todays post.

The more and more I get to do parenting, the more I realize I like it. And one of the things I like most about it is getting to reexperience a lot of things through my sons eyes. I get to watch new discoveries and experience the thrill of it just like him. No more is that evident as the holidays.

I don't remember much of the holiday season from when I was his age. I remember a lot of memories from a long time ago, but everyone has their limitations. Anyhow, those memories I do have unfortunaetly have a fair amount of unpleasant memories. Now before any of you read into that too much, let me explain. We always had gifts to unwrap, we always had the opportunity to see family on both sides. We were not denied the spirit of Christmas.

But my parents divorced when I was in 6th grade. So from that point on, it was different for us when it came to family activities. When the holidays came up, it involved arguing and jockeying as to where we would go. As the years dragged on, I started to not view the holidays with the same enthusiasm as I did when I was a young kid. I started getting sick and tired of being in between all of that garbage. I wasn't anticipating what my gifts were, I was wondering what the argument was gonna be like this time around. It was like that for many years.

For me life always seems to hit the reset button. That button was pushed when I met Elli in 12th grade via second semester German class. We endured a long distance relationship throughout college and that involved us getting the most time together during the holidays and summer break. No longer did I dread having to be in the middle of a tug of war. I didn't care, because I got to spend time with her. Also, as my sisters and I grew up and all went off to college, the jockeying between us as it pertains to where we were gonna go eased with time. The holidays were a time to start getting together again, not domestic issues. We laughed, we enjoyed each others company again, and it started to be smooth for me again. As we grew up and became adults, the ties between my two parents loosened and I think that it was a relief for both of them to finally have that last loose end taken care of and they to finally have their freedom from each other.

It has only gotten better with Daven. I have seen what a broken family does to a younger child through the eyes of myself and my sisters. I am determined to not have that happen to Daven. With him, I am having all kinds of wonderfully awesome and positive holiday memories. I get almost as excited as he does each day when its time to do his advent calendar. I laugh every time he runs over and tells us to turn on the lights on the tree. I love seeing the eyes of my parents and as well as Elli's parents when they tell me that they found a perfect gift for their grandson. I can't wait to put together his big gift Christmas Eve and then see his reaction to it Christmas morning. It is awesome. He is teaching me each day how truly enjoyable the holidays can be.

And not only for me, but I think he is helping my parents as well. I no doubt believe the whole divorced family thing put a damper on their holiday spirit as well. So they are getting to do it over themselves with Daven, and I can see the joy this is causing them as well. One of the favorite things for my dad is to take Daven outside of his home and turn the lights on and watch him squeal and squirm and run around with delight showing him all the lights. And my Mom enjoyed watching him open the gifts last year, and no doubt she is excited for that activity again this year. I know I am. And that's a nice feeling.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are you F%^#ing kidding me?!

I read today that corporate america will still be handing out bonuses this year. Many of these companies are those that you and I bailed out with tax dollars.

Are they serious? And they're getting away with this how?

The ending to the movie "Fight Club" may be on to something.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If you've ever touched a shovel, you can relate.

First off, I didn't write this. I would give credit to whomever did, but I can't figure out the author. So Heggem, you can't sue me for plagarizing since I'm pointing out here that this isn't my work. Ha! But with the recent snow storm and more to come, I find this both accurate and humorous. Thus I present to you this very humorous piece of writing. Enjoy!

The Snow Shovelers Diary

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snow plow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man. I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Goddamn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23: Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she...nuts??? Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's damn well lying.

December 24: 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents,
but I was busy watching for the goddamn snowplow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to her mother . 9" predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let it snow!

Alright shovel, it comes to this: I don't like you. You don't like me. But you've been cooped up useless all spring, summer, and fall so you need to get out and about. And I've been off the bike and feasting on holiday treats so I need the exercise. Long of the short, you need me for freedom every now and then, and I need you to help stop the wife from complaining about the snow accumulation in front of the door. We both should just make peace now and accept it for what it is.

We're in this together.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Dear Winter,

Thank you for finally showing up.


The Skiers of MN.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hey! You remember when...

It seems all the computer work I've been doing at work has worn my immune system down to the point of allowing illness to succeed in the germ war. As such, I am not at work today. And I didn't plan on writing anything today do to the fact that I feel much less than OK, but my friends have given me a good idea for a post, and as such since I have lots of time on my hands today, I mustered the strength to pull myself into the computer chair and start tapping away.

Some of you may follow my facebook page, and if you check there recently, you will see that I posted a status update about college life. A few days ago, myself and a lady (I couldn't resist that little barb Heather) down at work were reminiscing about college life. Those blissful years where you didn't have much responsibility, not a whole lot of bills, and you basically slacked off when not in the classroom. For me, weekends involved lots of fishing and hunting, hanging out with friends, and not having a care in the world.

So, I posted that and the responses have triggered some pretty good memories. For those that were not part of the Bemidji Crew, I will elaborate on some of those posted memories, and share a few of my own that weren't mentioned. Let's take a trip down memory lane:

Fishing whenever you want: Indeed. It seemed whenever there was down time, a group of us was on the water in Danno's boat. We hardly ever did anything worth bragging about with regard to stringers of fish, but we had a good time, we were never in any rush to get back, and would kind of just putz around one of the 50 or so lakes within 10 miles of our location for the afternoon. Thanks Hilson!

Like the time we skipped Chemistry to build a snowman: I don't know for certain how this one came to be, but if I remember it correctly, I was walking out of the dorm with my backpack ready to go to Chem when I came upon Anna not armed with a backpack but clothed in snow proof clothing and working on a half assed snowman. The snow was that slurshy wet nasty snow, but enough to create something small. I asked what she was doing, she replied about the snowman creating, and I dropped my backpack and started in. That was a good time, and I wish I could do more of that type of thing (dropping everything and screwing around for an hour or two) now a days. Thanks Anna!

How about putting things in my hand to see if they fall out: College involved booze. And like most people, our social engagements had lots of that involved. Most of the time we were controlled and social drinkers. A few times we got carried away. We had this one gal that was always fun to be around, however she made you laugh a little harder when she had a few. When she got tipsy, just like the heading for this paragraph says, we would put something in her hand and see how long it would stay there. Trust me, it doesn't sound all that funny written out here, but it was hilarious if you saw it in person. Things weren't the same when you left BSU Bridget. Thanks for the memory!

Sledding behind Danno's van: Doesn't take much of an explanation. It's exactly what it sounds like. We were all staying at a friend's parents place away from Bemidji. It was in the country, which as you would expect had country dirt roads with little to no traffic, it was winter, and we had sleds. Pretty much everyone took a rock in the eye that night, and the plastic red sleds were shredded, but it was good fun. That weekend also involved another Danno getting the van stuck pulling out of the driveway. But I'll save him the embarrassment. Thanks Mark!

Or that time Chad broke his finger: I wasn't there to personally witness it, but the story is legendary amongst the crew. A group was walking back from a track house party and decided to take a short cut across the soccer fields. It snows a lot up in Bemidji, and the soccer fields were where they would dump the snow from the parking lots when they plowed. Needless to say, there would be mountains of snow in that field. So, they are cutting across the field and over said mountains, Chad stumbles, gets up, and shows everyone there that his index finger is normal until the first joint, and then the rest of the finger points almost straight up. People gasp, and he grabs his finger and sets it back in place. Yes, booze was involved in that as well. And yes, his finger was quite sore and swollen for the next couple of days. Thanks Kelly!

I'll list a few more of my favorite college memories below, but will save explanation for another day (note that these are in no particular order):

-Sitting in Danno's boat in front of the green house.
-Johnny Holm concerts
-Inn Burgers
-L&M Fleet Store
-Headbanging with Kelly
-15th street
-The Muskie
-Danno and Chad's rap battle
-Mario Cart

Share some of your favorite college memories in the comment section below. And then get back to work you slacker.

P.S. Elli has taken offense to the fact that she is not on this list. I am pointing out that I intended the list to just be about the Bemidji Crew, and she was part of the University of WI-Madison regime. I will say that throughout college, the summers and breaks that I got to spend time with her trump all other aspects of that time. Well maybe not the outing where Danno's muskie was caught. Come on now, that was a big fish!
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