The Waffle House Chronicles...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Game off...

Just want to get straight to the point...this will be my last blog post for a while. I feel like I've been selling everybody short on my blog the past few months and I really don't have much that I want to or am willing to talk about on here anymore. Lately the blog has appeared as more of a chore and less as something I want to keep up with so what fun is that? If you want updates on me, shoot me an e-mail or better yet, join Facebook (thinking of you Kelson and Jen!) which now hosts most of my pictures and is not only easier to update but I think it is the easiest and best way to communicate with friends, whether it be me, Jess or whomever. I do hope in the future I have better and more interesting things to write about. Thanks to all for reading; especially those who still check back in religously despite the sporadic updates.
To quote F Scott Fitzgerald: "A big man has no time really to do anything but just sit and be big."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two more weeks...

So another couple weeks have come and gone so I supposed I am due for another blog post. The week before last was relatively uneventful. Just been trying to get back into the flow of working out by swimming and taking a spin class. That weekend was pretty chill as well as I know we really didn’t do much. Saturday we watched the movie, Zack and Miri make a Porno. It was hilarious! Saturday night was super crazy though. Went to bed and at 2am an alarm went off in our room. Evidently we have a carbon monoxide detector in our bed room that is about the sound of an air-raid siren. We both freaked out as we didn’t know what was going on. Finally Jess realized what it was and it turns out that detector detected the presence of explosive gas. And I don’t think I really ate anything that bad that night. Well at this point neither of us could sleep so we decided to head over to Jess’ parents to try and finish out the night. Of course neither of us could sleep there either so I watched Office Space and she just laid down and didn’t sleep. Finally after about two hours of sleep, I called MG&E and met a guy at our house. He did all the testing and everything and concluded nothing was wrong, except our detector malfunctioned. It hasn’t went off since so we’ll see, I might buy another so we can test the two against each other if it ever goes off again. But on the plus side we know we don’t have any leaks or issues. That Sunday was rough, watched some Packers and ate some dinner and everything.

Monday was the big meat eating day (see below.) Good times! Jess has had a lot of meat since and I think she isn’t regretting her decision at all. The week was more of the same. Didn’t really do much although it seemed like we were really busy. Monday night we had dinner with Lola’s parents and had a good time. Tuesday we went to Dean’s to play Wii and hang out. The weekend came pretty quick which is always a nice thing. Friday night we went out to Red Robin for Dean’s Birthday. Played some games afterward and I know now that Ticket to Ride is a game I have to get. Saturday we decided to go out geocaching. We headed to Mt Vernon and found some of the sweetest caches ever. Here is us getting to the base of a little climb:
And then we actually had to climb; here is me on the way up:

The moss made it pretty slippery so Jess found an alternate slope, but we rejoined near the top and made it all the way...and found the cache!

We then went to a cache that was an even more difficult climb, but it sure was fun! Here is me about 2/3 of the way up to the rock:
It took a couple actual climbing maneuvers to make it up:
But success was had, at least climbingwise:
Jess made the climb too and the views were spectacular!
The bummer is that the cache that would’ve been the sweetest score remained unfound…we’ll be back in the spring though. Here is another little gap in the rocks:

We then went into the woods and found another cache before exploring the wetlands for some more cache. Unfortunately for us this stream was in the way and the log across was no longer across so we scrapped it early. We did see a huge trout and loved the long grasses:

We ended up only finding 3 caches in a 5 hour span on Saturday but it was the most memorable caching that I've had so far. Saturday night was Dean’s actual birthday and he hosted a poker tournament. It didn’t go very well for me (I had very few hands I could play and when I did play them I either played them wrong or just plain got beat.) But it was a fun time as usual which is what matters most and Jess did really well.

Sunday was more caching action. The first one was at this park with this sweet climbing toy!
Who knew Middleton had some sweet forest action!

This is a travel bug, this bug was a horse and wanted to travel as fast as possible from cache to cache so we sent him to our last cache of the day:
We even found some thin ice. Jess could stand on it (she didn't want to) but when I tried it cracked. Man am I getting fat.
We hit 7 caches that morning all around Middleton and now I've done a total of 30. I am hooked. The afternoon we chilled as Jess wasn't feeling great. I went to the dog park and then we went out to supper with her parents.

Monday came and thank god it was a short week. I feel robbed when the Packers don’t play on Sunday and especially robbed when I wait until Monday night and then they don’t even show up. Tuesday is almost down too so one day to go until the Holidays!!! Happy Birthday Hez! Thanksgiving will be a busy time as usual…probably need a vacation after the long weekend! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and may you all find success on Black Friday!

I know this is becoming a geo-caching blog and if this looks fun it's because it is. If you are looking for a fun thing to do as a couple or with a friend or even just looking for a good way to get out of the house, I recommend it highly. Put a handheld GPS on your Christmas list of buy one for your other. If you have questions let me know, I am a rookie but I can point you in the right directions. We are hoping to hide up to a half-dozen of our own next year too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

She's thinkin' Arbys!

I know I haven't blogged in a week and I'll fill you in to what I am up to in the next few days. But today was a monumental day in our household.

-Mark, want to go out to lunch today? I think today might be they day I jump.
-Sure, anywhere you want to go.

We met just after noon to head out for some lunch. The decision? To hit the Arby's drive thru. I always knew Arby's would be the place. Here she is coming in the door. 4 Roast Beef sandwiches for $5. 3 for me, 1 for her. Huh? Yep, Jess wanted to try and not be a vegetarian anymore. Eating meat isn't her problem, she loves it. She just hasn't had it in over 16 years. Wow! And here we go.

First Bite:

More bites:

My first bite:
Yep, Jess is thinkin' Arbys!
So on our first real snow of the year, Jess now eats meat. Her body needs the protein and she needs to have little to no dairy now so this is her substitute. And I know it was hard for her but she really loved it. She isn't feeling ill yet, so hopefully her body will enjoy it! I think come February she'll be up to two steaks and two cakes! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

So Pro...

So I've been waiting to get a new bike frame since about May. Today that dream finally came true, the frame I've been waiting for arrived! Sweet carbon with integrated seatmast. I've got two different seatpost toppers so I'll have to decide which one will be better for me. Still figuring out the component spec, the only things I have for it are wheels, tires and saddle so I'll have a lot of new bike stuff soon. Here are the photos.


Profile Shot:
I haven't weighed the frameset yet and I'll keep you posted. For the bike geek, the headset has an oversized lower bearing so getting that will be a challenge and it has the new press in bottom bracket. Now I am just waiting for the pro contract to come in! :)

GT road bikes are back, I plan to do some Catch and Release this spring!

Can't wait to build it up and ride it. It might be a few months though. :( More pictures will follow in the months ahead.

Cache money...

Well it's been like 2 weeks now since my last blog post...guh! I guess people still read this as I've had comments about not posting for a while.

Here's what we've been doing! Two weekends ago we drank some more wine. Didn't get these photos uploaded in time, but I like them! I really like wine in small doses like a Barriques wine tasting. You get like 2oz of 10 different wines, which makes it pretty fun! Plus you really can't beat the company.

The next week was pretty good. I signed up for a spinning class so I do that twice a week now. Man is that a good workout and it's probably the best way to get me on a bike now that it is cold. But it wasn't always cold. Jerry was in town for a long weekend to defend. I guess it went well because we have to call him Dr. Jerry now. Congrats! Went out to celebrate with him at the Dane as well. The next night was Halloween. Instead of handing out candy we decided since it was 65F out it was perfect geocaching weather. We hit two caches at dusk in the town of Madison, both were in a beautiful prarie/forest area, I loved it. We got back to the car right when it got actually dark, so it was time for our first night cache, Jess, I, two dogs in a dense forest. We assume the forest would have trails in it, but it basically was rough woods, we had to blaze our own trail. A series of clues, maps, reflectors and using our flashlight got us close. The last clue was the hardest and after about 20 minutes of searching we found the cache. That nighttime cache was reason enough for anyone to try caching, super cool!

Even Chili had a great time!

The next day was the day we had planned our big bike cache trip. 30 miles or riding, another 1 or so of hiking and 10 caches! We found the first four with ease, even this little nano-cache (yes there is a little log book in there.)
Jess found cache 4 on some public lands. We even got a prize!

We had to ride our bikes on grass to get to and from it though.

The 5th one was on part of the Ice Age trail and proved to be a challenge as there are like 20 different branches of the trail and all we had was a compass pointer to navagate the trail system. Caches 6 and 7 went poorly. We couldn't find cache 6 and I even went back last Saturday. I have some clues now so I'll have to try again. Cache 7 hasn't been seen in months so people think it's missing (it's in Paoli.) We then rode to Basco and on to the Badger Trail and took that to two more caches before riding back on the road. The 10th and final (and 8th found one) was also near the Badger Trail towards town. A nice long day of caching. Of course we left a very small amount of time to get ready for the Irbys' party, so little our food item sucked and we forgot to bring a ghetto sixer. What we did bring was a couple of fabulous costumes courtesy of Jess! I'll post all the pictures I have of Tracy as well since she is one of the 5 people I know that reads this. She went as the Devil Dog (her boxer Dari.) But the most original costume I have seen in a while were the Yip Yips (You Tube Yip Yips to spur your memory.) Way to go Hez and Tad. I forgot to take photos of other peoples' costumes. The party was spectacular as the Irbys always put on a show. We did a blindfolded apple race, a pumpkin hunt, Devon's Halloween trivia and played lots of games. I even won Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf 2 on DVD! Sweet! Thanks again!

The next morning was 40 and drizzling so I bailed on Jerry's ride. Which was good because he ended up racing and winning a race since I wasn't there to slow down the ride. A succesful trip for Jerry.

The next week was pretty interesting at work. Went out with some friends for wings on Wednesday which was a good time as well. I found out however that I have achillies tendonitis (as a result from my ankle injury) so now I get to rehab that and not play sports. I am getting fat not being able to work out much. I did ride my bike outside a couple times and spin class a couple times. Jess and I also played alot of Little Big Planet on the PS3. The weekend brought more fun and excitement. Game night on Friday went well and was a great time as always! Saturday I watched the movie Made instead of playing basketball. Good flick. We also babysat another boxer (Lola) for the weekend and I took the goofs to the bark park.

It was sad though as there was snow on the ground in places. :( After that I took a nice nap and watched football and got a haircut. Then we went out for some more dusk caching (although this time it was like 38F out.) We went 4 for 5 although we plan to go back for the 5th some other day. This time the dogs stayed home. Here is cache 3 for the day, they come in all shapes and sizes! Cache 4 was a Trek waterbottle, black bottles are hard to find at night without a flashlight. Thanks to some stickers however it is partially a Schwinn waterbottle now! :) The reward for a hard cold day of caching was a nice carmel latte! Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for her) Tracy was working Saturday night and was able to provide us said drink (and a bowl of soup and a cookie) for a nominal charge. The rest of the night was spent with college football, PS3 and house hunters.

Sunday came and it was all about the football! Watched alot of TV, did some housework and hung out with friends and family alike. A nice Sunday. Now it's Monday and another week is upon us. Perhaps I should blog more often...all I care about now is weekend weather good enough to do yardwork...not...good enough to get some more geocaches. 19 and counting...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Catchin' up

Been a busy last couple of weeks!
Last Friday we went to the Saris Gala, which is a fundraiser for the Wisconsin Bike Federation. Free drinks and food made for a good time for all! We even kicked it old school and hit the Perkins with a group on our way home. That's the way to roll (or unroll an omelet!)

Saturday was Jess' birthday...she turned the big three-oh. It was a nice day though, we started out going to the dog park and then to the cross race at Badger Prairie. We also started out new hobby, geo-caching. We failed that day though as we weren't quite sure how to use the GPS equipment. We got home in time to clean up and change and then out to the Botham Vineyards with a few of our friends. We downed some good wine and had a great time hanging out on the terrace.
That night we had some friends over for some drinks and games to celebrate. Woo hoo!

A good time was had by all!

Sunday- Packers/Colts, didn't get to go this year as I was leaving early Monday for Providence and needed a day to chill. And a day to chill, it was! We did go out and get our first ever successful geo-cache with Jess' parents! Sweet! Packers dominated and then out to dinner for Jess' birthday! Good times!
Monday- 6am flight to Providence. Got there but my luggage did not (until late on Tuesday.) So after getting lunch and checking in we went to the park to set-up our tent for the east coast dirt demo. The park was beautiful with the fall colors. After set-up we had lots of time so I got to go shopping for some new clothes to make it through to the next day. Wal-Mart and JC Penneys worked. Then we went to the beach, nothing like a dip in the Atlantic in October.
And a beautiful sunset to boot! :) Went out for pizza and then played guitar hero and Mario Kart, it felt just like my youth hockey days!
Tuesday I got up and it was 30F. Went to Wal-Mart for some gloves and long underwear and to Dunkin Donuts for some breakfast. The show was a good time! Got to ride a little bit in my work clothes. We gave out alot of test rides and the show was a moderate success. We were a bit overstaffed but that's better than being understaffed! Here's me with Mr. Potato Head. Jess and I went to this park 3 years ago and Jess had to scale the fence to see him. This time the park wasn't open either but they were doing maintanence. That night we went down to Newport as a coworker lives there. We went to a cool bar (Back Alley Pub) and had a great time.
Wednesday I woke up with more donuts. Headed to the park and it was alot less busy. Which meant I got to test ride products (ours and competitors.) I rode 10 miles or so on the Roubaix. I liked it.

Then I went out on our road bike (GTR Pro with integrated seat mast) and that bike was super racy, I like it and look forward to getting one! After 15 miles on road it was time to go off road. I rode about 10 miles on the cross bike the day before and they had the perfect cross trails (in the fall with fall colors, almost perfect.) I took out a Cannondale Rize though and it was awesome. Rode probably 10 miles looking for anything I could ride. 2 stair cases and one jump and then a bunch of trails made for cross bikes. Here's a nice timer shot I did.

And here is another one, coming off of an island. You had to ride these sticks to get over and back. After all this riding, it started to rain and sleet. I went on a donut run and also got hot chocolate for everyone. Then we closed up early and headed back to the hotel. That night it cleared up and we headed into Providence, checking out the town and the Brown University campus. A beautiful night in a beautiful city.
Thursday was pretty blah. Headed home via LaGuardia. Flight in was nice as we taxied over Manhattan.
Got back home and then to work and then back home, to catch up on TV. Had lots of donuts and lattes out east, I lived the East Coast life! :)
Friday was catch-up day at work. That was about it. Went to Chilis at night and did some shopping and nothing too exciting.
Saturday was geocache and hang out with friends day. Three geocaches was the goal (big bark park, Ice Age Trail and Badger Prairie.) I started my day with some achillies is messed. Oh well. Then out to the big dog park, the dogs were excited! We found the first cache in the park about 2/3 of the way through a lap. Sweet! We then hit the Ice Age trail for some more action. The Ice Age is beautiful and it was a great hike! Chili actually found the cache for us! Here's the cache.
If anyone wants to try it, let us know! Popeye was a fan!

Then we finalized the trifecta at Badger Prairie, a big success! Hit some Taco Bell and watched the Badgers. Then went out with the Irbys and Mundys to see the movie Pride and Glory. It was pretty darn good. Then to Noodles for some supper and then to Barriques for a wine tasting, which was a great time! 10 wines was enough to make everyone blush!
Today was laid back with no Packers and crappy weather. In fact we have snow flurries right now. My parents are here on their way to Florida so I best spend some time with them. Thanks for reading!