Monthly Archives: February 2011

Presidents’ Day and the Talking Heads: “Burning down the house”

Working for the government has its perks.  One benefit of being a government official is that I get random holidays off from work like Columbus Day.  This past weekend I had a three-day weekend due to Presidents’ Day.  Knowing that my wife loves having a nice fire to enjoy while lounging around the house, and having a perfectly good fireplace, I decided I would surprise her on our day off together.

I’ve never been much for building fires.  Frankly, I’m a bit of a coward when it comes to open flames.  I like my face just the way it is, and I’d rather not burn my eyebrows off.  But when it comes to making my wife happy, I do things that might be considered uncharacteristic…like going to Starbucks.  Or building a fire. 

After finding a place for us to live following our wedding, we couldn’t help but notice a nice, brick, fireplace in the middle of the living room.  (Well, it was along one of the walls…not literally in the middle of the floor in the living room.)  I’ve lived in places that have offered fireplaces, but have never taken advantage of those situations because I just never cared to.  So, my first thought was to have the chimney inspected.  Responsible, right?  Thank you for noticing.  After sending multiple emails to the landlords regarding the safety of the chimney, they never acknowledged the inquiry but replied to other issues addressed in those same emails.  So I began thinking that it probably wasn’t much of an issue.  Recently I found out that the girl who lives on the first floor of our duplex has had a couple fires over the winter without anything going wrong.  Well, with those two little nuggets of information, I decided it was good enough to give it a go!  Keep reading, there’s more!


Soundtrack of my life: Motorcycles and music – While my bike gently weeps

For some reason, the last couple of weeks have been very difficult to deal with the remnants of winter.  The country has been slammed with one winter storm after another, and thanks to Jerry Jones’s lack of preparation and buying up all the plows in the lower 48 states to clear some ground for the Super Bowl last weekend, it has taken longer than usual to dig our ways out.  The last couple of days have shown a glimmer of hope.  A shimmer of promising sunshine has poked through the forecast, and  it is finally getting above freezing.  The snow and ice that has been covering the ground for the last month will hopefully melt away like butter in a microwave by the start of next week.  Punxsutawney Phil wasn’t able to see his shadow the other week (likely due to a blizzard blowing through town), which means that spring is right around the corner.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And that single source of light is coming from the headlight of my motorcycle! More after the gas stop


Pants off dance off: House parties in the video game era

Over the weekend, my wife and I had a few friends over to hang out, play some video games, and burn some calories.  Wait, what was that last part??  I thought this was about video games?  Yes.  We turned on the tv, powered up the Wii, cranked the surround sound, and gyrated around the living room to Just Dance 2.  My wife’s family introduced her to the game over Thanksgiving, and she was immediately hooked.  As soon as we got home, she added a Wii to her Christmas list along with Just Dance 2.  Mind you, my wife has no interest in video games (and I’m not much of a gamer myself, but I do enjoy killing some time and brain cells from time to time, plugged in, while sitting in front of our entertainment center).  So I saw this opening as the blessing that it was…we were getting another gaming system!  Paused. Click to resume.


Modern art – Thinking outside the canvas

I’ve noticed numerous articles lately about artists stepping outside the norm when choosing their medium of preference (ie – canvas, paper, metal/stone sculpting, pottery, painting, chalk, etc.).  I know strange and outrageous art has been created for far longer than any of us have been alive, but it seems to me at least, that most of those pieces are recognized purely because of their “shock factor.”  Like smearing human excrement on a canvas instead of using paint and brushes.  Or (literally) defacing a copy of the Mona Lisa after hastily drawing a mustache on her upper lip.  And has anyone ever fully understood performance art??  I enjoy doodling from time to time, painting, and some very basic photo editing every now and then and I have felt some inspiration brewing from deep within after seeing some of the examples from the following artists.  After taking a couple of trips to the bathroom, I came to the realization that it indeed, was inspiration that was brewing. Continue reading


Sport short for Super Sunday: Football, figure skating and horse racing

As the Super Bowl looms over our nation with kickoff just a meer few hours away, I decided to boot up and share a thought with you, America.  Many football analysts would like you to believe that they know it all.  The NCAA “brain trust” would love for you to concede that they have it all figured out when it comes to talent evaluation and skill-level across the board.  Hence the BCS – consisting of six “power” conferences:  The Big East, Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big 12 (which now has 10 members), Big Ten (which now has 12 members), and Pacific-10 Conferences(which will be aptly renamed the PAC-12 in the very near future since they are the only one of the last three that understands numbers.)  Those are the “automatic qualifying” schools for major BCS football bowl games.  That leaves several other conferences termed “mid-majors,” or “non-automatic qualifiers.”  Commercial break


Winter blunderland…and zombies…

Sitting in my house the last couple days, frozen in, has completely instilled a sense of cabin fever I rarely feel.  Typically I thoroughly enjoy the downtime and solitude from taking a time-out from living life.  Staying in comfy clothes all day, watching my favorite shows that have been building up on the DVR, and possibly getting some chores done around the house.

Well, earlier this week, we were hit with a rather noticeable ice storm shutting down businesses and activities across the board. Mmmmmore


Monster Jam – Return to boyhood wonder

As stated in an earlier post, I ventured back in time this weekend as I stepped into Lucas Oil Stadium to rekindle my childhood love affair with Monster Trucks.  And yes, that deserves to be capitalized.  My condescending friends however, were yet to be convinced.  As I attempted to use logic during the drive to downtown Indianapolis, I just couldn’t get them to admit they were excited and looking forward to the night’s festivities.  “Why do people like to watch racing?” I asked.  For the possibility of seeing “the big one” – a huge wreck wiping out half the field.  So what is not to like about an event specifically designed to give audiences just what they want…mass carnage??

Arriving late and entering the gate just as qualifying for the racing portion was getting under way, we quickly scuttled to our seats.  But wait, there’s more


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