Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017 and Review of 2016

Celebrating the New Year Picture from 2011
Happy New Year Picture from 2011
Happy New Year 2017! Hard to believe that 2016 is over. This year flew!

As I look back at 2016 and think of what happened, I am left feeling  satisfied with my year. I look forward to 2017.

I had strived this year to post more on my blog. I did in part for a few solid months and then completely stopped posting for a period of time as other projects and work took the focus. I am back to trying to post on a regular basis.

I thought I would take this time to mention some of my favorite blog posts from 2016. Maybe some that were missed and also to refresh my memory of the past year.

January 2016

I found the post I made after finding pictures from when the Royals won the world series -- Videos from Game 1 of 2015 World Series.

I enrolled in my first class at Washburn in years... Beginning Piano... I loved it! I kept a blog of all my studying and even my final project. I recall the initial post Studying Piano Lessons and Remembering Childhood Piano Practicing as I started the process. Unfortunately, I have not been back to continue to play the piano. I still have plans to get back to it though. See all posts involving piano.

I started following YouTube channels involving giving up all your possessions to sail the world. Still a fascinating group of channels that follow a year later. New Found Addition Are YouTube Channels were the first group of channels that I started following toward the end of 2015 and continue to follow today.

February 2016

I recall the day I went on a swing in a park in central Topeka. It really freaked me out and I realized I am getting older in the post Freakout Control Diminishes as I Get Older... My Experience on a Swing.

The day the Kansas City Royals trophy came to Washburn University Brief Update on Royals World Series Trophy at Washburn University.

March 2016

The start of baseball with rings and banners -- Royals Opening Day is this Sunday

April 2016

I started running again. I have since stopped. I hope to get back into it though. Reading past posts on running helps to inspire for future runs. I started the process again on April 2 with Start Running Process Tomorrow and Get Run Bug Again.

May 2016

I wrote my first paper in years for piano class. I was almost done with practicing my piece and ready to perform. Read the paper and where I was at in the process in Paper on Johannes Brahms Done and Preparing for Final.

June 2016

By June, I only posted two times that month. More running and Father's Day.

July and August 2016

No posts at all from me during the month of July. We went on a vacation and it was a busy month. However, in August, I did post about our vacation from July down to Texas -- Our Summer Vacation in Texas from July.

September, October, and November 2016

So, essentially, no posts September or October with one post in August that was about a vacation we took in July. I was slacking a bit on posts. Although in November, I did post Catching up from August Post and New Stuff that detailed what had happened during those few months of no posts.

December 2016

Thanksgiving and reflecting on the year. It was a great year!

Happy New Year in 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Remember Dad Two Years Later

Dad and I... Love this Picture!

I am not sure why it seems like it has been more years than it actually has been, but this is only the second year since my Dad passed (see Remembering December 30, 2014 -- A Year Later -- My Dad's Passing). When I say more years, it feels like it has been three years. I think it is because he passed just before a New Year started.

Thinking of you Dad two years after you left us. I still like to go back and look at pictures and listen  to his voice. Two years later and it still feels like he was going to walk into the room on Christmas Day to see what everyone wanted to drink or that on Christmas Eve that he was going to go to bed.

Miss and love you always!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Netflix Documentary: Minimalism -- and Other Thoughts

While waiting for a recall on a SRS bag for our Honda Accord, I decided to watch the Netflix show Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. I had read others friends posts about this documentary and decided to check it out. Interesting concept and something that Carrie and I have discussed in the past. Not sure we could ever go to the extreme that they do in this documentary, but certainly an interesting idea.

The idea being that we can be happier with less. We do not need all the things we have or large amounts of money in order to be happy. Instead, doing with less, focusing on real connections with family and friends, that's how we can be happy.

The idea seems daunting as I think about it and what these two guys in the documentary have done. They said at one point that it was not an easy process to begin throwing their personal items out and get down to only those items that they use.

This concept of minimalism makes me think of those YouTube channels I follow which gave up everything to sail around the world. It has been over a year and I am still following those same YouTube channels (see New Found Addition are YouTube Channels of Sailors). It is intriguing how those individuals gave up everything they own and got on a boat to sail the world. They keep only those things on the boat and in their possession for which they use regularly or have a purpose for on their boat.

To live in a small house, or tiny house, as has been a hot topic been lately and also mentioned in the documentary, I am not sure I could do that either. Granted, Carrie and I really only use three or four rooms in our house and not sure I could go down to one tiny house/room. Something we have half joked about before as we look those other rooms we do not frequent. The other rooms are simply areas that have to be cleaned and if we were in a smaller house, we would not have to worry about those areas.

All of this to say it is a good documentary and highly recommend watching. I hope Carrie and I can take the idea and use it in our home and our lifestyle. Possibly think twice before purchasing something either of us think we need. Think about items in our home that we can donate to others and do without.

Seems like a good way to finish out 2016 and look to 2017 to think about living with less or the goal of how we want that to look.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas to All!

Picture of Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Everyone have a happy and safe Christmas! I hope Santa was good to everyone. Enjoy this Christmas Day 2016! Hard to believe 2016 is almost over.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve with a Christmas Sweater

Picture Carrie took of me last year in a Christmas Sweater

It is Christmas Eve and I decided to bring out a picture from last year that Carrie took. Carrie made this very special Christmas Sweater. It is certainly festive, don't you think?

I wanted to take a quick moment to say Merry Christmas Eve. Safe travels! Enjoy being with family  and friends. I know I cannot wait to be with my family tonight and tomorrow.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Leaves, Leaves, and More Leaves

Picture of Leaves

First part of December is always a fun time of year. Fall is in full swing with college football wrapping up the regular season. College basketball has been going a few weeks and getting closer to league play. Finally, at this point in the season, those of us with large trees in our yards have already picked up leaves a few times. The way trees look, I will have a few more times to pick up leaves before the end of the year.

The worst part about leaves is that some how they manage to make their way into our house. When we let our dog out or simply coming back from the store, leaves are in our kitchen and family room. They cling to the bottom of our shoes or simply blow in the back door as we go out or into the house.

The act of cleaning them up is not so bad. The large trees though means we get to do this a lot of times throughout the season. One tree in our front yard, a gum ball maple, keeps the leaves until about January or February. Or, if we have a large snow fall, then it will drop all of the leaves on top of the freshly laid snow. That always looks really nice!

This year, I am trying to do much more mulching than years past. Yesterday, I did the front and back for leaves and only ended up with three bags. The rest was mulched into the yard. The majority of the yard cannot tell that leaves were picked up, but some of the heavier areas because the leaves were mulched, I could not pick up the leaves in those spots. Still, I think it will be good for the yard in the long run. Plus, I know I will have a few more times to pick up leaves before the season is over.

Picture of Carrie in the leavesThe best part of leaves is being able to play in them. The picture to the right was taken a few years ago as we were leaving for a Washburn home football game. Carrie used some leaves I had not gotten to that seem to collect in the middle of our driveway to get that perfect picture.

Our dog on the other hand, he is not a fan of the leaves. If there is a pile in the back yard, he will walk around it to go to or from the back door. He seems to be happiest following the back yard being cleaned up. He is so pampered!

Hard to believe Christmas will be here in a few short weeks. I hope I am done picking up leaves by then.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Picture

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is a time to be with family and friends. It is a time to give thanks and remember those we love. It is also a time of fantastic foods. Turkey, dressing, green beans, and pies. Oh then there are the liquid drinks that go along with the day. It is a good day for wine, maybe a glass or two of scotch. It is a wonderful day of relaxation, watching football, and enjoying family and friends.

May each and every one of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be sure to reach out to those you love or those that do not have a lot of family to give them thanks too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Catching up from August Post and New Stuff

Hard to believe how fast the end of 2016 is going. It is only November, but it is almost Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner. Before long it will be 2017. Let me see if I can summarize what has happened since my last post in August.


The end of August started my goal to get a masters. I enrolled in my first masters class in August. It was a eight week completely on-line course. With only one course completed in the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership, I do not take my next course until the second eight weeks of the spring semester. The program is completely on-line and all courses are eight weeks. It is possible to do two classes a semester meaning it can be finished in a short amount of time. I am taking the classes for free by working for Washburn, so I am on the extended plan. It will take me longer to finish, but I am not in a huge hurry to finish it up. I have been looking at obtaining a masters for a few years now. This program was just announced and started being offered fall 2016. I am excited to be taking classes again!


Bridge in Madison CountySeptember had me about halfway through the master class. It was also the 14 anniversary for Carrie and I, so we made a trip to Des Monies, Iowa. We had a great time in Des Monies. It was our first time to visit Des Monies and first time in Iowa. We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast where we had a wonderful time.

Not only did we enjoy so many different Iowa beers, but we also enjoyed some excellent Iowa wines. We bought a case of different wines and brought those home. They have some very good wine selections from local wineries. We were impressed!

We ate at a different places and like we do most of the time when we travel, we eat at places we cannot eat at when we are at home. Carrie found a place for us to eat called Strudl Haus. It was an Austrian dining experience and we both loved our dishes. We each got a plate to ourselves and then one extra to share between the two of us. Glad we did as it was a great experience.

Our Room at Butler House in Des Monies, IowaFollowing eating at Strudl Haus, we went to our B and B which was called Butler House. The picture to the right is our room. It was my first experience staying at a B and B. I loved it! Breakfast each morning and then free to go on the town. As I mentioned earlier, I did not plan well during this trip, so I spent most afternoons working on my homework so I could post it by Saturday evening.

We could not have asked for better weather while we were in Iowa either. It rained overnight and then was beautiful during each of the three days that we were there.

A few of the other places we ate (or drank) and would highly recommend included El Bait Shop, La Mie Bakery & Restaurant, Summerset Winery, and Iowa TapRoom (was awesome!).

We want to go back and visit again we had so much fun in Iowa. Beautiful country and it was a really easy drive from Topeka to Des Monies. Highly recommend a visit to Des Monies, Iowa.


Javier and I at the King Biscuit Blues Festival 2016I attended another King Biscuit Blues Festival which celebrated the 31 year of the festival. Javier and I were able to attend this year and Carrie stayed home for this one. We had one of the smoothest festivals I have attended. I have told others that the first day (Thursday), I did not have to carry anything at all. I think on Friday, I carried maybe a single amp. It was smooth and not a lot to do other than catchup with so many friends that attend the festival.

After returning from the King Biscuit Blues Festival, I had to finish a paper that was due the Saturday night while I was gone. Having an extension, I was able to finish it up the following week. I had it turned in by Wednesday evening following returning from Arkansas. We then had our final presentations to give for the class on October 13. August - October proved to be rather intense with classes and work, but I made it through. We already have our grades from the master classes, so I know that I already earned an A for the first class. I am ready to enroll in the second class which I will do here in the next few weeks.

Group Picture at Homecoming After Hours 2016October was also Washburn Homecoming. Javier visited Topeka and stayed at our house. We had his new dog with him. We had a great time! It was fun to go to After Hours and have everyone attend. We took the picture to the left with all of our friends. Thanks to Danny for snapping the picture!

Washburn won the homecoming day game and once again we had beautiful weather. Carrie and others made so much wonderful food, everyone had a great time at the game.


Picture of Greg, John, Erin, and Carrie at Drew and Libby's weddingWe are early into November, but not far away from Thanksgiving. We attended a wedding for Drew and Libby in Kansas City the first weekend of the month. Beautiful wedding where we stayed the night in Kansas City. Greg was an usher in the wedding which is why he was wearing a tux. Me, I had just purchased my new suit for the wedding and just to have that week.

This past weekend, we attended the last home football game for Washburn. We played Emporia State for the last home football game and we never showed up. It was not pretty!


I believe I have caught you up to what has happened the past few months. It has been a fun filled past few months. Intense at times for homework, work, and life, but things have been good. I am looking forward to a great ending to 2016. This year has flown by and I want to make the most of what is left of it before we move to 2017. 

Until next time, have a great November and I will talk to you again soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pig Skin Pick 'em Ready for 2016-2017 Season... Enter Today!

Pig Skin Pick 'em Time for 2016 - 2017

The NFL season starts on September 8. Once again this year, the ESPN Pig Skin Pick 'em will be running week after week during the regular NFL season. Create your entry now to be ready to enter your picks. Then do not forget to enter your picks each week throughout the season.

The password for the league is haverty and the name of the league is Maybe This Season. Feel free to share with others as the more people we have in the pick 'em the more fun it is for everyone. Each person can enter up to two entries.

It is free to play the Pig Skin Pick 'em and you might win prizes from ESPN for playing. Enjoy the season!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Our Summer Vacation in Texas from July 2016

Crystal Beach in Galveston, Texas

Carrie and I have been so busy the past month and half. We went on vacation the first part of July and leading up to those vacation days and after, it seems like we have been non-stop on the go. Things are good, but just really busy. At work and at home. Seems like there is always something happening. It is good, but also nice to just have a relaxing weekend every now and again. Finally, today, I have such a day where can just relax and not do anything.

Oliver Riding in the Car to Texas
Our trip to Texas for vacation was a lot of fun. We decided to drive this time instead of flying. This would allow us to take our dog, Oliver, on the trip with us. He is a great travel pet. He sleeps the whole time and enjoys riding in the car. He wakes up every now and again to look at the window, see if we are still in the car, or just to enjoy the ride. Our trip started out from Topeka as went drove to Dallas to visit Javier.

Birthday Celebration with JavierWe were able to celebrate Javiers' birthday with him. Took him out to a nice place to eat. We also enjoyed a few beers with him too. Got to see his new house and Oliver got hairs all over his new place. After spending a few days in Dallas,  we left for Houston to visit Cory and her kids. We were there in Houston for the July 4 celebration. We had a great time at her parents pool and even did some fireworks while we were there too.

Pool Time on July 4 in HoustonWe spent a few more days in Houston before we got in the car again with Cory to head to the beach. We went to Crystal Beach in Galveston, Texas. It was very hot, but we had a great time! Yes, we took Oliver to the beach and it was so fun to see his first experience seeing water, seeing waves, and running on the beach.

We normally keep Oliver on a leash, but this day, we decided it was a good idea to release him. He would stick around. There might have been a little protest to releasing him from the leash as it is known back in Topeka, he will take off if no gate and no leash. Yet, we went ahead and removed him from the leash. He stuck around for a few seconds, realized he was not hooked to the leach, and took off running as fast as he could. He ran down one way of the beach, stopped and looked at us following and yelling for him to come back, then ran the other direction right past us again. He stopped in front of our spot on the beach and seemed to catch his breath. Then went running off the other directions and did the same routine again running as fast as he could. Two spots down on the beach and the lady there told me "he is fast!", yeah, he is very fast and seems to run his fastest when off leash and no fences. He was running so far sand was flying up behind him in almost a cloud behind him as he ran. Wow!

Here are some pictures of Oliver at the beach that day and you will note he is on the leash. Such a good boy!

Oliver on the Beach Oliver Playing on the Beach First time seeing a beach or water

He was so happy and really did not mind the water. He did freak out as the waves would come into shore. He would be down close to the water and as the wave would come in he would run back up away from the water. He looked so happy and seemed to have a smile on his face the whole time we were down at the beach.

Following our time at Crystal Beach, we headed back to Houston for a few days. We left to head to Dallas and spend the night with Javier one last time before we headed out back to Topeka.

Wonderful trip and great to be a able to take our dog with us on the trip too. I hope that as Carrie and I look for future trips, we can find places to go and places to stay where we can take Oliver.

See all the pictures from our summer vacation below....

Trip to Texas 2016 Pictures

As the summer is starting to wind down and hopefully the heat starts to cool, I realized that I had not posted in over a month. As we were on our vacation, I had not posted about July 4 or what we did that day. So, I decided to post a summary of our vacation and what has happened this summer.

Vacation and being busy has taken a toll on both Carrie and I for being in the exercise routine. We have somewhat dropped out of the routine, but plan to get back into it aggressively as we head into the start of the semester.

Carrie is taking a class for the first time at Washburn that she is very excited to be doing. I am taking my second class in two semesters. I am starting a master program at Washburn in Communication and Leadership. I am very excited. It will take me a while to complete the masters program as I am doing one class per semester.

It should be a fun and interesting rest of the year. I trust everyone has had a wonderful summer. I would love to hear from you about our trip to Texas. Share your travel experiences from the summer, or just say hello.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day to Dad in Heaven, Dad Shirron, and All Fathers

Picture of Happy Father's Day

I have fond memories of Father's Day. I remember getting ties for my Dad, or a coffee mug, or simply drawing a picture to give him on this day. I remember watching golf all day long and lounging in front of the TV with some snoozing going on but the TV was on and the tournament being played. 

It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating various holidays with Dad. Now, only memories. So many wonderful memories of not only holidays, but stories he would tell, his laugh, and always wanting to be with family and friends. His always wanting everyone to have a great time and have everything they need when he was the host.

Happy Father's Day Dad in heaven! I know you are enjoying the day!

Happy Father's Day to Dad Shirron and all fathers on this day!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Workout Six Days Past Week Including Running and Jazzercise... Feeling Great!

For the first time I worked out everyday this past week except for Friday. I started Jazzercise a few weeks ago and love it! It is a good mix between runs to do something different. I wear a Garmin Forerunner 210 that uses a heart band to monitor the heart. This works great for running and I have used it for a few years now and love it! Using it for Jazzercise was not working too well as it only monitored my heart rate but not overall exercise.  So, this past week I purchased a foot pod for the Garmin. I have really enjoyed using it not only with my runs as it shows cadence and stride, but it is also working well for Jazzercise workouts too.

The above report is from a run I did today. It was very warm out for the run. I am closing in on the end of the Couch to 5K training. I am now doing a five minute walking warm up, running for about 20 minutes (varying each day), and then a five minute cool down. I have one more day for week 7 and then just three days left in the training finishing up with day three of week 3 hopefully next weekend.

Below is a Garmin Connect record from Jazzercise using the foot pod. It looks a little odd because it says distance is .75 miles and then average pace is 0.8. Not sure how accurate it is in terms of calories burned during training, but I like it better than having nothing at all.
I know that using the foot pod will work very well the next time I have to train indoors. Unless I was on equipment that could sync with the Garmin (such as the cycling bikes at the gym), there would be no record of distance, pace, etc. Now, I will be able to get that data even when training indoors without satellite. I am excited to give that a try too.

Overall, the running is still very enjoyable. I usually run with headphones listening to either new music, Royals games, or from my music library. I look forward to running and feel great following the run. During these longer runs, I do not always look forward to it in the middle of the run. I can hardly wait for it to end or sometimes question whether I will be able to finish the run. Those are the times that usually when I begin to question, I find that I am almost done and the timer goes off to stop.

The best part about running on a weekly basis is the joy that it brings our dog, Oliver, who gets excited when I begin to put on my running gear. Carrie tells me that while I am running he is running from the windows in the back to the door crying because he cannot wait for me to get back so we can go on a run. Truthfully, this is part of the drive for me to run multiple times each week. I love how excited Oliver gets for me to go running and then when we finally go walking following the run. I did try taking Oliver one or twice previously on the run and while he did well, it is now way too hot for him to go along with me. Today, I only took him on a short walk around the block as it was already warm by mid-morning.

The best part about running on a weekly basis is the joy it brings our dog Oliver.

I have not been doing great with eating although. I still eat basically what I want and continue to enjoy beers from time-to-time. That said, I have managed to lose about five pounds since I started this process. If I can keep up working out six days a week, I think I will continue to lose weight. I do eat alright through the week as Carrie is watching what she eats and that follows through to what I eat too. It simply has not been a focus or goal of my workout each week.

A few years ago, I was heavily into using MyFitnessPal which worked great! I used it religiously for three or four years. It worked well and I enjoyed it. Now, I only let it track my calories when synced with running. I am not using it to track calories consumed. Carrie is using this to track her calories and I know I have a number of friends currently using it too. It does a great job and I highly recommend the web site and/or app.

Until next time, happy training....

Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering Memorial Day and the True Meaning of this Holiday

Image of American Flag Waving in the WindI hope everyone has had a safe Memorial Day. I recall when I was younger spending this day enjoying the local lakes or getting to the swimming pool as it was the first day the pool was open for the summer. Now it is more to reflect on why and how we have this freedom we have to do what we want and go where we want. It is a result of many people before and currently giving their lives to make America what it is today.

It seems some people are confused about what this day is all about. It is about remembering those that have fallen or given themselves for our country in active duty. Reading through various posts on social media web sites, this does not seem clear to everyone. There is almost a blanket effect to some as they refer to Memorial Day as Veterans Day. I can see how it could be a little confusing, but memorial tends to refer to someone who has passed. In this case, someone that passed in active duty. So, really, I am not sure it can be confused.

This morning in my second Jazzercise class, the instructor that started the morning session made announcements and reminded everyone what this day is all about. It is for our military service men and women who died in the line of action. She went on to say that at 3 pm today everyone should take time to pause and reflect on the meaning of the day. It seems a little sad that we as a society have to be reminded by our local news, workout facility, or friend to remember what this day is all about.

I hope you have had a safe holiday. I hope that you have remembered why you have this holiday and remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week Four of C25K is Done and Ready for Week Five

Running continues. A few of the scheduled running days the past week or so I missed as busy with other things. Trying to get back on a regular routine this week. A great run this morning with beautiful weather and I felt overall pretty good throughout the run. I just finished week four of the Couch to 5K. I believe it said as I finished week 4.3 that I was half done.
I have noticed that during the walking piece of the program, my shins are hurting a lot. I plan on doing increased stretching before and after each workout. I usually spend about five minutes stretching legs, arms, and body. However, I think I need to spend more time as my shins really hurt toward the end of the route. They do not hurt much during the running segments though which seems odd.

My average pace is still not that fast, but I do have to take into account that the start and end of each run is a five minute warm-up or cool down. Plus the walking between each segments. I can see that my average page is gradually going down as I get farther in the program. Just a few short weeks ago I was averaging 15 minute a mile pace. Now, the last few have been in mid-fourteen min mile. So, I continue to improve as I get farther into the program.

The days I have scheduled to run continue to be Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The difficult part are those times when in the evening on Tuesday or Thursday we have something else planned. A few times I have been able to get up early to run on those days, but usually bed feels too good and there is no desire to get out of the warm bed to go into the cool morning run. That I think will get better though as it continues to get warmer and if I have a need to run in the morning it will be a little easier to get up and do so.

The good news is that I am still enjoying running. Except for a few a aches and pains during or after a run, I feel good. I enjoy the whole process. I enjoy how good it makes me feel to know that I finished the run. I can also see that it is helping in my everyday mobility where I do not get "as winded" going up stairs or walking across the campus.

The best part is how excited my dog, Oliver, gets when he sees me putting on my running gear. He knows and he begins running around whimpering because he knows when I get home I will take him on a walk. As much as I feel motivated now to go out and run, I think a large part in doing so is knowing how excited he gets and how much he loves going on walks that helps to motivate me to continue this process.

My plans for when I finish this program? Well, I plan to run a 5K in September/October. Other than that, I just plan to keep running. I have a gym membership which I have not used in a few months by physically being in the building, but possibly after I finish this training program I will start frequenting the gym. I want to keep running throughout the years, so at some point I will need to be in the gym when I cannot run outside.

Until next time, have a great run!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Final Piece of Minuet in G by JS Bach for Beginning Piano Class Final

The last day of my class is tomorrow afternoon at four. I have done well on all the tests, got an A on the paper, and also did some of the extra credit. Now it comes down to our being able to play a piece in class for the final. I made my selection a few weeks ago (see Piece Selected for Final in Piano Class and Now Practice Practice) and although I had planned on practicing it a lot, the practicing really did not start until about Wednesday of this week. I started focusing on playing left and right hand separately and then putting them together. Working on sections of the piece with this process.

Good luck everyone on your finals! Have a great summer!
The time is here for you to be able to hear what I have put together. It is still a little rough. Bare with me as I struggle through the piece. I know I am going to be told that I play too fast. I try to slow it down, but then I really lose track of the notes. So, here we are with my current ability to play.

Minuet in G by Bach.

I am hoping to be able to get through the whole piece with repeats without any problem in class tomorrow. I will practice a few more times tonight before I head to bed, possibly practice again over the noon hour tomorrow, and then be ready to perform for the class. A little nervous as I do not want to not play well in front of the class.

I have a plan to continue playing and practicing after this class ends. That was the point of this class, right? Yes, to be a able to read and play music for the piano. I want to continue learning new songs and add to my knowledge. Carrie has grand ideas of me playing the piano around Christmas while everyone is around signing the songs. I will try, but no promises.

Post your comments or questions about my playing in the comments section. Let me know what you think. Any pointers before I play tomorrow would be appreciated.

Happy Mother's Day to My Moms and All Mother's!

Picture of Flowers for Mother's DayHappy Mother's Day! What a beautiful time of year! The grass is green, the trees are green, and the flowers are in full bloom. Makes me wonder if having Mother's Day this time of year was planned. What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than with new life everywhere we look this time of year.

Happy Mother's Day to both of my moms! I am so fortunate to be able to see my mom frequently and I try to talk to her everyday. I am able to see my mother-in-law frequently and we do a lot of things together. I love how she checks in with the kids frequently and works out time to get us together each week.

Over the course of the past year, I have had friends that have become mothers. It is so great to see them enjoying their families and being wonderful mom's to their children. Often times I reflect back on when I grew up and how much my mom did for me and my siblings. Cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning up after I made a mess, or simply making sure I was doing my homework. Seeing my friends with their kids always makes me think back to myself and my mom.

Back in 2002, I was fortunate enough to marry into the Shirron family and gained another mom. So wonderful to have two moms who are both wanting to take care of us in old old age (of middle 40s). Both are always available to answer questions or help with a decision. Wonderful having two mothers!

The holiday also makes me think of those children that do not have mothers in their lives. Or, even worse, those that have mothers but the mother does not care or tend to the child's needs. As with any holiday, I am left wondering how those children deal with this day when they do not have someone to honor.

I am happy to honor my mom, Nancy, and my mother-in-law, Joan, on this day. I try to not only honor them on this day, but throughout the year. I know how much they do for us and their impact on our family. I am also happy to honor my friends that are mothers and I see the work that they do for their children.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Losing Track of Outs, Missing Pop Ups, and No Focus for Kansas City Royals

Should have known prior to the Kansas City Royals not playing well the past 10 games. We are 3-7 and just got blown out today by the Washington Nationals 13-2. Should have known when early in the season in a few separate games, our Royals had no clue how many outs were left. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer both were caught on camera heading back to the dugout not knowing how many outs.

Below is the clip of Hosmer when he lost track of how many outs. Really?

Thinking back to last year, when the Royals won the World Series, or even the year prior to last year, when the Royals made it to the World Series and went seven games, I do not recall any Royals player forgetting the outs. Seems like a thing as a ball player I would track and know how many outs. Remembering back to prior to 2014, I remember watching games and seeing players forget how many outs. Back then, and possibly now, our teams were not focused.

I get it! They play a lot of games and might lose track from time-to-time on the field. But to me it seems like when they are losing track of outs, those are the times we are bad and playing bad. Those are the stretches of time when as a spectator it appears they do not care.

It is time to focus on baseball and get our mojo back to playing Royals baseball. They are off tomorrow and back at it on Friday. Come on Royals!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Paper on Johannes Brahms Done and Preparing for Final

It has been a while since I posted. It has been a busy two weeks since my last post. Truthfully, I did not feel like posting while I was writing my paper for class. That is finished, so now I am back to posting again.

My Beginning Piano class is coming to an end. We are done with all the tests in the class. I finished my paper on Johannes Brahms. I finished the paper well in advance of when it was due. We also had to give a short speech on the composer too. Both went fine. I had to remember how to write in MLA style, but I think I got it and wrote a descent paper. The full paper on Johannes Brahms can be read by visiting

The last part of the class is playing the final piece. As you may recall, I selected Minuet in G by Bach. I have not spent much time on practicing the piece at this point, but will be practicing today and hopefully everyday between now and Monday, May 9. We have to perform our piece for the class on May 9. I still plan to record it to post here on my site. However, I need to practice a bit more before posting anything.

Read through my paper on Johannes Brahms and let me know what you think. Carrie read through it and thought it sounded OK with a few minor changes. Hoping we get it back tomorrow or Wednesday in class so we can see what we got on it. It is a test grade, so see how I do.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

First Week of Back into Exercise Done and Thinking of Future Runs

I ran three times this week. I was supposed to run today, but decided to move it to Tuesday instead. Celebrating Carries' birthday today with good brunch and then a movie. So, I decided to not get up early to run.

Last week when I started this process, I said I would run a different route. Well, for the most part I ran the same exact route I have been running the past three years. It is a habit and I like the route. So, instead of trying to change it up and run a new route each time I got out, I will likely stick with this same route.

My first run of this process. It went well. I felt good after wards. My legs were killing me the day after. It went very well though and I felt motivated to get out and run again to keep the process moving.
The second run also went well. I decided to take my dog Oliver with me. Thus, a slightly adjusted route. I ended up only taking Oliver about halfway as he went number two once which I was carrying with me like a respectable pet owner. So, I was doing the Couch to 5K with the leash in one hand and a bag of poop in the other. Oliver was starting to drag behind as I would run and I was headed back toward the house. I decided to go ahead and take Oliver home and I would continue on. Overall, he did very well. He was exhausted following the run. It was his first run of the season (or ever) too, so I know he will need to ease into the running too. Granted, I cannot take him on many runs as it continues to get hot. See how he does though.

Final run of the week was Thursday morning. We had plans that evening, so I got up early to go running. I did not take Oliver on this run. I really enjoyed getting up early and running. I need to do it more often as it really feels like it started the day right.

Other than not running today, it was a good start to the process. I will be out running again on Tuesday and look forward to progressing back to being able to run a solid 5K without stopping.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Piece Selected for Final in Piano Class and Now Practice Practice

The piece I will be playing for my final has been selected. I plan on playing a piece called "Minuet in G" by Johann Sebastian Bach. There were a lot of options provided by our instructor and we were free to select anything. I had some piano books that came with the piano and then some that my Mom had sent home with me one evening. I actually played this same piece when I was young, but it was a long time ago.

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period.
The piece was selected because I enjoy the piece and I think it will be challenging for me to site read and play for the final. The plan now is to begin learning the piece focusing on left and right hand reading the music. As I mentioned last week, we do not have to have the piece memorized, but it is fine if we do have it memorized. If I can get to the point, I would prefer to do so instead of having to rely on reading the music.

Picture of Piano with Lights
Piano at Home with Lights ... Need Music Light Instead
Below is a recording of my warm up and then first few bars of the piece. Not a very good recording, but you get the idea. You can hear a vibration sound which is actually coming from the two lamps on the piano. I already told Carrie we are going to have to replace this with something else as I need something where it provides light on the music and then also does not vibrate. The ones she picked out look great, but need more light and no vibration sound.

I am excited to begin practicing this piece and be able to provide a recording in a few weeks with the final product. I have really enjoyed my piano class. We get a third test back in class tomorrow and will begin chapter four. I came out of the last test feeling happy, so we will see how that turns out with the return of the test tomorrow night.

A lot of practice for me and I also need to start working on the paper that is due in a few weeks. I need to get over to the library to do research and write up that paper. I keep telling myself not to procrastinate and yet the days keep going by and I have not started the paper yet. The plan is to start the paper next week and it should not take more than a night or two to write it up and proof.

For now, I will continue working on "Minuet in G" and plan to post a update in a week or two with my progress.

Championship Game is Set with North Carolina and Villanova Facing off Monday Night

The NCAA Championship game is set. The games Saturday were not exciting at all. Oklahoma forgot to show up and Syracuse got close, but could not catch up with North Carolina. Monday night will be Villanova vs North Carolina. The only one seed, North Carolina, will face off against the two seek Villanova.

The Big East facing off against North Carolina. I expect it to be an exciting game to watch. Both teams have no problems scoring. Sometimes for the NCAA championship game, I will not watch. I will likely watch this game as I am pulling for North Carolina.

Yes, all brackets are busted at this point. I did not have one bracket with either Villanova or North Carolina winning it all. I do have UNC in a few brackets playing Kansas or Oklahoma. Not this match up though. How are your brackets?

Are teams are no longer in the tournament, but it was still a lot of fun watching basketball the past few weeks. A fun season and look forward to watching the game Monday night. It will all start again before we know it in the fall.

Enjoy the game Monday night!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

New Subscription via Email and Navigation Added to Site

Picture of Subscribe by Email
Option to Subscribe via Email to the Right
A few minor changes to the site that maybe you have not noticed. Added a option to be able to get email notifications with the posts in your email. I use this for some sites that I follow and thought it was a good addition to my site too. It uses Google FeedBurner to deliver the feeds. Easy way to get new posts when they are posted.

Cleaned up the right side of the page to remove unneeded items. The main thing that was added was an About page and a Social Media page. Also cleaned up the image at the top of the site to extend the full length of the content on the site. Also added a link to the top navigation to link back to the Home page.

If you have any suggestions for the site, please post a comment to let me know.

Start the Running Process Tomorrow and Get the Run Bug Again

Picture of a Drawing of a Guy Jogging
Finally! It is happening! Finally, I am getting motivation to start running. Not remembering the last time I ran, I had to go look at my apps to see. The last time was July 2015. I ran for approximately three weeks and then stopped. Not feeling like running since that time. It is time again to start running. Finally!

Plan is to get back into running. Starting out slowly using the Couch to 5K app. My plan, is to be able to run the Bow Tie Run which will take place in the fall. Starting now, I should have more than enough time to prepare and be in running form for that event. The plan is to run Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday each week. The Couch to 5K is a eight week process. The focus for this eight week process is to simply be able to run again. Not lose weight, although, that will hopefully happen as part of the process, but to be able to run again. Not be winded walking up the stairs in our house, but be able to do things that I was doing back in 2012 when I was running regularly (see Running Posts from my Blog).

Remembering back to running regularly, I recall how good it felt. How good it felt to run outside listening to music and feeling as though I was being productive. The best part was after a run outside, my dog Oliver would be so excited because he knew that part of my cool down process was to take him on a walk. He would get so excited when I was putting on my shoes because he knew what it meant and that he would be going on a walk.

The worst part is that I have been paying a gym fee each month for the past year and not been to the gym once. Starting the running will at least make me feel like that payment each month is not going to waste. Plus, I will not have any excuse to not run as I always have the gym as a backup in case of weather.

The worst thing I think I did previously was that I ran the same exact route every time I ran. The above being the route that I ran each time. I d not think that I got bored of the route, but I did get lazy and simply did not feel like running. Gradually during the past few months I have been telling myself that I am going to get back into running again and that time is now.

I am looking forward to running again and looking forward to taking my dog on regular walks again too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Test Three Done and Moving on to Chapter Four

Test three is done. Glad to be done with this test. I was not looking forward to the test being on a Wednesday. Not sure why, possibly because the previous two tests I enjoyed being able to prepare for them over the weekend. Granted, I could have prepared over the weekend for this one, but instead, I spent the weekend procrastinating and then on Monday decided I needed to study for the test. Tuesday night was the real cram session though trying to figure everything out.

I left the class and the exam feeling good about how I performed. In the first part of playing the piano for the instructor, that did not go great. She had me play one piece showing cords three or four times. She told me I was rushing or making the second and forth the same. We left it with we will work on that in the future. Other than that little part of the test, I felt good about the exam.

Following class, I spoke to the instructor and believe I have selected the piece to play for the final. Possibly this weekend, I will record a sample of where I am at currently with learning the right hand which has only consisted of playing out a few lines checking to see if I like it. This piece is by JS Bach. More on this later this weekend and hopefully I will finalize it this weekend with it being the piece.

The next step for this class is to write a 5 - 8 page paper on Johannes Brahms. This is due at the end of April, so I have some time. Originally, I thought that the piece we were to play for the final had to be tied to who I selected to write about in our paper, but I was told that was not the case. Looking forward to writing a paper on Johannes Brahms. It has been a long time since I have written in MLA style for a paper. I might need to go to the library to research that process.

The struggle continues with remembering the treble clef and reading notes for my left hand. I came across a cool app last night for the iPhone that is free called NoteTutor. I used it some last night following studying for the test and then during the lunch time today. Easy to use and it makes it a game to recognize notes on either treble or bass clef. I think it is going to help a lot with being able to recognize notes on the staff.

That is all for tonight. Have a  great rest of the week and I plan to record something this weekend to post by Sunday with the piece I selected for the final.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Royals Opening Day is this Sunday

Panoramic Photo of Royals Stadium from 2015 Season

Excited for the start of the season for the Kansas City Royals. It all starts on Sunday evening with the Royals playing the New York Mets at 7:30 pm CST. Ready to get the season started and the hunt for blue October going again. A few changes in the team, but the core is back and it sounds like they are out to prove again this season that the Kansas City Royals can play ball.

I was hoping to get tickets to the home opener, but that did not happen. Plus, the tickets are way too much, so instead, Carrie and I will be going to the game on April 8. We then also have tickets to a game in a few months too. My brother and I plan on going to a game in July and just need to figure out when we will be going.

The overall hope is to make it to a number of games this year. Last year, I only made it to four regular season games. Then of course there was the Game 1 of the World Series game which I will never forget and would gladly give up going to regular season games to repeat that experience again. Using the Ballpark app from MLB, it tracks games that I attend and my keeps my record when attending those games. It is cool to be able to look back and see the history of games I have attended. The first game I attended using the Ballpark app was June 8, 2013 and I have been using it ever since to track games I attend. My record since 2013 is 15 - 2 for Royals home games. Not bad!

Hoping the weather is nice for the start of the season. Keep the snow away and get off to a great start! Makes it feel as though spring is almost here with the baseball starting up.

Get ready Royals fans!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Final Four is Set for Next Saturday

The Final Four is set. Only one of the teams that were seeded a one made it to the Final Four. North Carolina took care of business tonight beating Norte Dame. Syracuse beat Virginia to advance. Next Saturday will be (2) Villanova vs (2) Oklahoma and then (10) Syracuse vs (1) North Carolina. One team from Big East, one from Big 12, and then two from ACC.

I was happy today that Syracuse beat Virginia, but then I am hoping North Carolina beats Syracuse next Saturday. Pulling completely now for Oklahoma Sooners to beat Villanova and then beat North Carolina.

Fun evening of basketball. Surprised three one seeds were eliminated before the Final Four. 

Bob Davis Final Sign-off for Kansas Jayhawks

Bob Davis called his last game on March 26, 2016.

Good memories of hearing Bob Davis on the radio. Growing up listening to him call games for the Kansas Jayhawks. Hearing his voice on the radio reminds me of listening to games with my dad or my grandma. Usually listening as we were traveling in or around Lawrence. Of course back when I was young, you could only listen to Bob Davis on the radio. There was not the Internet or listening on our phones.

Sure, he would get excited and you could hear it in his call. I remember listening to Bob Davis call games in my dorm room at Washburn University. He would get excited and barely understand what he was saying about the game. I enjoy hearing him call the games all through these years and that familiar voice.

Hearing Bob on the broadcasts for the Kansas City Royals and then the familiar voice for the Kansas Jayhawks, he will be missed. Great career of broadcasting!

Happy Easter!

Picture of Bunny Ears and Happy Easter

Picture of Easter Eggs with Ears

Awaken today for Easter Sunday to snow again on the ground. We are late into March and yet there is snow once again on the ground. We had a dusting of snow earlier this week too. Crazy Kansas weather!

I recall painting eggs when I was little and then getting up early Sunday morning to hunt for the Easter baskets. The candy was always good, but I still love a hard boiled egg with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Brings back good memories!

Happy Easter to all! Have a wonderful day!

Two Major Upsets Saturday with One Big 12 Team Advancing to Final Four

Big upset! The Kansas Jayhawks, number one seed overall, lost Saturday evening to Villanova 64 - 59. No, we did not play well. We struggled the whole game. Villanova had a good game. They did what they needed to do to advance to the Final Four.

The early game, Oklahoma won and advanced. Leaving only one Big 12 team in the Final Four. Sure, we were hopeful that there would be at least two Big 12 teams playing in the Final Four after Saturday evening, but it did not happen. Oklahoma played very well against Oregon knocking off the first number one seed of the tournament.

Today, four teams play all of which are from the ACC. No doubt that at least one team in the championship game a week from Monday will be from the ACC. Hopeful that the other team that plays is Oklahoma to represent the Big 12.

Kansas did not play well. Perry Ellis was non-existent throughout the game. Not the time to lose one of your best players. Sure, Villanova had a lot to do with taking Ellis out of the game. They had a lot to do with 6 of 22 from behind the three point line. Even though we were playing horrible the entire game, some how, we were still in the game down to the end.

We never got Perry involved in first half and Ellis didn't get himself engaged. --Bill Self

Congrats to Villanova! They played well and did what was needed to advance. Congrats to Kansas on a great season. No, it is not where we wanted to end the season.

All of my tournament brackets are now broken. Even the second chance bracket is gone with the majority of my selections going towards Kansas as did most of the country. Pulling for Oklahoma at this point and look forward to watching the games today and next weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Elite 8 Starts Tonight with only Four Conferences Remaining in the Tournament

The second day of the Sweet 16 to determine those teams that go to the Elite 8 is now complete. Last evening four more games were played. Once again, four more teams advanced to the Elite 8 for a chance to play to make it to the Final Four.

The two number one seeds playing yesterday (North Carolina and Virginia) both won and advanced. Syracuse struggled in their game early against Gonzaga, but ended up winning the game. As you might recall, Syracuse was one of those teams that some were questioning how they got into the tournament on Selection Sunday. Yet, here they are playing Sunday for a chance to play in the Final Four.

Nothing too exciting from the games last night. No upsets and the better seed advanced in all four games. Much like the Thursday night games, there were not any upsets and no surprises.

Tonight Oklahoma verses Oregon in the early 5:09 pm CST game and then Villanova faces off against Kansas in the late game at 7:49 pm CST. The last two Big 12 teams that remain in the tournament after starting off with seven.

ACC: 4

Big 12: 2

PAC-12:  1

Big East: 1

Out of fifteen teams from the ACC, four remain. The ACC has a lot of teams and thus a lot left still in the tournament. Out of ten teams, the Big 12 has two remaining. Not too bad with two teams remaining. Would have preferred to have more of the seven still in the hunt for the Final Four, but we will take what we can get.

Going into tonight, I am hopeful that Kansas plays well. Comes out strong to start the game and stay aggressive throughout the contest. Another late game, but at least no work tomorrow and Kansas is still in the hunt. I am hopeful to post tomorrow with news of the two remaining Big 12 teams advancing to the Final Four.

Enjoy the games tonight!

Progress Update in Piano Class with Test Three Wednesday

Preparing for test three in piano class. As the weeks have gone along in piano, I feel more and more lost. So, that is my fault as I have not been practicing the way I should. Doing nothing for the class during spring break did not help matters and then this next Wednesday we have our third exam of the semester.

We are also supposed to be selecting our piece to play for the final. We started reviewing pieces in class this past Wednesday and the teacher would like for us to have what we will be playing selected by the start of April. There are some suggested pieces and some I have heard, but still trying to figure out what would work best for me to play for the class.

No, I have not forgotten about the paper we have to write too. That is due at the end of April, so I need to start working on it too.

Overall, the class is going well. Some of the items that I missed when I was a kid are starting to sink in and I understand them. Reading music with my left hand is still a struggle. I do intend to ask the instructor what next steps are following the class. If she gives lessons, I might do that with her too. Or try working on what we have learned during the course of the class for six months and then do a lesson. I am not sure yet.

The goal for taking this class was to be able to sit down and site read a piece. By no means can I sit down and play a piece even well at this point. Possibly with the right hand, but even then it will be slow. Possibly as I continue to work on this art, I will get to the point.

With our review for the test on Monday, I will be spending Monday and Tuesday evenings studying and reviewing for the test. Wish me well!

To close, I share a piece my mom shared with me with her being excited I am taking lessons. She sees me playing this piece one day. Enjoy! Ok, it is going to take me a while!

Friday, March 25, 2016

First Round of Sweet 16 Done with Second Round of Sweet 16 Playing Tonight

The first round of the Sweet 16 for the NCAA tournament was not too exciting. In fact, there was not a single upset in the four games that were played Thursday evening. Kansas, Oregon, Villanova, and Oklahoma all advanced to the Elite 8 and will play on Saturday. Tonight, the second half of the Sweet 16 match up. Good match ups in the games tonight.

I for one am happy to report that the Kansas Jayhawks won last night and advanced to the Elite 8. The previous two years, we were an early exit from the tournament the first weekend. KU will play at 7:50 pm CST on Saturday, March 26 against Villanova. Another tough matchup.

Keep your "March" Madness going strong through the weekend....

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Second Chance for March Madness Selections

If your NCAA bracket is like my bracket, well, there is not much left of it. Yes, I have a few of the 16 teams still playing in the Final Four, but overall, my brackets are pitiful. The percentages for my brackets range from 56% down to 4%. Ouch! I am not alone as I have read on various social media and spoken to friends. There is still time to put through your second chance bracket. Start from scratch and try making that perfect bracket again.
Start fresh with the Sweet 16 and put through your new bracket. Try to make up for that first bracket and see if you can get a perfect 16 of 16in this second chance. You have until the first tip which his at 6:10 pm CST on Thursday. Below is the information to join the group.
  1. Visit the link to ESPN which will take you directly to the “Ok this is the Bracket!” group.
  2. Like the first bracket, if you were already signed into ESPN, you can immediately create your bracket. If you are not signed in yet, you will need to sign into your ESPN account.
  3. If you used the link, you should be part of the group. If not, you can search for the group using “Ok this is the Bracket!”. No password is required to join the group as this one was left open to anyone to join.
  4. Enter as many times as you wish (or you think will be needed to get that sweet 16 bracket).
Enjoy and I hope to see you in the group!
Happy “March” Madness!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Field is Set with Busted Brackets and Sixteen Teams Hoping for More

What a great four day weekend! I took off work Thursday and Friday to stay home and watch basketball. That's exactly what I did, not leaving the house at all those two days. Saturday and Sunday, was more basketball, but I did leave the house a few times. There were some great games! I sit here watching the end of the Oregon vs St Joseph's game which is another close game.

The forth day of the start of March Madness resulted in more exciting games! It is going to be tough to go back to work tomorrow after enjoying all of this basketball and only thinking basketball the past four days.

There was at least one upset for the day with Wisconsin beating Xavier. Overall, it was a good day to watch basketball and enjoy the great time of the year!

Picture of my Brackets from ESPN

Oh our brackets! Yes, I remember filling out my brackets under a week ago thinking this is the time I fill it out 100% right. Yeah right! I filled out a number of brackets on ESPN and the only one that I have that is over 50% is at 54%. I am not alone though as the majority of the other entries are just as bad. It is not as though I had Michigan State winning it all of necessarily going to the Final Four in all of my brackets, there were simply some major upsets (see post from Saturday).

My favorite from the weekend was when Carrie, my wife, commented following a game ending around 6 or 6:30 today asking me if it was the last game of the day. No, still more games tonight! Best time of the year!

Carrie enjoys basketball, but only prefers the last five minutes of the game and only really watches one team because I watch them. She spent most of her time this weekend on her phone watching Netflix. Sorry Carrie!

The last game of the weekend is over with Oregon winning. The field of sixteen is set. We now wait for Thursday to roll around so we can cheer again.

First Day of Second Round Done with Two Upsets... One Seeds Advance

First day of the Second round is done and there were a few upsets. The largest upset of the day being  (5) Indiana beating (4 ) Kentucky this after Coach John Calipari was complaining on Sunday about only being ranked a 4 seed. Apparently, Kentucky needed to be much lower because they could not handle Indiana. The other upset was (11) Gonzaga beating (3) Utah, but then it seems Gonzaga is in the hunt every year. 

He might have been joking, but still, it seemed he was upset about the seeding. He can be upset, but Kentucky still lost.

The one seeds for Saturday all won and advanced leaving only Oregon to play (8) Saint Joseph. It was another fun day of basketball with two teams coming back from huge deficits to make the games interesting. Wichita State (vs. Miami) and Yale (vs. Duke) both got down early in each of their respective games by a large margin. Both games appeared to be over shortly after they started... unfortunately both teams came up short and lost to the higher seed. I was hoping Yale would beat  Duke, but that did not happen. I was pulling for Wichita State to beat Miami. Neither of which would have helped my brackets, but would rather see the upset.

Both Big 12 teams (Iowa State and Kansas) moved on to the sweet 16 that played today with one left tomorrow. The last team left from the Big 12 to play Sunday is Oklahoma who will play #10 VCU. Not being sure what to expect from today, I am happy that Kansas advanced to the sweet sixteen. Waiting to hear when Kansas will play on Thursday.

It has been a fun four day weekend with more basketball to go Sunday. My bracket(s) are busted, but still the greatest time of year!

Enjoy the Sunday games and enjoy the "March" Madness!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Day Two of NCAA Tournament: Major Upsets and Questioning Big 12 Conference

The second day of the NCAA tournament was not disappointing in terms of major upsets and drama. Ten double digit seeds won in the first round which is a new tournament record.

Immediately following the Texas loss and the debate about the Big 12 conference started in various social media platforms. The Big 12 entered the NCAA tournament with seven teams and we now have three remaining to advance to the second round.  Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Kansas are the only three teams to advance from the power house Big 12 conference. The debate being that maybe the Big 12 was not that "powerful" as the experts said.

This is the NCAA tournament and it is March Madness. It has that name for a reason and the ten upsets today are why this time has that name. Whether or not the Big 12 Conference was the dominant conference throughout the year or not is a moot. To win games and advance in the post season not only takes talent, but it also takes luck. If Paul Jespersen of Northern Iowa would have been a second later with his half course release or been off by just a touch, we would be talking about overtime game instead of the game winner.  Or, if Cincinnati would have been just a second faster dunking the ball, they would have won to beat Saint Joseph. Instead, Saint Joseph won and moves on to the second round. It takes talent certainly to get to this point, but it also takes luck.

We move on to the second round Saturday starting with Wichita State tip off at 11:10 am CST. We know that the field will continue to dwindle and we can only hope that our team is left at the end of the madness. With a bit of luck, skill, and poise and it just might happen.

Enjoy the Saturday games and enjoy the "March" Madness!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fun Day of March Madness with a few Upsets and Look Towards Day Two

Picture of March Madness Web Site with First Day First Round ScoresThe first day of the first round of the NCAA tournament is done. What a day of basketball! There were upsets and there was at least one overtime game. Fun day of basketball Thursday for the start of March Madness.

For the ESPN Tournament Challenge (see March Madness 2016 Tournament Challenge Starts Tonight) it did not take long for many of us to have busted brackets. Out of 13 million brackets, there are as of this morning only 25,704 perfect brackets or 0.2% of the brackets that remain perfect according to ESPN Stats &  Info Twitter account.

With some of the standard upsets we come to expect in March with nine seeds beating eight seeds, but then there were also a few twelve seeds beating five seeds. There were actually two of those that happened with upsets by Yale over Baylor and then University of Arkansas Little Rock over Purdue. There was also the expected with Gonzaga beating Seton Hall which was a eleven seed beating a six seed. Expected each year to happen from Gonzaga.

All three one seeds that played yesterday (Virginia, Kansas, and North Carolina) won and moved on to the next day. The only other one seed, Oregon, plays today against Holy Cross. Unless something crazy happens, all one seeds will make it past the first round with a Oregon win today.

Looking toward day two and it will be another great day of watching basketball. Follow live scores or watch online via NCAA March Madness Live. Curious to see how Big 12 teams do today after two lost yesterday.  Five Big 12 teams remain out of seven that made it to the tournament.

Enjoy the day and enjoy the "March" Madness!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New App Called Anchor for Social Networking and Discussion Plus March Madness

Testing out Anchor which allows for back and forth conversation almost like voice messages. Interesting concept. In a recent #blogchat on Sunday evening, we discussed how Anchor could be used in our blogs.

Using Anchor to start a conversation regarding #MarchMadness and linking to Tournament Challenge post from the weekend to sign up for the group.  Here my Anchor and chime in with your own.