Sunday, November 28, 2021

Attending Arkansas Game in Kansas City T-Mobile Center Tuesday Night and Even Watched some KSU Basketball that Night Too

Holiday Classic in Kansas City... Picture of Kansas State vs. Illinois
T-Mobile Center Holiday Classic
Kansas State vs. Illinois

This past Tuesday, I had the chance to go to the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. Eddie knew that the Arkansas Razorbacks were playing in the tournament and wanted to go watch them if the Hogs could make it to the championship game on Tuesday night. On Monday night, Arkansas played the Kansas State Wildcats. The Hogs were able to advance to the championship game Tuesday night with a victory over the Wildcats. So, he got us tickets and we were set for the Tuesday night games.

This would be my first time at the T-Mobile Center (formally the "Sprint Center") and it did not disappoint. It is a fun environment and while there were not a lot of fans in attendance to the games, the space seems like it would have no issues handling the crowds. Even the parking was pretty simple. I had been to the College Basketball Experience many years ago, but I had never been in the T-Mobile Center. So, I was excited to have the opportunity to go to the game. We got into Kansas City in time to see a little bit of the first half of the KSU vs. Ill game.

On the way to Kansas City for the game, we called T-Bo to let him know we were going to see his Hogs. There was some woo pig sooie said a few times during the call. Our seats were great as the pictures show although as Greg said, I am not sure there is a bad seat in the house. They did not have the upper tier open for public seating, but there were a lot of open seats. The Arkansas crowd was strong with chants, cheering, and yelling during the game. I know Arkansas travels well, so it was fun to see them at the game. We connected with some Arkansas fans that were around us which was fun. The couple in front of us had a  daughter attending Arkansas but they were from Kansas City. The couple in back of us I believe were also from Arkansas but living in KC area.

We were able to watch a fun game. Neither team started off great, but it went down to the wire which made it fun. Cincinnati played a tough game.

Holiday Classic in Kansas City with Arkansas vs. Connecticuit
T-Mobile Center Holiday Classic
Cincinnati vs. Arkansas

Fun night in Kansas City. Although, we did not get anything to eat at the game. Waffle House was mentioned at some point, so we tried to go there on our way home, but it was take out only. What? For Waffles? No thanks. So, we ended up not eating anything, but had a great time. We saw a good game, the Hogs won, and we made some good memories. 

It was a good way to lead into the holiday weekend and to be able to participate in Feast Week of Tournaments. Such a fun time of year and some really good games. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oliver and Dina on Thanksgiving 2011
Oliver and Dina
Thanksgiving 2011

Dina and Oliver on Thanksgiving 2011. He was so little. What a fun time of year with Thanksgiving. The good food, the beautiful weather, and connecting with family. I look forward to Thanksgiving each year and while some of that has to do with the great food, I enjoy everything about Thanksgiving. The time leading up to the holiday when the trees are changing and dropping leaves. Even the change in weather as it gets colder and frost starts occur overnight. Soon, we will have our first snow fall. No, I am not ready for snow...

I will spend this Thanksgiving with Eddie, Joan, Greg, Erin, and Carrie. We will eat a lot and then possibly play games or certainly there will be some football watching and basketball watching taking place. I will talk to my mom and siblings on the phone throughout the day. We might even see if we can do a Zoom call to connect with everyone, but sometimes that proves to be a difficult task, so maybe just phone calls.

Kansas plays basketball on Thanksgiving Day at 1:30 pm, so I know I will be talking to my sister Dina following the game, but likely before too. I know that I will watch for her half-time report on FaceBook she posts each game and we will connect afterwards. I will conference in my Mom on the call to discuss the game. I think this will only be the second game my Mom will be able to watch as the others have all been on ESPN+.

At some point during the day, I will have spoken to all of my family. I will hear what they are doing on Thanksgiving Day and what they are eating. Maybe even share information regarding what wine or beer they are enjoying during the day. 

I am grateful for my family being healthy. I look forward to the day when we can be together once again on Thanksgiving Day as we used to do not many years ago.

Jerry Ready to Eat and Drink on Thanksgiving 2009
Jerry Ready to Eat and Drink
Thanksgiving 2009
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Day! I know I will be like Jerry, pictured to the right, where I will be ready to eat, drink, and be jolly on Thanksgiving Day 2021.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Working Out, Washburn Sports, Chiefs, Lawn Care, and Other Odds and Ends

My workout routine worked for about a week and then I stopped being motivated to get up early to ride the bike. This past week, I did not ride once and have today (Sunday) to get back on track. The previous two weeks, I was able to get up at 6 am and ride the bike. Tuesday and Thursday this week, my alarm was set, but I could not get up to start my ride. 

I plan to change it again this week and go back to working out in the evening instead of trying to so first thing during the week. I will revert to riding Tuesday and Thursday in the evening after work and I believe that will help me to stick to the plan. More on my progress in another week or two as I post a full monthly update for how it is going.

Yesterday, Washburn played in the first-round of the NCAA tournament. We had a fantastic season with some huge wins and great memories. Washburn lost yesterday 30 - 14 in the first-round. The season will go down as one of the greats in my memory. We now turn our focus to basketball. We actually missed the first home Washburn game yesterday as we were out at Johnny's Tavern to watch the Washburn game. I followed along on the basketball game and we won 90 - 47 over Baker.

This afternoon we have the Chiefs playing Dallas. We sit in first place in the AFC West. Not too bad after the first few weeks where no one was sure what was happening with our Chiefs. I am looking forward to the game and for a win over the Cowboys. Let's GO Chiefs!

Thanksgiving is this next week and it is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food and I cannot wait. This time of year is also when everyone is out doing their leaves. Our lawn, patio, driveway, and curbs were packed with leaves. I was going to do them, but they got out of hand, so I reached out to business I thought had shut down, but they continue to do lawn work and more importantly clearing leaves. On Tuesday, I called Green Boys LawnCare, Inc. and asked if they could add us to the schedule. They told me with all the wind, recent rain, etc., it might be a little bit before they could get to us. They got to us the next day. Yard, driveway, curbside, and back yard looked great... well, until the next day. More wind and now can hardly tell they were at our house. I told them when we spoke, it will probably be a two or three time visit for our house to clean leaves. So trees, now is the time to drop your leaves and prepare for winter.

Short work week, so enjoy your Sunday and a few days of work. Until next time...

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Washburn Ichabods Win Final Regular Season Game and Headed to Playoffs... Plus, KU Beats First Big 12 Foe Since 2008 and Chiefs Tonight!

Carrie and I at Washburn Football Game on November 13, 2021

We had a fun day on Saturday, November 13, 2021 for the last regular season home football game for Washburn. We had a crowded corner which was fun. Carrie made breakfast and a mid-game snack. Erin made some breakfast snacks and Joan brought delicious items too. Javier was supposed to be up for this last regular season game, but because of flight issues, he decided he would not make it as he did not want to drive. 

It was a cold day although the day started off not too bad when we all arrived a little before 11 am. The sky was clear and the sun helped keep the temperature where it was enjoyable. About noon though the clouds moved in and a little breeze kicked up which made it a rather cold day to be watching football. 

Washburn won the game 38 - 28 and we all stayed until the very end. Matt showed up and watched the game with us at the fence. It was a fun day! Even though it was cold, it was worth it to see our Ichabods go to 9 - 2 on the season. It has been a fun season and hoping to see us play again.

The night was capped off as I was watching the Kansas Jayhawks play that went into overtime and they won. First time they have beat a Big 12 opponent since October 4, 2008 at Iowa State (see KC Star article). They have come close a few times through the years to beat another Big 12 foe, but it has not happened since 2008. Wow! That helped to top off the Saturday of football.

Sunday late afternoon and I am preparing to watch the Kansas City Chiefs this evening. Go Chiefs!

Just heard from Greg, and I see it on Twitter, Washburn will play in Super Region III playoffs. So great! 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Happy Veterans Day! #VeteransDay

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

To all veterans of all branches: Thank you for sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all. In short, thank you for your service! To all those who have served, and those who continue to serve… Happy Veterans Day!

Be sure to thank a veteran today and always.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

New CIO for Washburn University as of October 2021

Profile Picture Used on Web Site
Many of you already know, but I have a new job at Washburn University. As of October 2021, I am the Chief Information Officer (CIO). In July 2021, our CIO announced he would be leaving Washburn to return to the east coast to work. I asked about being interim CIO and in the middle of July it was announced that I would be the interim CIO for Information Technology Services (ITS). 

I learned a lot in the few months while I was interim CIO. I wanted to make sure that by being interim CIO that I could still apply for the CIO position and I was told that was not an issue. So, I started working on updating my resume. Carrie put me in touch with a company she had heard great things from others about helping with their resume, so I reached out to Grammar Chic, Inc to start the process.

I already had some vacation scheduled at the end of July, so by the time I was able to connect with Grammar Chic to discuss my resume, I was on vacation and already doing the interim CIO stent. I had sent them copies of my resume which I had been using for for whole career and I thought it was good. After going through the process with Grammar Chic, my resume was completely reformed and it is so much better! I would highly recommend Grammar Chic to help with your resume and cover letter.

I could not be more excited then to be the CIO for Washburn University. I am learning new things everyday and dealing with new challenges each day too. On October 5, 2021, I was announced to the campus as the new CIO.

While I do not post a lot about work on my blog, I wanted to post an update to document and share the news with those I have not been able to talk to about my recent career change. I want to thank my family and friends who helped me with this change along with the encouragement. I would also like to thank the ITS staff I work with and those that gave me advice on the process. 

Yesterday, Carrie helped me clean out my old office in Bennett Computer Center to throw out old items and move paperwork to my new office. While I had been working out of Morgan Hall room 215B since the first part of August, I am now completely out of Bennett Computer Center and it feels good to be done with the move. Carrie is encouraging me to have my new office painted, we are buying pictures for the new office, and once it is painted, we will go back to hang the newly acquired art work. 

I do plan to keep at least an annual update to this space on my job and progress. I look forward to providing my expertise and passion for Washburn University in this new role. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding from Pexels

Happy Halloween! Have a happy and safe Halloween. 

What do you do to celebrate Halloween? Carrie and I used to sit on our driveway/patio, drink wine, and hand out candy. I saw a lot of pictures the past few days of friends attending Halloween parties. Some really good costumes! I do not recall the last time I dressed up on a costume, but I know it was over five years ago. I hope everyone has a great Halloween and the candy is handed out freely and all delicious.

Happy Halloween everyone!

The Workout Starts Now and I Plan to Stick to a Regular Schedule for Exercise

I previously stated that I would start up exercise again after our latest camping trip (see No Exercise), so the time has come to start my journey to become motivated and start a workout process once again. The last time I worked out was November to the end of June. I completely stopped riding our bike, walking, or basically doing anything, so now the motivation needs to kick in so I can start working out on a regular basis. 

My plan is simple, start out slow. Bike riding 10 - 15 minutes the first few weeks as I build up what I lost in stamina from riding November 2020 - June 2021. I know that when I rode for only a week back in August, I struggled to ride for the two or three days I had planned which ultimately had me giving up and not riding since that date. My plan this time is to only do 10 - 15 minutes in beginning classes once again 2 to 3 times per week. 

I would also like to add in walking/jogging at least once a week although that might be difficult as the winter months are approaching, but we will see. The walking/jogging is to give me motivation to take our dog, Oliver, on walks. He loves it when I used to jog regularly (see Jogging Posts) as he would get excited when I would simply put on my tennis shoes. If I can just start the regular bike riding, I will be happy and keep it going throughout the year even when busy with other items.

To be able to keep the bike riding motivation continuing, I plan to ride during the week before work. My plan is to get up at 6 am on Tuesday and Thursday to ride the bike. As I become more used to riding, I might need to extend this out to earlier, but right now, I plan on 6 am twice a week to get up and ride. The third day of riding will be on either Saturday or Sunday depending on what is happening. I prefer Sunday and hope to take part in "Sundays with Love" on Peloton.

Peloton Stats from Havertyj
Looking at my current stats from Peloton, I did 275 activities with most of them being riding the bike, but I hope in a year I can double that amount. I did really good for a few months and then it is so easy to just stop and very difficult to get back into the swing of exercise.

I plan to update here at least once a month on my status and looking for my family and friends to call me out if I miss a monthly update or you know I am not doing the rides. I do enjoy riding, and running, so I look forward to the process and getting back into the swing of the mindset for exercise.

What do you do for exercise and how do you keep yourself motivated to keep working out each week? Post a comment and I would like to discuss further.

Our Second Trip to Eisenhower State Park Was So Fun… We Want to Do It Again and Soon!

Carrie and I at the Start of Our Camping Trip
We want to go camping again! We went on our recent camping trip to Melvern Lake in Lebo, KS. We were planning to take our little dog, Oliver, but as the days approached, he was not doing great, so we decided to leave him behind. In hindsight, it was best that we did as the first night was chilly and then our last night camping it poured down rain with a lot of lightening and thunder; Oliver would have freaked out and not had anywhere to go within the tent, so it is best he did not go.

We went out mid-afternoon on Thursday, October 21. Greg and Erin were meeting us after Erin finished with work, so Carrie and I got the tent set up, ready to make dinner, etc. and we were ready for the weekend. While we took some firewood as did Greg and Erin, we went through all of it the first night. 

Although it was chilly the first night, it was a perfect night. We used the Firedisc to cook supper where we made fried rice along with Bulgogi. It was our first attempt at doing fried rice let alone Bulgogi, but it was really good! We ate late and by headlamp and cell phones as the moon was not out yet when we were eating. 

The moon did come out after we finished eating and we were sitting around the fire pit. The moon had a ring around it that stuck around for a few hours while we sat and admired the moon. We tried to take pictures of the moon, but it did not give it justice to what we were seeing. It was a cold evening, so the fire felt really good. Great first night at our camp site!

Our Camp Site for the Weekend
The second day (Friday), we all slept late and so we ended up not evening doing breakfast. Joan and Eddie came out to join us for lunch and be around the fire pit. We did chili in the Firedisc which was our first time doing that with the Firedisc. Carrie had read some sites and blogs and it came out great! It was a fun afternoon/evening sitting around talking, eating, and chatting.

Breakfast Cooking on Firedisc
The third day (Saturday), we did cook breakfast and once again on the Firedisc. Potatoes, sausage, cheese, eggs, and wrapped up in a tortilla. Carrie said she would change some things on it, but I thought it was pretty dang good to start the day. We spent the day once again relaxing and playing some games. I could not have asked for a more comfortable day just chilling and not doing anything. 

Saturday night around 2 am, the storm that had been forecast hit our area. We had heavy rain, lightening, thunder, and strong winds. The storms woke me up as the tent was going back and forth. I could hear the rain pounding on the south side of the tent and a little water came in under the flap for the vent. We only had one hook come up down and it was on the south side near the vent, so a small table we had in the tent dumped contents. Overall, no major issues and then did great through the heavy storm. Another reason glad our dog, Oliver, was not with us as there would have been no where he could have gone to “get away” from the sounds.

Picture of Part of our Camp Site Late at Night in the Lights
Sunday morning was low key as we knew we had to head out. Had a light breakfast before we started picking up and getting ready to head out. 

We love this spot as it was our second visit to this same camp site (see Melvern Lake). We plan to go back and maybe check out some other areas of the State Park for camping… but why change from a place we love?

Below is Instagram post Carrie did from our camping weekend.


Have you camped at Eisenhower State Park? Where is your favorite location to campus at this State Park or any Kansas State Park? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

October 16 Washburn Faced Off Against Northwest Missouri State University and We Won!

Washburn Wins 17 to 16 Over NWMSuOn Saturday, October 16 I went to a tailgate for Washburn University vs Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU). It was any normal Saturday and the third such tailgate of the season I had attended. Previous years, we would put up a good fight to lose to NWMSU whether at home or on the road. Not this day! This day, Washburn came away with a huge win! It will be one of those games that I remember forever. I have been attending Washburn football games for many years going way back to Javier and I first coming across tailgating and football on the Washburn campus one weekend some fifteen years (or so) ago. I have been going ever since.

Greg and I went to the game as Carrie was out of town with her Mom and sister-in-law, Erin, for a girls weekend. Greg and I got to the tailgate right about the time it was starting. It seemed like a lighter crowd than normal, but I supposed that was partially because of other football games going on at the same time or that afternoon. The weather was amazing! 60-70s for the temp and nice and sunny. We hung out for a while in the alumni tent where we had a hotdog and a few drinks before making it back to our tailgate spot by the flag pole. 

We saw a few of our friends at the game, but it was sparse in our corner for this game. To end the first quarter the score was zero to zero. I recall Greg and I talking and saying hey that is not bad at all to be tied at zero after a quarter of football. Sometime in the third quarter my father-in-law, Eddie, showed up to watch the game. He had been out playing golf on the beautiful morning, so it was good to have him at the game to watch this game with us. The second quarter finished up and we were up 3 - 0 at the half. Again, not bad at all considering who we were facing in this matchup. 

The third quarter was suddenly upon us and NWMSU scored a touchdown which put us down 7 - 3 but we came right back and scored a touchdown ourselves late in the third quarter. Again, we were all going crazy in the stands with high-fives and screaming. We were into the fourth quarter and we were feeling pretty good but knew it was nowhere close to being over. Sometime during the fourth quarter, our friend Matt showed up. He only lives block away from campus and he had been following on the radio. He said he had to get over to watch the game in-person, so we had four fans in our corner following and cheering for the Ichabods. 

Once again, late in the fourth quarter,  scores a a touchdown putting us up 17 - 14 with 48 seconds on the clock. We were all going crazy screaming, high-fiving, and there might have been some hugging, but again, we all knew it was nowhere close to being over. NWMSU turned it over on downs and punted back to Washburn with just a few seconds on the clock. Washburn being backed up to our own goal and only a few seconds decided to do a safety so we not have a chance of giving excellent field advantage to NWMSU. So, now the score is 17 - 16 with 5 seconds remaining on the clock. Washburn Football kicks the ball and NWMSU tries some trickery but to no avail and Washburn comes away with a huge win of 17 - 16 over NWMSU.

Tailgate Neighbor John Ready to Rush the FieldOur tailgate neighbor, John, who always has a huge spread for his tailgate, multiple tents, satellite TV, and is so friendly was over in our spot a few times during the game high-fiving and telling us this was the time we are going to beat NWMSU. As the final seconds ticked off of the clock, John was over in our area telling us he was going to rush the field when it ended and we won. Sure enough, as the clock ticked away to the end of the game, John moved inside of the stadium and was poised ready to run down the hill. There might have been some talk about taking down the goal posts, but his friends as well as us just laughed at him. If there ever was a good time to take down the goal posts at Yager Stadium, this was likely that time, but then what would we do with he goal posts? Where would we take them? Instead, we watched John rush down the hill following the 17 - 16 win and hug coaches, players, and possibly other fans. When he came back up the hill, he high-fived, hugged, and yelled celebration of the huge win. 

The last time we had beaten NWMSU, home or away, was back in 2004 I believe I heard mentioned. We did all of this with a backup quarterback as Mitch Schurig had gone out in the very first play of the game. Kellen Simoncic came into the game and did an excellent job of leading us to a win. Our whole team played well that day and it was exactly what we needed to knock of a 5 - 0 (at the time) powerhouse of NWMSU. It will go down as one of my all-time favorite memories of Washburn Football.

Next, we have homecoming on October 30 and then only one more home game on November 13. Who knows, at 5 - 2 on the season, we could see the postseason… but that is a bit early to speculate at this time. Until then, we will enjoy the games and keep cheering on our Washburn Ichabod Football team. Go Bods!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Where Has October Gone and What is Next?

Is it hard for others to believe we are in the middle of October? It seems like a blur the past year and half and it only keeps going faster through the days and months. Before long it will be 2022 and I will be talking about it being hard to believe we are half-way through 2022. Wow! I know time seems to speed up as I get older, but I could use it slowing down just a little. 

Speaking of things going by fast, baseball season is nearing an end. The regular season ended just two weeks ago and we are into the playoffs. I am having fun watching the games although I really do not have a dog in the fight, but enjoy watching the games. Of course football season is chugging right along. Not anywhere near where I thought the Chiefs would be at this point in the season (2 - 3) so we need to be careful or we might end up missing out on the playoffs. The start of practices started for college basketball and here before long we will have the first games of the 2021-2022 season. I cannot wait!

We are preparing for another camping trip. Like our first time we went back in April, this will be a chilly camping trip. We are excited and looking forward to a few days outside. We are planning to take Oliver, but with it being 39 degrees on Saturday morning when I am writing this update, I am a little concerned it might be too cold for Oliver. We will have him in a sweater and fires going every night, but he has been shivering just about every time we let him outside here the past week or so and today is the coldest it has been thus far. So, we will see how he does on our camping adventure. Carrie and I cannot wait to get out there to camp and relax. We are taking lawn games to play during the day and look forward to just relaxing for a few days. 

Overall, a relaxing weekend and I am looking forward to a lazy Sunday with football, naps, and grilling in the evening for dinner. Oh, I do have to mow Sunday morning. Our yard is doing great after over seeding a few weeks ago. The bare spots in our yard are now covered with nice green grass. Keeping the watering going and hopefully through the winter months and the grass will still be in the yard. In the spring, I plan to work on the flower beds in our front yard to get them looking presentable. There is always something to be done.

The end of October, Carrie and I are hoping to connect with a friend for dinner and then pop into Lawrence another weekend to meet my Uncle and Aunt for dinner that we have not seen in a long-time. We are also trying to line up a time for Javier to come visit us in November for Washburn football and hanging out, so hopefully a lot more to write about as October ends and November gets started. There I go again putting us into November and making the months fly by…

Until the next time, have a great week!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Fun Weekend with Sports, Nice Weather, and More Sports

Washburn Volleyball GameWe started off the weekend by attending a Washburn volleyball game Friday night. Washburn volleyball team is ranked #1 in the country and has a seven game winning streak. The first two sets were fast winning by a huge margin. The third set we lost a bit of focus and lost but came right back and won the last set to win the match. Carrie and I went to the game and had a great time. Only six home games remain on the regular season, so hoping we can make it to a few more before the regular season ends. Washburn volleyball plays again this evening, but we are headed to the Washburn football game, so likely will not make it to the volleyball game tonight.

Tailgate Spot for Washburn Football

Saturday, we had talked about a few of us going to the tailgate and game. When it came time to leave for the tailgate (around 11 am) others decided they were going to skip as it was going to be hot. I took a few chairs and a tent earlier in the day as I took the car for work. So, when I went at 11, I only took a cooler. I saw fellow fans and hung out at the spot. The game started and I got a notice on my phone of activity at our front door. I also got a notice that Carrie was leaving the house, so I checked our Ring app and I could see Carrie leaving with a cooler. I thought, well, that is kind of odd. I could then see her heading my way on Find My app and eventually Carrie and Greg came walking up. It was pretty cool! They came and joined me for the game. 

Tailgate Spot Another View

It was supposed to be hot (low 90s) but it turned out to be really nice. A breeze that was blowing and overcast, so it helped with the heat. We had a good time and talked with our neighbor, John, about combining our tailgate spots in the future as both of us are struggling to get others to join our spots. I told him I was certainly open to doing so. Washburn won 23-20 in overtime. It was a strolling end to the game.  We hung out a while after the game before eventually cleaning up and heading home. 

Carrie and I thought about going to another volleyball as they were playing at 6 again Saturday night, but we both decided we were tired after doing the tailgate and game. We had a fun day and I am looking forward to Chiefs playing tonight. 

Normally at this time of year, I would be on the road back from Helena, Arkansas from the King Biscuit Blues Festival, but with it being canceled this year, missing out on the festival, seeing friends, and the travel to/from Helena. I miss seeing all of our family and friends for the King Biscuit Blues Festival, but hopefully we will be back in a year. It has been fun seeing family and friends post memories from past festivals, but I cannot wait to get down there again. 

Until next time, have a great week and I will talk to you later…

Saturday, October 09, 2021

No Exercise Happening Around Here… Time to Get Focused

Remember a few weeks ago when I said I was getting back on the bike after taking a long break from early July? Well, that getting back biking and working out only happened for about a week (see Back to Bike Riding from August 15) never happened. I rode the bike for exactly one week (three days a week) and then never got back on it. Part of this was simply because I did not have time, but the other was that I had no motivation to get on the bike again. After spending November to June biking weekly, I dropped off cold and having a difficult time to get back on the bike let alone exercise. 

The new plan is that here in about two weeks, I am going to start biking again. I plan to get up early and bike in the mornings. The good thing is that Carrie is going to do so with me so she can do Yoga. I think having one another getting up will help motivate. I am hopefully that it will take me long to get back in biking form. When I tried it for that week back in August, I was so sore I could barely walk, so that did not help with the motivation either.

To help me stay motivated once this starts, I plan to start writing about my progress here on this site. If nothing else, if I know I need to write an update at least once a month on my progress, that will give me a goal to strive to so I can get back into shape. It is so easy to just stop and it takes a lot of determination to get it going again… it can be difficult. Let’s Go!

Sunday, October 03, 2021

YouTube TV May Drop Channels — Come On! Every Few Months It is a Battle! Web Site
While watching television Monday night, I see a Commerical go across my YouTube TV saying how YouTube TV might take away my channels. The advertisement directed me to to send tweets, or chat with Google, or switch providers, so that I will not lose my channels. This is crazy! Every few months, regardless of provider, we are either on the verge of losing channels or losing channels (see MLB and Sinclair post) about how YouTube TV subscribers lost Royals games, but it is not just sports, it seems we are constantly on the verge of losing what we have available to watch. It is not just YouTube TV, but I see this across the board from other providers and people ranting about how they are going to lose their channels. 

In the recent update, it sounds as though we might lose NBC channels which includes a multitude of other channels including Bravo, Golf Channel, USA, etc., so it could be a huge segment of our channels that might disappear. YouTube TV did tell us through an email that if the channels do disappear, they will reduce our monthly bill by $10 to make up for the number of channels that disappear. 

Updated note from September 30 from YouTube TV is that nothing has changed. We do still have the NBC channels, but negotiations are still in progress, so who knows what will happen.

On Saturday, we received a note that NBC and YouTube TV came to terms and we will keep NBC. Thank goodness! Still, we go through this process and it needs to stop.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Oliver Turned Ten Back in June and September 24 it is Ten Years with Our Family

Oliver Joined Our Family on September 24, 2011

Sometimes it takes FaceBook to pop up a reminder to remind us how old our little puppy is in our family. Is that bad? For some reason, both Carrie and I were thinking that he was 11 this year. Until a memory showed up on FaceBook earlier this week to remind us that we brought little Oliver into our family ten years ago to the day. Although he was born in June 2011, we for some reason had been thinking the past year or two he was older. We celebrate his birthday in June and also celebrate his joining our family in September.

Oliver with his toys as a little puppy

I thought it was time to provide backstory of how Oliver became a part of our lives. Some already know this story, but use it as an excuse to post pictures and story of our little dog. On June 7, 2011 we had to put our dear cat, Sidney, to rest (see Sidney Our Friend). Carrie and I were both so sad even though we knew the time was fast approaching as he was old and could barely get around the house. He was having problems with going to the bathroom and not himself the weeks leading up to the decision to put him down. We had watched his body and character change over the previous months and in consulting with our vet, we made the difficult decision to put him down. We were so sad and decided we would not get a pet for a long time.

Oliver Playing as a Puppy

Then along came a Washburn Alumni fun run with friends in September 2011. We finished the run and our friends Shayne and Autumn asked if we wanted to stop by a local pet store to look at dogs. Of course we said sure and went with them to look at dogs. Lesson learned on that one and only go to a pet store if looking for a pet not just to look. We looked at a few dogs through the window and eventually we saw a little long legged dog with black and white fur playing, or trying to play, with his brothers and sisters. His little bottom up in the air as he was chewing on a toy, seeing him run around, and having the time of his life. Carrie said I think we need to see that one right there. 

Sleepy Oliver Resting

We took him to a little space where we could hold and play with the little guy. The next thing I knew, Carrie was holding him and saying how we need to take him home. Tears were welling up in her eyes as she held the little puppy. We later found out that his name before we had him was Trooper II. So we still refer to him sometimes as little Trooper. Carrie crying and telling me I need to hold Trooper II, I picked him up and looked back at Carrie and had tears going down my face. He was perfect!

Some how it was only Carrie and I that came away purchasing a pet. Shayne and Autumn had the idea to look at dogs, but they managed to walk away without a new member of their family. Granted, we had to wait until the next day to pick up Trooper II. We did buy supplies so we could be ready for him when he came home and we Discovered the Moment to buy Trooper II and all of the supplies. 

Oliver and All of His ToysThe next day we brought Trooper II home and named him Oliver. For the first few years we had him, we would buy him toys just about every time we went to the pet store for food or came across something we thought it would like. He had so many toys that we had two bins where we kept his toys. We recently weeded out his toys and down to one bin. We donated his toys to friends with dogs and Human Shelter for dogs looking for a home. 

Oliver was my first dog to buy and have to train from as a little puppy. Other dogs that had been in my life were bought and trained by my parents or siblings with dogs they had acquired through the years. Having a new little puppy as so fun but also exhausting. Getting up multiple times through the night to take him out to go to the bathroom, get him acquainted with going outside, and making sure he was not chewing through the furniture. We bought gates so we could keep him in one room to keep an eye on him. 

Oliver in his Kennel

Some of my favorite memories of Oliver was setting up a webcam so we could “watch” him while we were at work. I set it up so my parents could watch too. In the early years of Oliver being with our family, we kept him in his kennel during the day. We could not trust him in the house to not get into things or cause a mess, so I set up a webcam that broadcast with a private link so we could keep an eye on him during the day or when we were away. I recall when Carrie or I would get home from work, my parents would usually be calling at the same time as they were watching “Oliver Cam” to see his reaction as we returned home. I have some voice messages from my Dad when he would be on the phone watching Oliver and saying he knows we are home as he can see him getting excited.

To this day, Oliver still loves his kennel. We allow him full roam of the house, but his kennel is his safe spot. He goes there when the weather is bad or he is scared. He goes there when we are leaving for work. We leave the door open on it all the time but he still goes there to sometimes sleep or just wait for us to leave the house. One of our favorite things he does is that when we are leaving he goes to his kennel and we sometimes forget things so we come back and he will be in the middle of the family room looking at the garage door as if he is busted he is not in his kennel. He will quickly run back to his kennel as if to say he is a good boy. It makes us laugh each time.

Sleepy Sleepy Oliver in his Bed Sleepy Oliver at Grandma’s House Handsome Fella Sleepy Oliver on his Toy Exhausted Cute Face Oliver Oliver in a lot of snow Fast Running Oliver Oliver Sleeping with his Tongue Out Belly Rub Time for Oliver Sleeping John and Oliver on Neck Oliver in Back Yard Enjoying the Sun Close up of Oliver

A few photos of Oliver through the years. We love our boy so much and so happy he is part of our lives. He is the best dog in the world even if he is a little testy when taking him on walks, he is the best.

Happy joining our family anniversary, Oliver, and I look forward to celebrating with you again next year. We love you!

Celebration of Nineteen Years in Lawrence, KS at Free State Brewing and 715 Mass on September 21

Carrie and I at 715 on the Patio Enjoying Dinner
Carrie and I had a wonderful 19 wedding anniversary on September 21. We went to Lawrence to spend the evening where we had drinks at Free State Brewing and then dinner at 715. We had a beautiful evening to enjoy our evening of celebration of nineteen years. 

When we were at Free State Brewing at the bar enjoying some drinks, we spoke to a man at the counter enjoying a drink and waiting on his food for a while. We had a nice visit with him as he was in from Chicago visiting his daughter who had graduated from KU and then had just had a baby. The man was taking a break from baby duty to enjoy a cold drink and pick up their dinner. He said since his daughter went to KU he had been going to Lawrence for many years and he always enjoyed his visits to Lawrence, KS. We shared that we used to live in Lawrence and I was born and raised in Lawrence. We shared how we would go to Free State Brewing regularly when we lived there and how much we enjoy their Cyclists which is a nice and refreshing beer with lemonade. 

Following drinks at Free State Brewing we went to our reservations at 715 Restaurant. We had reservations at 7:30 and sitting on the patio. Actually, it is their parking spaces that were converted to seating. They did a very nice job with it as there is plexiglass, plants, walls, etc., and it did not feel like we were sitting next to the street. We could barely hear the cars going by right next to us. Sure, every once in a while we would hear a car horn, but no different from being in a business and hearing the horns. It was an enjoyable evening and wonderful way to spend our anniversary.

Drinks at 715
Drinks at 715 Mass

Appetizers to Start
Apps at 715 Mass

Dish Carrie Enjoyed which was Salmon
Dinner for Carrie

My Dinner on our Anniversary
Dinner for John

Pictures from our evening at 715 Restaurant. It was truly amazing. We had not eaten at 715 Restaurant in a few years, so it was good to be back and enjoy a delicious treat on Mass in Lawrence, KS. If you have not been to 715 Restaurant, I highly recommend you stop by to check them out. Check them out for a drink, for an appetizer, dinner, or even dessert. Ah, we did have dessert but no pictures of it as it disappeared too quickly.

Beers at Free State Brewing Before Dinner

Here is to nineteen years of marriage to my best friend. To end, drinks we had at Free State Brewing and a toast to Carrie as we look forward to our twentieth year of marriage and many more years to come. 

Where are your favorites places to eat, or drink, in Lawrence, KS? When you visit from out of town is there a place you have to visit each time you are in town? I would love to hear your favorites so we can share stories and maybe find a place I have not been or have not been in a number of years.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Happy Anniversary to Carrie on 19 Years of Marriage to this Guy #Anniversary #19years #wedding #celebration

Carrie and John Engagement Picture

Nineteen years ago today Carrie and I were married. It feels like only yesterday. We have so many memories from our nineteen years together. For today, I will post what we had on our wedding site 19 years ago today as we led up to our big day.

The Meeting

Carrie and I Dancing at our Wedding
Carrie's Remembers: We only live 30 minutes from each other, but Fate decided a Caribbean cruise would be the best route to true love. A big group of us (about 150) were all going on the same cruise booked from a travel agency in Topeka. It took some coaxing from Brenda to get me to go. After all, this would mean missing the King Biscuit Blues Festival with my Dad! But we saved our money and couldn't wait for our vacation. I had heard through the grapevine that an acquaintance of mine was rooming with some guy named John. Who was John, we all wanted to know. Was Joell dating? Turns out they had mutual friends who convinced them to room together to save money. 

We met at the hotel the night before our plane departed. He seemed to be sitting at the edge of our group and I thought I'd be nice and strike up a conversation. Although, neither of us seemed to sense the chemistry between us till halfway through our trip.

We flirted on the high seas and knew by the end of the cruise that something very special had just begun.

John on Wedding Day Ready to Meet his Bride
John Remembers: True love could have happened anywhere between Carrie and I. We had met once before a year ago in a bar we both happened to be at. I remembered, but Carrie did not recall the encounter until later.

It is also interesting to note that both Carrie and I are Neil Diamond fans. After we started dating, we realized that we had been to his concert at Kemper Arena during the 80's. So again, our paths crossed, plus we have a mutual interest that we discovered during the cruise.

Our first introduction a year before did not lead to either one of us falling in love with the other. Instead, it took a week long cruise to bring us together.

It was not until Wednesday on the cruise that there was a mutual interest. I asked her to dance, we went on walks. We were becoming more and more interested as the week continued.

About the time the cruise ended, I did not want it to end. I was having so much fun with Carrie and spending time with her on the boat. Neither one of us were sure what would happen after the cruise.

After returning from the cruise, I called Carrie two days later to ask her out on a date. Two years later and we are going strong!

The Proposal

Carrie and John Engagement Pictures
Carrie's Version: John was taking me out to dinner in Topeka to celebrate our 11 month anniversary. It was Friday, Sept. 21, 2001. 

After dinner we went to his apartment in Lawrence. I was not in the best of moods and thought I might watch television. 

John took my arm and stopped me in my tracks. He turned a chair around and sat me down. I was confused as I watched him walk to his room and back. 

In his hands was a small gift. He handed it to me. As I started to unwrap it he could tell I was getting excited and whispered "It's not what you think." 

I settled down and opened the gift. It was a beautiful pink tourmaline ring set in white gold! He told me he had been talking to my friend Sharon at the jewelry store where she worked. He wished me a happy anniversary and I thanked him. 

He stood up and told me he had talked to Sharon some more, then disappeared from the room. Tears welled up in my eyes as he returned with a dozen red roses and another ring box. 

He handed me the flowers and began the most wonderful speech I have ever heard. John got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Crying, I said yes at least half a dozen times. I could barely see the ring through my tears. 

He placed the most beautiful diamond ring on my finger and we hugged. Not ten minutes later, we called his parents and mine. They had all known he was planning on proposing. Then we called everyone else! 

We knew right away that we would have to marry on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2002. Exactly one year from the date he proposed.

John Kissing Carrie for Engagement Picture Set
John's Version: I had planned how I would ask Carrie to marry me for a few weeks. I did not know how I was going to say it, but I had a good idea of how I was going to go about it. I did not want her to have any idea what I was doing or when I was going to do it.

I took her out to Olive Garden and we had a nice dinner. We had stayed a little later than expected over at her parents before leaving to go eat. While this was not a problem, I wanted to do the proposal before it got too late. I knew that Carrie would want to call her parents (they knew I was going to do it that night) and I wanted to be able to call my parents too.

I drove back to Lawrence as fast as I possibly could. Carrie asked me why we were going so fast and I think she thought I was upset about something. Not in the least! I wanted to get home to get things set up to ask her to marry me.

I had purchased flowers and champagne the night before in preparation. I had all of these hidden away so she would not see them when we entered my apartment.

Carrie, still thinking that I am upset about something since I drove home so quickly, entered the apartment. Still not suspecting anything... I took her arm and asked her to sit in a chair in the middle of the room that I turned around for her to face me facing towards the kitchen. I told her to wait one second.

At this point, Carrie looked confused but very curious as I went into the laundry room and brought out something. It was a small box!

She started to cry as I gave it to her to open. She had just started to open the lid of the ring case as the tears streamed down her face. I told her this was not what she thought it was... However, I had spoken to her friend and had something else for her.

I went back into the laundry room and came out with a bottle of champagne and the roses. I put the champagne and roses down and looked into her eyes. I started telling Carrie how much I care about her. How perfect we are for one another. It seemed as though I talked for an hour, but I know it was only a couple of minutes. I then knelt down on one knee, took her hand and asked her to marry me. I could see the tears streaming down her face and she whispered out "yes". 


Carrie and John Leaving for Reception in Style
We were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence, KS. The reception took place at the time was called Shawnee Country Club. We were married at 5 pm and the reception started at at 7 pm in Topeka. So many great memories from this day 19 years ago today.


Carrie and I are looking forward to our twentieth wedding anniversary next year. We are beginning to discuss where we will go and what we will do to celebrate. I look forward to twenty years with Carrie being married but also to the next twenty years and whether it will still seem like just yesterday that we were married.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Fun Filled Weekend with Thursday Night Washburn Football, Larry Carlton Friday, and Chiefs Sunday

Thursday Night Home Washburn Football Game
Washburn Home Football

I had some fun this past weekend with football, good food, drinks, and fun with family and friends. It started Thursday night with the first home Washburn football game. We played Central Missouri for the second game of the season for Washburn where we won 29 - 10 improving on the year to 2 - 0.

It felt good to be out for a tailgate again after a year of being away. A good turn out for the first home football game. I saw a lot of familiar faces and camped out in our corner by the flag pole. Our long-time tailgate friend Jon was set up next to our spot. It was good to see him talk to him for a bit after the game started and of course as he started breaking down his spot, we had a good conversation and looking forward to the rest of the home games.

Selfie Watching the Washburn Home Game
Washburn did not look great, but we did what was needed and won the game. I enjoyed being in our corner to watch the games. Yes, in case you are wondering, we have season tickets, but I cannot recall the last time I went into the game. Javier and I were trying to remember when we started going to Washburn games to tailgate and we think it might be around 15 years at this point. I called him from our spot as he was down in Texas and always brings back good memories of being in our spot enjoying a football game. 

Sunrise on Friday Morning in Topeka
Bright and early Friday morning, I took Oliver over to Brenda to watch while we were going to be gone for a concert. Oliver always has a good time over at Brenda’s house. We have to be careful when we say he is going over there to see Emma and Toby because he will start running around the house ready to leave. He is so funny though as he is so excited to get over there and then they really do not do anything together. When they go outside, Toby and Oliver will run around a little, but no real playing. Oliver just likes being around them to be around something different than just Carrie and I all the time. 

When I left, the sunrise was low in the eastern sky and looked like a fireball coming up over the horizon. The picture does not do it justice as it was impressive as I was driving down 21st Street to head to work. It was a good way to start the day although sad to be leaving Oliver behind, but I knew he would have a good time.

I worked a half day on Friday so that we could get to Hutchinson, KS that afternoon. Eddie had bought the family concert tickets to Larry Carlton who was playing at Fox Theatre. We had a great time eating dinner Friday night at Polo Bar and Grill. We had a good time eating before the concert and turned out to be a really nice spot to eat. Popular with locals, from what we could tell, and the food was really good! We were going to eat after the concert, but decided it would be too late and not sure if places like Polo Bar and Grill would have their kitchen open. We did not want to eat at a chain, so it worked out nicely for us.

The Fox Theatre was fun to see. I think I had heard about it when Uncle JR and Aunt Marcia would talk about Hutch, but I do not think I had ever been there. For COVID, it was not capacity seating, so everyone was spaced out and we ended up spacing out even further as there were lots of seats/rows open around us as they were taking the precautions about being masked and not close to one another seriously.

Greg, Erin, Joan, Eddie, Carrie, and I at the Larry Carlton Concert in Hutchinson, KS

Seeing Larry Carlton in concert was so fun! The first note he played on his guitar and I knew it was going to be good. I had listened to some of his songs prior to going to the concert, and I knew about Steely Dan, although seeing Larry Carlton in-person was so much better. I know through many of the songs Friday night, my head was bobbing up and down, or my foot/leg were bouncing up and down in rhythm to the music. 

Sometimes there are evenings, or days, that I wish would not end and this was one of those trips. I felt sad as we packed up and left to head back to Topeka on Saturday. We did have lunch at Pizza Ranch before we left for Topeka, but then I was sad and full, so Eddie offered to drive and I slept the whole way home. What a great weekend and so good to be out and about.

Today is Sunday and ready to watch the Kansas City Chiefs today at 3:25 to start their season. Have a great rest of your Sunday and a great week!