Sunday, April 25, 2021

Finished Watching Movies Nominated for Best Picture and Ready for Oscars


Carrie and I finished watching the rest of Oscar nominated best picture movies last night. We had planned to watch them well ahead of Oscar night, but two movies were $20 and we were hoping they would drop in price before the big reveal. As I mentioned back in March (see Oscars post), we had watched half of the movies and needed to finish up four before the big night. 

Final Four Watched Movies

The movies were good, but they were not my favorite of the best picture category. Here are each of the four we watched and to finish out the category.

Mank was rather boring the first part of the movie. I might have fallen asleep during the first half of the movie, but the second half I found interesting and kept me awake. I am not sure that is a good standard for a movie where I fell asleep the first part and then stayed awake the last part of the movie. The cinematography was really good shot in black and white added flare of the movie. Although, really, I forgot it was filmed in black and white that I was watching. 

Minari we watched the night before. The story of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas to farm covering their struggles to make farming work. The story covered the family of four and a grandmother that joined the family. The movie was entertaining and in good company of the other best picture nominees.

The Father was one I was interested to see since the nominees were announced. The father forgetting most everything was uncomfortable to watch at times and numerous at other times. Overall, it was a sad movie and interesting to watch how the father was portrayed. 

Promising Young Woman was one of the movies I was not sure what to expect. As it turned out, the movie was good and shocking. A story about a woman who had something bad happen to her and seeks out revenge was a fun ride to see how she did her revenge. 


I think Nomadland is going to win best picture. The movie is getting all the buzz and it was very well done. The movie I like the best was Sound of Metal which as I stated in previous post (see Oscars post) it was a close tie between Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah, but I think after watching all of the nominated movies, Sound of Metal is my favorite. 

It was fun being able to watch all oft he movies the past few weeks. I look forward to next year resuming our marathon movie watching in a theater (I hope) as I really like watching all of them in one or two weekends. Congrats to all of the nominees and congrats to the winner of this category and all Oscar categories.

A Year Later... A Celebration of Graduates from Spring and Fall 2020 on Washburn Campus

Photo by Emily Ranquist from Pexels

A year after completing my Masters in Communication and Leadership, I am going to be able to walk to celebrate the accomplishment. I believe the majority of my class is planning to walk, so it is going to be an exciting day. I ordered my graduation regalia and have it ready to go.

Graduation day is set for Spring and Fall 2020 graduates for Washburn University. We will be walking on Saturday, May 1 at 3 pm in Yager Stadium (with the rain backup date being Sunday, May 2). COVID protocols, the guest list is limited, so keeping my guests rather small. Not to mention it is a year after I graduated, so I did not want to cause too much of a commotion invites. I told Carrie she did not need to attend, but she is planning to attend. 

It has been nice leading up to this graduation event that I did not have papers, projects, or exams to complete as graduation approached. I love the idea and that Washburn University is celebrating accomplishments of so many from Spring and Fall 2020 that could not participate in graduation. 

When I graduated a year ago, I was at home watching a virtual greeting from Washburn congratulating all the graduates. I took a picture and wrote about it back in October (see Graduation from October 2020). I am looking forward to celebrating what my fellow peers accomplished and being able to celebrate with them in proper style.

Congrats to the Spring and Fall 2020 graduates. Congrats to the Spring 2021 graduates that will be walking on May 8.

Email Subscription from Going Away in June -- Other Options to Connect

Email subscription to my blog will be ending in June. I have removed the email subscription from the site as the service is being abandoned. You will need to visit the site (i.e. or watch on the various social media sites mentioned below where I post updates.

I do have the site post to Twitter, FaceBook Group, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn probably generates the majority of the traffic to my site and interactions. The FaceBook Group site was something I tried as it was not possible to auto post from my site directly to my FaceBook profile. The FaceBook Group gets very little visitors as it is separate from my profile and I have really not publicized the group on FaceBook.

If I come across another option to allow for email subscription for this site, I will post an update and share the process on how to do so. Feed Burner is through Google and will be expired which is the reason for this update.

My plan is to post at least once every Sunday throughout the year. Some Sunday's I post more, but at least once a week is my goal. I look forward to interacting with you and sharing what is happening, or I am thinking, on The Dog House.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Good Food, Drinks, and Birthday Celebration for Carrie in Kansas City

To celebrate a birthday for Carrie, we took time and spent a few days in Kansas City February 8 - 10. We had a large time! We booked a house to stay in via VRBO. We went in with Greg and Erin to spend a few days enjoying good food, drinks, and getting away from our standard here in Topeka. Carrie had a great time as we all did celebrating and having fun.

Snacks at PF Changs
Apps at P.F. Chang's

Thursday night, we talked about ordering Minsky's Pizza which, staying at the house we rented, and hanging out playing games and drinking. As we were preparing to head to Kansas City for the few days, we changed our minds and decided we would instead do P.F. Chang's where we had some apps, drinks, and a wonderful meal. 

Going on a Thursday night, people still being selective on where they go, it was not busy at all. We had no issues getting a table and felt comfortable throughout our meal. It was good to see the Country Club Plaza again as we had not been there in a long time.

Friday morning was our first trip to Snooze A.M. Eatery in Westport. Carrie, Javier, Brenda, and I had all first had Snooze A.M. Eatery in Colorado years ago when visiting. We just happened to come across the place, try it, and loved it ever since. Now they are in various locations of Colorado, Texas, and one finally opened in KC although a second one is going to be opening soon in KC too. We had about an hour wait, but it was so worth it!

More drinks and delicious breakfast to get our day started. If you have not been to Snooze A.M. Eatery, I highly recommend checking it out!

Summermoon Coffee... Yum!
Us at Summer Moon

Following breakfast, we finally made it to the newly opened Summer Moon. We were first introduced to Summer Moon in Dallas, TX when we visited Javier. We are very excited to have it close and plan to make trips into KC for visits to Summer Moon and yes plan to do other things and not just coffee on those trips.

Our favorite drink to get at Summer Moon is the Summer Moon Latte. We got one before afternoon of going around KC and then the next day (Saturday), we went back for another Summer Moon Latte. Carrie and I both got two so we could have one then and one later. I had intended to have my second one later in the day on Saturday, but ended up taking it back to Topeka and having on Sunday. It was still really good. Thanks Erin for buying our two coffees on Saturday morning.

Following our Summer Moon visit, we did some shopping which amounted to walking around a few stores and me eventually going out to the car to sit. I did manage to get in a quick nap to prepare for the afternoon of tapas and drinks.

Drinks at La Bodegea
Drinks at La Bodega on the Patio

What other way is there to celebrate a birthday than to spend a few days eating and drinking. Friday afternoon, we went to La Bodega which is a favorite. The sangria was going down easily. We had a pitcher of white and a pitcher of red. Both were very good, although, I think Greg and I preferred the red sangria. They had completely redone their patio area since the last time Carrie and I were there with everything happening in COVID times, so it was really nice sitting on the patio and having space to ourselves. The tapas were just as we remembered where they were delicious. We did try pork fat which while Greg said he liked, we did not finish that dish. It was a little odd. Carrie only took a bite and I managed to finish the one I picked up. We left two on the plate that were not finished. Likely not something we would get again, but the rest of the tapas and sangria were fantastic!

Drinks at La Bodega
Sangria at La Bodega
We spent a few hours at La Bodega before heading back to the house to clean up and prepare for dinner. If you are in the Kansas City area, passing through, or making a special trip, we highly recommend checking out La Bodega if you have the chance. Worth the stop and worth spending some time there to enjoy the environment and be with family or friends.

Friday night we had dinner reservations for the Bristol Seafood Grill. Never a disappointment, we had a wonderful meal. Greg and I saw a former Kansas basketball player eating his meal as we entered and had to spend the first few moments of our time there trying to remember his name. It as Jeff Gueldner who played for KU 1986 - 1990. 

Carrie and I got fried oysters which was a good change. Dinner was delicious where I had swordfish. Another one of our favorite spots to visit when in KC. Hoping at some point, the Bristol Seafood Grill goes back to having Sunday brunch again and you will definitely see us back there again when that returns.

Birthday Cake from Greg and Erin
Mini Cupcakes to Celebrate
Friday night following dinner, we went back to the house to play games and have fun. It was pouring down rain most of the night and into the next day, but we did not mind. Erin and Greg got mini cupcakes for Carrie for her birthday celebration. It was a fun night and wonderful couple of days off of work and celebrating Carries' birthday.

The next morning (Saturday), we made a trip back to Summer Moon as previously mentioned to get our coffees before heading to BB's Lawnwside BBQ as we all wanted to try something new and can never go wrong with BBQ. It was a fun experience as we found that they had been to the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas a few times. They had a poster from an early festival in the '80s and then a recent one from 2018 or 2019 I believe.

Lunch at BB's BBQ & Blues
BB's Lawnside BBQ
It was a fun way to end our couple of day celebration for Carrie. I know Carrie had a lot of fun... oh, and she was very excited to finally be able to buy multiple packages of her Stiegl Radler Grapefruit beer that she loves but has been unable to get here in Topeka from any location. We stocked up from Trader Joe's by buying ten packages of Stiegl Radler Grapefruit on our way home on Saturday. Perfect end to a perfect couple of days.

Vaccine Second Shot Done April 8 and No Issues #MyTime #Vaccine

Image from Our First Shot -- We Are Vaccinated
Carrie and I both got in on Thursday, April 8 for our second shot. It went well and no side effects at all. Following the first shot (see Vaccine One is Done and Second Shot is Scheduled), we had minor side effects which included sore arm or shoulder. Following the second shot, the only thing I noticed was slight tenderness at the point where I received the shot. No soreness in my arm or shoulder following the second shot. Really, I could not tell that I had anything done other than feeling good that I have both shots and vaccinated toward the COVID virus.

Ready to get out into the world and get back to some normallacy. Now, for the rest of the population to get their vaccine. 

Following our second shot, we went on to celebrate a birthday weekend in KC...


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Results of the March Madness Hopefuls! ESPN Tournament Challenge #MarchMadness #results

Photo by Wallace Chuck from Pexels

So good to have March Madness again this year! We had a good group participating in the ESPN Tournament Challenge. We had 25+ participate in the selections this year. A wide range of picks started out the tournament. The selected winners ranged from a dozen votes to single votes to win it all.

  • Gonzaga (12)
  • Illinois (4)
  • Michigan (3)
  • Kansas (2)
  • Alabama (1)
  • Baylor (1)
  • Iowa (1)
  • Oklahoma State (1)
  • Villanova (1)
  • West Virginia (1)

Gonzaga had the most votes with 12 followed by Illinois (4), Michigan (3), and Kansas (2). The remaining teams all had one vote each to win the tournament. For the majority of the rounds, Javier G was at the top of the leader board. Going into the championship game Monday night, Javi was leading the group with the most points. Following the end of the game the winner of the group was Dina H. She was the only one in our group to have Baylor winning.

Winners in the March Madness Hopefuls!

With a narrow margin of points, Dina H beat out Javi G 1,240 to 1,140. Followed by tsh34081. I am not sure who tsh34081 is but they came in third in our challenge. Congrats to Dina on winning the bracket this year with the only one picking Baylor from our league.

How did Dina compare to the entry winning all of ESPN? The winner of the entire ESPN bracket won with 1,690 points. What a fun tournament to watch. There were some heart breakers, some buzzer beaters, and a lot of efforts to watch in March Madness no one was able to enjoy a year ago. We are so happy to have it back and finish another tournament challenge.

Congrats to the winners, Dina H, Javi G, and tsh34081. 

Tent Set up with Happy Dog and Happy Tent Owners #Camping #Adventure

Picture of our New Tent Ready for an Adventure

Carrie and I are going to try camping. Sure, we have both been camping a few times in our lives, but not with our own gear. For Christmas, we got a tent and we spent Saturday, April 3 in the afternoon attempting to put it together in our back yard. You know, so we test out the process before we get to a camp site and realize we have not idea what we are doing. The process went well!

We did the test run of putting it up in our back yard, but did not spend the night in the back yard. We are old and want to get some comfortable items so we can sleep on them when we are at the camp site. After getting the tent put together, we spent a while reviewing cots, mats, etc., for items that can make the camp site comfortable. Of course, we do not want to spend a lot on items in the event we go and camp and do not like it, so trying to keep costs down but also find items that will make the stay comfortable.

Carrie had the great idea to record us putting the tent together, so I set it up as time-lapse. It worked out great! If you watch carefully, you can see us put it up once and then take it down as we used the shorter poles instead of the long poles for the center section. The process went well and we now know how to put it together and which poles to use.


We are making plans to find our first camp site. Carrie has done the research and make a selection of Pomona, KS. Our plan is to do a test run of two night stay at this first camp site. See how it goes, what other items we might need, and whether we like the process. We plan to take Oliver with us, so that will be interesting. I think he will have a lot of fun at a camp site with us, visiting other campers, and smelling or hearing the noises that come with being away from home. The next phase of our plan would be to camp with Greg and Erin at another location. We need to do so before it gets hot, so trying to determine the best time to do the second camping date.

Oliver had a great time after we set up the tent. He thought it was fun to hear his paws on the tent floor. As you can see, he was jumping and running around like it was a big game. Carrie and I both laughing at him. Finally, he flew out the front of the tent and did two running laps around the tent before settling in the grass to rest. He spent Sunday sleeping most of the day as he had a fun Saturday helping us with the tent.

More pictures, or video, later this month as we begin our camping experience. We both can hardly wait and looking forward to taking Oliver with us on our adventures.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter! Have a wonderful Easter Sunday. 

I will spend the day connecting with my family. I plan to call my sisters, my brother, and my Mom. I plan to watch some baseball. There might be some golf watching in there too. Might even do a Zoom session with everyone if I can get it set up and sent out early in the day. There is a chance for a nap but hopefully not during the baseball game. Easter Sunday evening I will be at the Shirrons’ enjoying a wonderful dinner and spending time with family.

Have a wonderful Easter!

Bally Sports Kansas City New #Royals Graphics #TogetherRoyal #BallySports

Bally Sports Kansas City Copied from Twitter Bally Sports Tweet

The start of the MLB season started on Thursday, April 1 and with it we saw a new branded channel. Formerly Fox Sports Midwest. It seems like we have watched Royals baseball on Fox Sports Midwest forever, but looking it up the channel launched in March 2008 (according to Wiki). The new branding is Bally SportsBally Sports officially launched April 1 but their web site still says “Coming Soon” and the app on my iPhone and Roku devices still says Fox Sports Go. The rumor was that everything was going to change on Opening Day of baseball, but that does not appear to have happened.

What did change was the broadcast. Broadcasters saying “Bally Sports” now and graphics indicate we are watching “Bally Sports” just to remind us over and over. I am still upset that I cannot get Royals baseball on YouTube TV and have to watch through my Mom’s streaming account from Midco. I am happy that is working and hope it continues to work to watch Royals baseball. I am one of the lucky ones as many people are not able to watch their favorite teams with blackouts or their provider no longer carrying the games (see Contract Disputes posted back in January).

Fox Sports Midwest Graphics
For years we have had the same graphics and I have to admit I missed them when I first started watching the game on Thursday. I was so used to seeing the layout in the lower right hand corner when watching Royals baseball that I missed not seeing it in the corner. I am not sure, but I would guess the graphic for pitcher, batter, score, inning, outs, and count had not changed since Fox Sports Midwest launched in 2008, or if it did change it was not by much.

Having seen the same graphics for so many years, I get set in my ways, and expect to see them to start the new season. I think it will be fine with the new graphics, but I can still complain about what I do not like and then compliment the new changes that I do like.

Bally Sports Kansas City Graphics

Typical information on the graphics with the score on the left. Inning, bases, outs, and count in the middle. Then on the right side displays other games. The whole graphic is along the bottom of the screen. The center section is also where it displays MPH for a pitch. 

The addition of the running scores of other games is a new addition. I do not recall where scores of other games would post/scroll on Fox Sports Midwest  but I believe it might have been at the top and only if there was an interesting game in session. The most part, I do not think they showed scores of other games at all. That is a nice new addition with the scrolling scores to help keep an eye on those other games.

Center Graphic with Inning, bases, outs, and count from Bally Sports
The center section section where it displays inning, who is on base, outs, and count needs some work is fine, but could use some color changes. Instead of outs showing as black dots, I would rather see red. The other complaint is that outs usually show left to right so it is odd to see them right to left. Again, not a huge issue, but it is going to take a little while to get used to the change. Although it appears this was only for the first game of the season on Opening Day. The second game of the season on Saturday had corrected the sequence of going left to right on outs, so it was better.

Overall, I like the new graphics and especially the scrolling scores of other games. It will take a while to get used to saying Bally Sports Kanas City, but I am sure we will all get used to it as they say it over-and-over throughout the game, commercials, and via social media.

I am so excited to be watching baseball and happy that at least for now, I get to watch Royals baseball. Enjoy the season for whatever team you follow.