Sunday, December 31, 2023

Happy New Year 2024 and a Look Back at Past Haverty NYE Celebrations

Carrie and John in Early 2000 New Years Eve Celebration
Carrie and I in NYE 2001

As we look toward 2024, I think back to past New Years Eve celebrations. The picture to the right is from 2001 with Shayne and Autumn. Carrie and I were dating at the time and went to celebrate the end of 2001 and the start of 2002 with Shayne and Autumn. I recall that Carrie was sick that night with a fever and not feeling well at all. She went to bed early leaving Autumn, Shayne, and I to ring in the New Year. Carrie reminds me that I kept going into the room we were staying and letting her know we were having fun, could smell some type of spirit on my breath, and then finally I went into let her know that the upstairs toilet would no longer work. I will leave it at that and note that Shayne and I had to go out and get a plunger to start the New Year of 2002. Good times!

While we lived in Lawrence, we had some epic New Years Eve celebrations where we had people sleeping on the floor in various rooms where ever they could find a spot to sleep. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of pictures, if any, from those celebrations. A lot of good memories though from various parties one including Brenda taking around "shots" that was beer and laughing while she offered "shots" to the party goers. So much fun and good memories of those parties.

New Years Eve 2007 with Dad, Jerry, and John
New Years Eve 2007

On New Years Eve 2007, I have good memories of spending the end of 2007 with my family in Lawrence. We grilled steaks, drank a lot of wine, and even made Irish Coffee at some point during the evening. The picture to the left is Dad, Jerry, and I outside cooking, telling stories, and drinking wine while we cooked. 

Our game of choice was Rook which I had introduced Carrie to playing when we were dating. The whole family played and we have many good memories of staying late on work nights to finish up a game before heading home. 

Dad Trying on CPAP Machine on NYE 2007
Dad Trying CPAP NYE 2007

Carrie and I had recently moved to Topeka, so we made a trip into Lawrence to spend with Mom, Dad, and family to ring in the new year. I had recently been fitted with a CPAP machine and for some reason, we broke it out on New Years Eve 2007 for my Dad and Mom to try out. I recall my Dad was still questioning how it worked and how I would sleep with it on my head. Eventually, Dad would get one himself but never liked it and I am not sure really ever gave it a chance. Still, we all tried it on before we started playing games and drinking wine through the evening.

The next morning, as we do almost every year on New Years Day, we would have Hoppin' John that my Mom had told me about when I was little. We have had Hoppin' John just about every year Carrie and I have been together on New Years Day. The short of the meaning behind Hoppin' John is that it brings luck for the next year and then greens along with Hoppin' John can bring wealth for the upcoming year. A little hot sauce and it was excellent to eat on New Years Day and a few days after as it is always suggested to make a lot so you have leftovers.

New Years Eve 2011
NYE 2011

In 2011, we had a small party at our home with friends. Scott, Robin, Brenda, Carrie and I celebrated the end of 2011 and the new year of 2012. We watched movies in the living room, played games, and a few drinks to end the year and celebrate the new year of 2012.

Some of our New Years Eve celebrations have been Carrie and I spending a quiet evening at home, grilling, drinking wine, and hanging out with Oliver. We have had NYE celebrations where we are with small groups and large groups. I do not believe we have ever been out on the town for a big New Years Eve celebration with large groups of people. I prefer to be home or at a home to bring in the New Year. I am not sure why, but prefer to bring with a large group at some event space.

Taylor, Greg, and John NYE 2019
NYE 2019

New Years Eve 2019 we threw a big party at our home with family and friends. Little did we know it would be the last time we could all be together as COVID 2020 hit early in 2020. We had a good time celebrating the end of 2019 and 2020 starting the next day. It seems like so long ago as I look back and reflect on our fun that night. Games were played, drinks were had, and a lot of fun by all.

Last year, Carrie and I were in Houston, TX to ring in the New Year. We stayed a few days with Corrie and rang in the New Year at her home. I recall all the fireworks that went off in her neighborhood. It was impressive as I recall walking outside after midnight to smell gun powder in the air.

We look to 2023 coming to an end on Sunday, December 31, 2023. For 2024, I look forward to doing a whole lot more camping this year. I did a fair amount of traveling in 2023 which was good and I hope we can keep the traveling in 2024 at a high level too.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Trip to Palm Springs, CA November 30 - December 4 Update... Note, we had a great time!

Mountains, Palm Trees, and Palm Springs, California
Mountains and Palm Trees

I did not have a chance to write up our trip to Palm Springs, California after we got back. We went to Palm Springs, CA November 30 - December 4. We met Javier and Corrie in Palm Springs. We got together a few weeks ahead of our trip to pick a place to go. We wanted to go some place that none of us had been before. This took a few messages back and forth and discussions before we finally landed on Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs did not disappoint! We had a great time! It was beautiful and we ate at some good places as well as had drinks at some good spots too.

Breakfast at Farm in Palm Springs, CA
Breakfast at Farm in Palm Springs
For breakfast the first day, we went to Farm in Palm Springs. A breakfast spot that was amazing. The set up of Farm was cool with indoor and outdoor sitting. The drinks were amazing! The Bloody Mary here was so good, I could have had a few of those. Breakfast was simple and delicious with some really good fried potatoes.

We wanted to get an early start to the day as we had plans to visit Joshua Tree National Park, do some bar hopping, and then have dinner at a fancy place that night. A lot planned for our first full day in Palm Springs, California.

Sun Behind Tree at Joshua Tree National Park
Tree Behind Joshua Tree
During the day, we drove out to Joshua Tree National Park to look around. Beautiful to see it and yes it was a bit chilly. We saw people climbing the rocks and on top of the high cliffs which was cool, but mainly, we enjoyed looking at the mountains against the sky with Joshua Trees mixed in and around the area. I am so glad that we decided to go out this day instead of waiting until the weekend to get out to see the sights.

Early evening found us at The Parker Palm Springs for drinks. We took an Uber to start our evening with drinks before heading to dinner. It was a cool spot where we later learned that movie stars would frequent for an after party for an event that takes place each year in Palm Springs. We only had drinks here and a lot of laughs. It was a fun spot and glad we were able to make it there before our evening of dinner.

Group Picture at Bar Cecil for Dinner
Group Picture at Bar Cecil
That night, we had reservations at Bar Cecil that Carrie had found and got up early a month earlier to get reservations. As I mentioned, Carrie had to get up early a month prior to get reservations. She had read some place that reservations were hard to get and they opened a month in advance, so she got up early one morning in October to get our reservations. I am so glad she did! We had a great time!

Palm Springs reminded me a lot of Albuquerque, NM that we have visited a number of times for vacation. The mountains, look of the homes in the area, and the weather made me think of Albuquerque. In the evening, it would get rather chilly and we especially felt the cold when we traveled up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which took us to the top of a mountain to overlook Palm Springs. We had drinks at the top of the mountain while looking at the views before heading out to see the rest of Palm Springs.

To see all pictures from our trip, please use the viewer below to browser our pictures. Note, there a lot of selfies and silly pictures as we had a blast! The full album can be viewed on Flickr at

Palm Springs Trip

As you can see from our pictures and description, we had an excellent time. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, we plan to do this on an annual basis where we pick a location where none of us have been. We recognize this will become a tough task as it took us a while to land on Palm Springs that none of us had been to before, but it is a good challenge and I look forward to see where we go next year when we make the trip to the unknown.

Until next time, I hope you have wonderful travels and are able to visit some place new each year.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas 2023! Have a Happy and Safe Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas! I am using a post Carrie made on her Instagram page of our Christmas tree as I thought it was perfect for a Merry Christmas greeting. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. It is hard to believe that 2023 is coming to an end as it seems like the year just started, but here we are at the end of the year. 

Enjoy the day and be sure to reach out to your family and friends this holiday season.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Back Went Out Saturday Morning and Still Struggling with Back Pain Through Monday Evening

A short update for this week. I did not get this posted on Sunday per normal. My back went out Saturday morning and been battling the pain. I have never had back pain like this before. I was moving a cooler to clean it out Saturday morning and my back immediately started hurting. Carrie had to help me in and out of chairs. I actually spent the night in my recliner Sunday evening as it is so difficult to go up or down stairs.

I took off work today as I can barely walk around. I did make it to the doctor today, so I received a shot for pain and prescription medication to take over the next few days to help with pain. It is a waiting game at this point to let the swelling in my back go down. I can tell a different after the shot, but my doctor warned not to get too aggressive with things as it is helping with pain, but the pain will still be there when the shot wears off.

We had a fun weekend planned in Lawrence to do Christmas shopping. Although I went in with Carrie, I ended up staying in the car for most of the time we were in Lawrence. 

Ichabods Soccer Rally
Here I am on Monday evening writing up my post for last week. We did make it out to the rally Wednesday evening to welcome back our Ichabods Soccer team after finishing second in the NCAA Div II tournament. They had a great season and I am able to say I went to three or four of their home games thanks to my sister-in-law Erin who had a friend playing for the team.

That is all for now as I am going to rest some more and hopefully be back up walking around here soon. Until next time...

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Celebration for 90th Birthday for Our Mom... Happy 90th Birthday Nancy Haverty!

Celebration with Mom for 90th Birthday
Mom Celebrating 90 Birthday

Our family got together to celebrate my Mom's 90th birthday. She turned 90 on December 6. A few months ago, we started discussing and figuring out what we would do to celebrate her birthday. Mom did not want a huge party, so we knew we had to keep it small to our immediate family. However, Betsy had the idea of doing a card party for Mom. So, the announcement was sent out and people started sending in cards to Mom. I know Carrie and I sent nine cards and others also sent multiple cards. She loves it and getting cards daily for the past two weeks has been great. We read through some of them when we celebrated which was fun to do.

Group Photo
Group Family Photo
Betsy organized us into a group picture. We were missing a few family members that were not able to make the trip. This was the first time in a few years that this many of us were able to get together. We missed Spencer, Jack and Katie, Katy, and Donna.

I ended up taking the pictures with my phone as we had some technical issues with Betsy's Android phone to get it to do a timer countdown. I think we got some good pictures of the whole family.

See all the pictures from the celebration on Flickr.

Beautiful Sunset on Day of Celebration for Mom's 90th Birthday
Beautiful Sunset

Beautiful weather for the birthday celebration. Carrie snapped the picture to the right of the sunset. Amazing weather for December 9. Carrie and I took our fire pit and had it going most of the afternoon into the evening. It was nice to have a little heat to stand around while we were talking and enjoying one another's company. The forecast for earlier in the week was rain and snow, but that never happened and it was a great celebration.

A small group of us remained and kept Mom up late into the evening (midnight) talking and telling stories. Mom was sharing stories from when she was little which was interesting.  Tim started the question asking and then Carrie and I chimed in and started asking questions too. Questions such as how Dad proposed or favorite meals from her childhood. It was really interesting and some stories I had not heard before.

Oliver Had Enough Family Time and Went Off to Sleep
Oliver Went to Quiet Room

Oliver went off by himself at one point in the evening as he had enough of family time. He did well overall, but did not like having a one and half year old try to pet him. So, we had to keep Oliver separated from Hayes. It was so good to meet the little Haverty's that attended the gathering. 

So happy with how the celebration turned out. Mom had a great time and we kept it only to immediate family. I hope we are all able to get together again soon just to be together.

Until next time, have a great rest of your Sunday and a wonderful week...

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Share My Fantasy Football Career, Discuss Other Fantasy Sports I play, and Other Ramblings

Fantasy sports are fun... well, most of the time. It is amazing how quickly a "good" season can change. In one of my fantasy football leagues, I was leading the division and had won a series of games in a row. The past three weeks, I am on a losing skid. I dropped from leading the division to third place in my division. At this rate, I have a chance of barely getting into the playoffs with two weeks left in the regular season for fantasy football.

The Chiefs Kingdom league I have been an owner since 2016. It is a great time as we do a live draft in-person at the start of the season. I have not won this league yet, but I have had some good seasons. This year, I was progressing with a good team and suddenly the wheels fell off and I am not sure where I will end up. We have had different league owners win over the years and the past two years for the first time we had a repeat winner. This league is a lot of fun and banter is shared between owners.

The Beer Gut league, I have been a member since 2011. This league has shrunk and grown over the years from ten teams back up to twelve teams. There have been multi-owner winners in this league. I won the league in 2014 and 2017. We had our first three-time winner with the 2022 season with that league owner winning 2012, 2015, and 2022. The league has been around a while, so it is not surprising that we have multi-owner winners.

I also enjoy playing fantasy baseball, but I have really struggled through the years in fantasy baseball. I enjoy both but I have had better "luck" in fantasy football. I am hoping to get my first win in Chiefs Kingdom this year, but it does require luck to make it to the playoffs and win. The years I won in Beer Gut I did not think I had a chance those years and some how managed to the playoffs and win in the playoffs to win the league. It all takes a lot of luck no matter what and all we can do is hope we put the correct players in the game to be active to earn us points.

Football and baseball are the only fantasy sports that I play. Even when my team is not doing well, I enjoy the process. 

Have a great rest of your day and a wonderful weekend...

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Thanksgiving Cooking, Family, and Fun Plus Basketball and a Snow Storm to Finish Out the Weekend

Oliver and His Friends
Oliver and His Friends
Thanksgiving morning and Oliver was at the fence with the neighbor dogs. He hung out with his friends while I was cooking turkeys on the Big Green Egg. Beautiful morning to be outside and Oliver was taking advantage of the weather being with his friends. 

Would you believe that I did not take any pictures of the prep or completed turkey that I made on Thanksgiving? Well, it happened again but the turkey turned out great. Had good color and tasted good. Did two turkey breasts that took about three hours and thirty minutes to cook. Carrie and I realized at the end of the day that we had not taken any pictures throughout the day. We hosted this year having a total of eight adults and two children in our home. It was a great day!

Selfie in Lawrence with Mom and Family
Mom and Family
Friday late afternoon, we went to Lawrence to spend the evening with Mom and family. We had a great time hanging out, talking, enjoying wine, and seeing one another. We stayed rather late Friday night and I recall Mom saying that it was the latest she had stayed up in a long time. We had a fun time! 

Oliver has the best time at my Mom's house. He thinks he owns the place, so when another little dog was there, there were a few times when Oliver was growling and they got into a little battle at one point. All was good and no blood was lost.

Carrie and I Following Washburn Game
Carrie and I After Game in Snow
Carrie and I got home about 12:30 or 1 Friday night, so we slept in a little on Saturday morning. We did make it to our first home Washburn game of the year Saturday afternoon. The snow had started falling and was barely covering the ground when we went to the game at about 2 pm and when we came out, the ground was covered. It would go on to snow into the late hours of the night.

Birthday Dinner
Birthday Dinner

We went out to North Star Steak House Saturday night to celebrate Eddie's birthday. With the snow storm, we were the only ones in the place for most of the evening. The food was really good and we have leftovers for us to enjoy this week while working. I got a Kansas City Strip and then there was a really good dessert we all split. It was a fun night!

Sunday we have lounged around and preparing for the Chiefs game. I think we are going to bring up some holiday decorations to get ready for Christmas.

A lot packed into the past few days. It has been a fun few days off of work, being with family, and then of course eating really well throughout the last few days. 

Until next time, have a great rest of your Sunday and a fantastic week!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Various Rambling on a Rather Short Update for this Week Discussing Sports, Thanksgiving, and of Course Oliver

We had a quiet weekend as we spent most of Saturday preparing our house for Thanksgiving where we will be hosting family and friends. We did watch the Kansas State vs Kansas football game which did not end the way we were hoping. More on the game later. The Chiefs play Monday night football, so Sunday is spent keeping track of NFL games throughout the day and watching my fantasy teams struggle.

It seems as though this past week that the leaves on the trees in our yard all decided to drop at the same time. We just had our leaves picked up a week or so ago which was a big cleanup and I already have another cleanup scheduled for Monday or Tuesday this week. When we first moved into our home back in 2006, I used to do the leaves. I had plans to do leaves this year, but it is just too much having to do yard clean up at least three or four times in the fall and these are major cleanup efforts with leaves up to the ankles. I went with a new company this year to do our leaves who helped with shrub trimming over the summer and they have worked out great!

Right now while writing this post, I am watching Ichabods soccer where we are playing Jennies in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Washburn soccer played Friday night and won in overtime, so it has been fun to watch. We are playing in Topeka, but I am watching the game in the warmth of home.

This is not only Thanksgiving holiday week but it is also feast week for college basketball. My sister, Dina, takes off the whole week so she can watch basketball as there are games throughout the week. Monday night is not only the Chiefs games, but it is also the start of the Maui Classic in Hawaii. I know I will be flipping between football and basketball Monday night. Should be fun and likely a late evening with Kansas not tipping off until 8 pm.

As I jump around on this post, I go back to the Kansas State vs Kansas game from Saturday night. We did not have our starting quarterback play, so the third string freshman did good. We started off the game getting up to lead, but mistakes kept Kansas State in the game and we ran out of time. Disappointing to say the least and Kansas has one last regular season game to play against Cincinnati

Oliver Found His Chicken and Carried it Around the House
Oliver Found his Chicken

It is not an update unless I post a picture or something about Oliver. Oliver found his chicken where he hid it at some point and paraded around the house with his chicken. He even took it outside but eventually went to the couch to take a nap with his chicken. Gave us a good laugh as we watched him parade through the kitchen to the family room carrying his chicken. Funny guy!

A short post for this week on this rainy Sunday afternoon. I hope you have a great Sunday and week. I am hoping to do another post prior to next Sunday with pictures and updates on Thanksgiving gatherings.

Until next time...

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Washburn Football Won Saturday to Wrap up the Season and Disappointing Kansas Game... Plus Oliver Being Sleepy All the Time

Sleepy Oliver on a Friday Evening Hanging on the Couch

Last week was a busy but it also flew by which can happen when it is a busy week. The weekend consisted of going out Friday night for drinks and dinner. When Carrie and I returned home Friday night, Oliver just wanted to relax and get tickles on the couch. We sometimes say that Oliver would be happiest if we were to lay around with him all day long and pet him. When we are not touching him, he throws little fits or paws at us with his paw to get us to tickle. Poor guy!

Saturday we went to the last home Washburn football game of the season. We won the game 45 - 14 to get our second win of the season. It was a rough season, but hopeful that we will bounce back next season. I went to all of the home games this season except for one when I was out of town. Carrie went to all the home games this season with me. We had a fun time throughout the season. For this last home game, Carrie made chili and hotdogs were made by Greg that we enjoyed throughout the day. We had beautiful weather for a game in the middle of November.

Basketball season has started and the first home game for Washburn is November 18. Carrie and I have season tickets and will be attending the games this season. We have a fun time attending Washburn basketball throughout the season as we have had season tickets now for a few years. 

Disappointing Kansas football game yesterday that Greg and I were following while at the Washburn game. Next weekend will be fun to see Kansas State vs. Kansas, but hoping we have Bean back in the game for Kansas. Bean went out of the game yesterday and so we had a freshman quarterback leading the Jayhawks. KU lost to Texas Tech yesterday 16 - 13 moving to 7 - 3 overall and 5 and 1 at home. Two games remain in the season.

Not a lot of pictures from me this weekend, but we had a good time Friday and Saturday. No Chiefs game Sunday as it is a bye week for us this week. Chiefs play again on Monday, November 20.

Until next time, have a great Sunday and a wonderful week...

Sunday, November 05, 2023

The GoodReads 2023 Reading Challenge is Almost Over and I am Behind Schedule for My Goal of 25 Books

GoodReads 2023 Reading Challenge
Status in GoodReads 2023 Reading Challenge

The GoodReads 2023 Reading Challenge started and I was doing really well about halfway through the year. I was ahead of schedule on books read, but the past few months I have not read as much. My goal is to read each day which I have done, but some days I was only reading a few pages. The past three or four weeks I am trying to read a chapter a day and most days I have been meeting that goal. 

My Books Read for the 2023 GoodReads Challenge
Books Read for 2023
Currently, I am four books behind schedule to complete 25 books for the year. I am at 17 of 25. I have read some good books this year. My favorite series remains the C.J. Box author. I started reading the series last year and I was reading one after the other, so I decided to mix it up and read some other books this year too.

I am juggling four books currently although spending most of my time reading Malibu Burning which was a free book from Amazon that Carrie got. I am almost done with it at 80%, so I should finish it this week. I hope to get another book or two read before Thanksgiving, but I might have to find some short reads to catch up to my planned schedule.

For someone who used to hardly read at all, the past few years have been a big change for me. Reading daily for enjoyment and not because I have to but because I want to is new for me. I read when I was little, but I would not read for long periods of time; instead, I would tend to read a book and then not read for a while until I found another book sounds interesting. This could be a few months to a few years between when I would read when I was little. This changed about three years ago when I started reading daily. There have been times when I have finished a book that I could easily have stopped reading and moved on to something else, but I kept up and got through the book. 

My list of books that I want to read continues to grow. I am up to 31 on GoodReads I have marked that I want to read and I know I have almost that many on my library app too. I continue to have fun and I enjoy the process of reading where I make the movie in my head. I love it when I am reading and become completely lost in the story where time seems to stand still while I read but as I finish the chapter, thirty minutes has gone by.

I better get back to reading so I can meet my goal. Have a great rest of your Sunday and a wonderful week! I hope you are able to enjoy some good reading time where you become lost in the book. If you have a good book to recommend, I am always open to suggestions, so feel free to comment on this post or send me a message.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Fun Week at Work with Homecoming, Inauguration, and then Saturday was Tailgating and Football

Inaguration of President Mazachek at Washburn University
Inauguration at Washburn University 
This was a fun past week with a lot of activity on campus. Events on campus for faculty, staff, and students to celebrate Homecoming which concluded on Saturday for the football game. This week also concluded Friday with inauguration for President Mazachek at Washburn University. My friend, Eileen, addressed the crowd as a representative of Staff Council and did an excellent job. It was a fun event to celebrate, officially, our new president. Since starting in February, President Mazachek has already done so much in the short few months since starting. I cannot wait to see where we go over the course of the next five to ten years.

Cold Day for Homecoming Football Game
Cold and Rainy Day

Carrie and I went to the game on Saturday. We knew ahead of time that the day called for cold, rain, and possibly flurries later in the evening. We had a great time even though Washburn lost 31-28. There was a good crowd for being cold and rainy. Carrie and I got over to our spot about 10 Saturday morning and we took the tent as we knew it would be raining starting around 1 pm. Our tailgate neighbor had an additional tent and two different heaters. At our spot, we had blankets, so I stayed nice and warm throughout the afternoon. Washburn moved to 1 - 8 on the season. We had a rain delay in the third quarter with lightening nearby and most people stuck around following the rain delay.

Carrie with Dolly Parton Tailgate Spot
Carrie and Dolly

Instead of a parade this year, students were encouraged to do tailgate spots on the lawn. It was wonderful! So fun to see the different spots. The winner was a saloon with working doors. One tailgate spot was celebration of Dolly Parton and reading. The theme this year was Boots, Bling, and Bods which was fun. A variety of participants in the tailgate spots and it was fun to walk through the area to see what everyone had done.

Friends Stopped by to See Us
Scott and I at Tailgate

While it was just Carrie and I hanging out in our tailgate spot, we did some some visitors stop by to see us. Scott and Robin stopped by with Davis and used our football tickets to sit in our seats for part of the game too. It was good to see Scott and Robin to catch up a little. Davis was having fun with his dad playing catch while we talked. 

Carrie and I did not make it over to the alumni tent this time but we did see a number of people while walking across the tailgate area to get to the Ichabod Shop to buy some things. Carrie had made breakfast for us to eat and we snacked on it throughout the day even during the brief rain delay. 

Washburn University Marching Band
Washburn University Marching Band

Carrie took the picture of the marching band to the right. She loves capturing the band playing. I was watching her and I thought she was going into the middle of their line to get a picture. She stopped short and snapped her picture. I do enjoy when the band comes through the tailgate area. Then later, when the team comes through the tailgate area is a special time that the fans enjoy.

Great Day at Washburn Enjoying the Day
Carrie and I at Tailgate

I appreciate Carrie going to the tailgate and watching the game with me. She is not a big football fan, but she goes because she knows I love and enjoy the time there even when it is cold and rainy. Carrie was a trooper today and told me how much fun she was having over-and-over. While I watched the game, Carrie was reading, people watching, and glancing at the game when she would hear me yell. We had good food, thank you Carrie, drinks, and a fun spot to tailgate on a cold and rainy day. While we did not win, I will remember this one as it had not been this cold/rainy in a long time for a home game.

Sleepy Oliver, Carrie, and John When we Got Home
Sleepy Oliver, Carrie, and John

When we got home from the game around 5 pm, we were both tired. Oliver did not attend, but he was tired from holding down the house while we were away. Carrie snapped the picture to the right while I was sleeping in my chair and she was trying to nap on the couch, Oliver decided he needed to lay on her and take a nap. It is so tiring holding down the fort while we are away from the house.

We thought about taking Oliver to a game this year, but we will need to wait and see what the last game of the season has in store for us in terms of weather. We might have to wait until next year for Oliver to attend his next game.

Until next time, have a great rest of your Sunday and a fantastic week!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Washburn Football on Saturday and Maple Leaf Festival on Sunday... Good Weekend!

Washburn Game
Washburn Game Against FHSU

Carrie and I attended the Fort Hays State University vs Washburn University game on Saturday. We are really struggling this year as we lost the game 31 - 28. It was a beautiful day for a game and even a little warm late in the afternoon in the sun. Carrie and I were the only ones in our spot although we had a few random visitors throughout the afternoon.

Next weekend is Homecoming, so we are going to get out to our spot a little earlier to have breakfast, drinks, and enjoy the day. It is not looking like we will get another win this season. Our team is battling injuries, surgeries, and we have a lot of freshman that are battling right now. Hoping this will help us out next year with the freshman returning next year and have some experience from this year.

Carrie and I had a good time hanging out at the alumni tent this year. We met some new people and spent pre-game talking to them before heading to our spot.

Carrie and I in Front of Flowers
Carrie and I at Maple Leaf Festival

Sunday, we had plans to head to Baldwin, KS for the Maple Leaf Festival and we got an early start on the day so I could get back to watch some of the Chiefs game. We were able to take our traditional picture in front of the flowers. We ran into some tailgate friends and we had beers at two different spots. In my book, it was a great day at Maple Leaf Festival

We did not buy a lot this trip, but we did make have a good time. The sun was out in force and kept it warm when in the sun, but we were able to find a few times to get under a tent to see items. We ate some snacks which was really good this year. Corn, walking tacos, and regular tacos. It was a wonderful day and so glad we were able to make it as we did not make it there last year.

Sweet Corn Was Delicious!
Corn was Delicious

The corn on the cob was really good this year. Fresh and popped off of the stock. I got mine classic with butter, salt, and pepper. Carrie got hers with mayonnaise and some type of seasoning. We sat on a curb and ate the corn. Perfect!

Carrie was not looking at a lot of jewelry as she had found a lot of earrings back in September when we were at the Lawrence Art Fair (see post). We did buy a few things from the Soup Lady which had a large line to get in when we arrived, so glad we were able to get that visit completed before the good ones were gone.

Brewery in Baldwin, KS
Baldwin City Beer Company
After finishing off the corn, we continued to walk down the street and came to a new spot for us that was not there two years ago when we were at the festival which was a new brewery. I had a few beers at Baldwin City Beer Company and Carrie sampled a few of the beers I had while we were there. She did have a mimosa and we talked football while sitting at the bar. 

Selfie at Maple Leaf Festival
Selfie on Baker University

We had to take a selfie on the Baker University campus as we were leaving the Maple Leaf Festival. A perfect day and we had fun chatting, walking around to see the vendors, and grabbing a bite, or drink, at a few spots. 

Until next time, have a great rest of your weekend and I will talk to you next week. Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

President's Suite at Emporia State University and Cheering on Washburn University in Football

President's Suite at Emporia, KS
President's Suite at Emporia

Carrie and I made a trip to Emporia, KS for the Emporia State University vs. Washburn University game. Doug, CIO for Emporia, had contacted me a week ago while I was in Arkansas to see if I would be interested in attending the game. I told Doug Carrie and I would love to attend. We started off the day at tailgate by the tennis courts where they had a live band and food provided by a local brewery. It was a good start and then I was glad that we were headed to the suites as it was a little cold and I had not worn enough layers.

Selfie in President's Suite at Emporia State University
Selfie at Emporia State 

Carrie and I had a great time in Emporia for the game. Washburn did not win although we did score some points and had a chance to tie it late in the game, we lost the game 38 - 23 and moved to 1 - 6 on the season. I was able to clap and holler while in the President's Suite at Emporia, so that was fun. The bartenders gave me grief each time I went to get a drink saying they could not server someone wearing Washburn gear. It was a fun atmosphere from the tailgate outside to being inside the suite. 

We met the President for Emporia State University, Ken Hush, and spoke to him a few times throughout the game. At one point, he offered to clear our plates and get us something to drink. A Kansas Board of Regent, Cynthia Lane, stopped by to say she heard there were Washburn fans in the suite. We did see some other Washburn fans in the suite as the president (Antonio Martinez) and vice-president (Tevin Asamoah) of WSGA in the suite which was fun. Antonio told us he felt like he was the only Washburn fan in the suite and we agreed that we had felt the same. It is always good to connect with fellow Ichabods.

Doug and I in the Suite at Emporia State University
Doug and John

Carrie took a picture of Doug and I both wearing our respective university gear. Thank you, Doug, for the invite and hospitality of Emporia State University. It was not the outcome we were wanting for the game, but Carrie and I had a great time. It was great to be able to spend time with Doug to get to know him better. He gave us a tour of his department and it was impressive with recently redesigned office space. He told me that the IT department used to be in three different buildings, but recently combined all into one area. It was really nice!

Selfie with Doug in President's Suite
Doug and John Game in Progress

I told Doug that next year when we play in Topeka, I would invite him to our tailgate. Although we have seats, we rarely go into the game as we can watch the game from our tailgate spot. He liked that idea and so I will need to make sure to invite him next year. I told him I wanted to get a picture of us in front of the field to share with the other CIO's when we meet for our monthly meeting this week. Doug laughed and we took the picture.

We have three more home games and I am hopeful we can get another win. We were close yesterday but came up short. Carrie and I had a great time in Emporia and we remembering when we were there years ago for another game. Something Carrie and I have discussed a few times is that it would be fun to go to different away location for games. Whether it is for football, basketball, or volleyball, it is on our list to do and this was our first step in that direction.

Until next time, have a great rest of your Sunday and a fantastic week!

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

King Biscuit Blues Festival 2023 is in the Books! We had a Great Time!

Javi and I at King Biscuit Blues Festival
Javi and John at KBBF 2023

Last week I attended the King Biscuit Blues Festival 2023. Eddie and I left Wednesday, October 4 at 6 am and arrived mid-afternoon in Helena, Arkansas. I had a great time with family, friends, and listening to some great music. Missed not having Carrie or Corrie at KBBF, but hopefully we will have them join us next year.

Eating a Corn Dog on the Street
Corn Dog is Lunch
Not only is the KBBF a time for visiting, listening to music, and having fun, but it is also time for eating some great street food. I did not go crazy this year, but I did have some good eats while at KBBF. The picture to the left is of me eating a corn dog that I sent to Carrie and Corrie who were missing out on the good eats. Along with the corn dog, I had a Gryo, tamales plate, fresh cut potatoes, fries with meat and cheese on top, and a variety of other good eats. Those are the ones I can remember. Oh, we also had catfish from the VIP tent that was really good. We had breakfast each day we were there too along with Bloody Mary's which helped to start the day right. Thanks to Amy, Liz, and Michael for getting the various eats for breakfast ready for us each day. 

Selfie with Tbo and Javi
Selfie with TBo and Javi

You might wonder what we do when we are working the KBBF, well, we carry equipment on/off the main stage. We run errands as needed. Between acts, we are able to enjoy good music and company. To the right is a selfie with Javi and TBo while listening to music. Sipping your favorite drink and enjoying good music, it is a great way to spend the day.

Selfie with Eddie on the Main Stage
Selfie with Eddie on Main Stage

Snapping pictures of the bands is fun and I meant to do a whole lot more than I did this year, but I did manage to get a number of selfies while at KBBF this year. I realized as I am writing that I neglected to get a selfie with Shi although I did get some pictures of him with others that I will include later in this update. 

We hang around the main stage to help where we can and watch to carry items to and from the main stage. This year I helped a little bit with parking as vehicles came into the parking area and needed to be secured. After getting the musicians on the main stage, we help with positioning equipment needed, amps, and then we make sure they have water for their set.

Selfie with Bart at KBBF
Selfie with Bart at KBBF

Hanging out in the back of the stage or along the side enjoying things is what we do. It is a good time and we have fun interacting with the acts too. Again, I realized I did not take any pictures with any of the musicians. This is usually something that Carrie does when she attends. For me, I am lucky to get selfies and pictures of some of the acts. 

TBo and Shi Run the Show
TBo and Shi Run the Show

The stage is run by Shi (Eddie) and TBo (Tommy). Shi is the stage manager and TBo manages logistics of the stage, parking, beverages, etc. Good news this year I do not recall seeing TBo, or Shi, upset about anything or at least nothing that got to me about something being wrong. Overall, the whole festival ran smooth this year. The picture to the left is of TBo and Shi on the main stage watching over acts and the crowd.

At Leslie's for Breakfast and Drinks
At Leslie's for Breakfast and Drinks

Picture of the Crowd at KBBF
Picture of Crowd at KBBF

See the full photo set from King Biscuit Blues Festival 2023 on my Flickr account.

Looking forward to next year to be back at the King Biscuit Blues Festival. It is hard to believe 2023 is in the books. Until next time, have a great rest of your week!

Sunday, October 01, 2023

"9 to 5 The Musical", Solilquy Bar, Preparing for KBBF, and Summary of Prior Week

Sleepy Oliver After Supper
Sleepy Oliver
It was a busy week for me with a conference I attended in Kansas City Monday - Wednesday. I made the decision to drive in each day instead of getting a hotel room in Kansas City for the conference. Made for long days the first part of this week, but it was a good conference with good connections being made. Tuesday night when I got home from the conference, Oliver was very sleepy and plopped down in his bed to do some serious sleeping. I decided to head to bed early that night too and went to bed at 9:30.

The rest of the week flew by and was catch up for me at work after attending the conference. Short week next week for me as I will be taking personal leave to head to Helena, AR for the King Biscuit Blues Festival. I leave Wednesday and then back the following Sunday. Looking forward to another KBBF and seeing everyone at the festival. Carrie was planning to go but decided she would not make it this year. Javier will be there and we will work the main stage at the KBBF.

Saturday night, Carrie and I went to see 9 to 5 The Musical at Topeka Civic Theater. We had a fun time joining Greg and Erin for the play. Prior to the play, we met at The Pennant for a quick dinner and drinks before heading to the play. It was a fun evening. The musical was good and it was the first play we had been to in a while. It was good to be back at Topeka Civic Theater.

Soliloquy Bar Drinks
Drink at Solilquy Bar
Following the play, Carrie and I decided to stop by Soliloquy Bar where we sat on the patio and had a few drinks. One of the drinks I ordered came out and was lit on fire. Another drink Carrie and I shared had liquid nitrogen that cooled down the glass, they then threw out the nitrogen which was cool to see the nitrogen hit on the ground. Our server was one of the owners, so we chatted with him for a bit and talked about the cool places to get drinks in Topeka and Lawrence.

On the Patio at Solilquy Bar
On the Patio at Solilquy Bar

Beautiful evening Saturday night to sit on the patio which was nice. The patio was busy when we arrived around 10:30 and then by the time I took the picture to the left, it had cleared out. The owner told us that they have a soft close of midnight which was something Carrie and I were wondering about as we sat on the patio listening to music and how the neighbors next door react to the traffic, music, etc.

It is now Sunday as I finish up this update and I am sitting here watching football. Both of my fantasy football teams are not off to very good starts. Hoping to get two wins this week with my two teams and bounce back. Also out there are my fantasy baseball teams which are not doing well either. Still, it is fun to follow players and make changes to try and win each week.

That is about all for today. Have a great week and I will talk to you next time.