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.