Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Birthday to the good doctor.

Most of us have childhood friends that we spent tons of time with, I was lucky enough to have cousins that doubled as friends. Our extended family unit is a close one, and we always do stuff together. My dad's sister has 3 boys and they lived a few minutes on a bike away from our house so, it seems like, every day I would ride to their house.

Brent is the oldest and kind of the voice of reason. He still is, now that I think of it. Jon and I would be dead or in jail if we would have done everything we wanted to back then, he kept us safe. Aaron was the little one that was along for the ride, whatever the day brought.

I'm not sure how old we were, but I pretty sure parents these days don't trust their kids or society enough to let them be home alone like we were back then...but we had Brent as our summer guide!

Our dads worked at the same bank, and our moms at the same clinic so there was enough communication between all parties to understand what the boys were doing that day, or what they thought the boys were doing...and who knows my aunt might have been home all the times I was over there, but the years have clouded the memories.

Jon and I were the closest in age, so we were natural playmates. From climbing on the roof to epic baseball games in the backyard trying not to get caught climbing the fences to retrieve the ball from the neighbor's yards, games of fumble-bumble (a football game we made up), knee hockey in the basement, and street hockey games at all hours of the night. I am pretty sure we always made Aaron be the goalie...sorry about that, AJ! Fishing trips with Uncle Lynn to the river...who could forget the frogs we caught and named them all "Joe Heckburg". I have fond memories of their house on MacDonald Drive. The crawl space, the tree in the back yard that was 3rd base, climbing the trees in the front yard and listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller album on the record player in the living room.

It's been a few years, but those memories are still as fresh as ever.

Rick Springfield of 1980's pop music fame had a song called "Me and Johnny"...every once in a while it finds it's way to my MP3 player's now playing when I hit shuffle. Here are some lyrics...

Lookin' back I'd say we broke a few rules
Left one or two hearts in a ruin
Spent all that precious time doin'
Things we figured that Presley might have done

Stole a few cars, never got caught
Started some fights in the scrimmage
We got caught up in the image
Of playing young rebels by the handbook
Looking back I guess we had some attitude
We were gonna be hard and tough

Me and Johnny
We're gonna play tonight
It's gonna be alright
We're gonna shine

I think of the Doctor when I hear that song...and 1000's of times in between those times.

May 29 is his birthday...out of all my friends and cousins, that's the only person's birthday I have memorized.

Happy Birthday, Dr. S.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I'm a son of a gun...fighter.

If you know my dad, you know he was born 150 years to late.

He would ride a horse to work if they had a hitchin' post at the bank. In fact, when he retires he is going to ride his horse across South Dakota.

He still ropes some calves and team ropes now and then, but during the winter that season slows down, so this winter he started participating in Cowboy Fast Draw Competitions. He built a target and backstop in the garage and shoots his .45 Ruger as shown in the picture to the right with cousin Scott. He has only shot himself in the leg once...just a flesh wound. Gunfighters are a tough breed.

This video shows some guys doing this at some big thing in Idaho. Not the greatest video, but they are shooting at 2' diameter circles with a light that tells them when to draw.

So anyway last Sunday my dad had a shoot in Mitchell and he did really well. All of his draws were under a half a second, which is really good. He ended up getting 3rd place...which means he's the 3rd Fastest Gun In The Mitchell Region, or it means in a gun fight he would have been the 2nd to last guy to die!

We joke about his new hobby quite a bit, when we wrestle in the living room (yeah we still wrestle like we did when I was a kid) he always says, "Hey, easy that's my shooting arm!".

So to give my dad something to strive for I post the below video as something to aspire to. This guy takes out 5 targets in the time it would take me draw and shoot once! I think it's cool, my wife thinks my dad is crazy...look what she has to look forward to!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Little Vacation From Typing.

Sorry, that was a long pause between posts, and apparently it didn't go unnoticed...Verlie the Great ran me down on Sunday, almost in tears, asking why I wasn't writing anymore. So I promised him the blog would go on.

We have been very busy getting things ready for "opening day" weekend. Memorial is the true kick off for most northern lake dwelling folks (so we are told), and we have 13 people coming to the house on Wednesday. Bad new is...the weather according to KELO-LAME is supposed to be rotten, oh well.

The boat house looks super, new paint, mom's old kitchen cabinets, and some's a place I like to hang's like a screened in porch on the water.

I'm ready for can just feel the fun of summer getting ready to explode...especially when you talk to people who have kids in school or teach school. The last week is like a formality to satisfy G.W. Bush's master that no child is left behind.

I remember how end of the year field trips rocked, but I saw the most pointless field trip yesterday...the teacher took them to might have this problem with American kids not knowing how a retail store works. Those might be the children that are left behind.

I think we should just cancel the last week of school, the teachers don't want to be there, the kids don't want to be there...just end school a week earlier. But then again the new last week of school would be just like the current last week of school. Catch 22.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Noah's Update 2.0

So it's not going to be as bad as the Governor first told us on Saturday night...I almost cancelled my trip to Montana because of the gloom and doom he was forecasting. The scientist at the USGS calmed he and his staff, by saying that the James River had crested at 17.9 feet. The picture to the left shows the river at it's highest point. The 3rd Street Dam is somewhere under about 8 feet of water.

Then again as I say "not going to be as bad"...I think...tell that to the folks in Aberdeen.

Lake Byron looks so big right now because of the added water volume, it's pretty impressive.

The lake went down 4 inches's down about 6 from it's highest point, but not enough to use this picinic bench.

Finally today I leave you with another successful parenting moment. We only wanted boys so we would have someone to mow the lawn. Last night the 2 little weasels started on the lawn...Brecken would pull the grass out of the ground and give it to Maxim, then he would put it into the bag while making engine sounds. At this rate the yard should be done by the time I get back from Montana.

It is a beautiful day in the mountains bad I have to work. I wonder if United Airlines will let me "carry on" my mountain bike next time?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Noah's Report

Would anyone know the number of a good canoe builder? I might have to load Steph, the boys and our dogs, 2 by 2, on to the thing if we get any more rain.

Since Friday night there are reports of up to a foot of rain in some places along the James River Valley in South Dakota.

We got about 7" on Friday night at Lake Byron. People all over the area are cleaning basements out, and buying every Shop-Vac in a 8 county region.

The lake, which is up 2.5 feet since we moved in back in August, came up another foot early Saturday morning...along with a day of 30 mph winds our permanent dock got a great wash off, and we were pretty happy with how things were going.

Then Sunday morning, when we woke up we heard this constant, bong, bong, bong, I walked out on the deck and looked down at the water, and behold, we inherited a pontoon boat. The bad news was that the waves were throwing the boat on top of our dock and breaking it apart. (the pictures above shows the damage, and our neighbor and his kid looking at the "wacked up boards" as his son Cody put it) In 10 minutes 3 neighbors had identified the pontoon as a neighbors from the south side of the lake.

We jumped in, found the keys in the glove box (only in South Dakota) and waited for some waves and a couple of pushes off the dock and our piers by the deckhands, and the boat was freed.

So me and the neighbor went for a 7Am pontoon ride on Sunday morning, to help the lost boat find it's way home. The owner met us at his house, and we ended up loading the pontoon and his boat on the trailers. He said, "enjoy your new dock that my insurance company will put in for you." Ahh, insurance companies, I love working with them, or getting worked by them.

Sunday night we took a tour of the area to see the water are some pictures.

This is the boat launch on the south side...if you click on the picture you will be able to see the mooring posts that hold the dock in place...right now the dock is about 2 foot under water.

This is the Dave Gross' farm. The house was dry, but the feedlot looked more like a swimming pool. Dave also has a place on the lake, and his dock suffered a little damage as well.

This was the scene in the back of the Expedition during the tour of the country side...Maxim was completely excited about driving around looking at the water, as you can tell. Brecken, as usual, just happy to be along.

This is "Hog's Back" on the east side of the lake, if you are familiar with the lake, you probably don't recognize it at all...funny how some water changes the look of the land.
Over all we were pretty fortunate, no tornadoes, no flooding, yet. Just some busted up dock and a bunch of drifting garbage that found it's way to our dock and boat lift. Oh yeah...if you look closely at the picture of our dock you can see a 40 foot utility pole...that will be brought up to the front parking area of our house and will serve as our "parking bumper". So I guess we did get some good things out of the storm. Maxim was also excited about the dead bullhead that washed up on our dock. Living on Liquid is soooooo exciting.
And just think about a week ago I was running out of things to blog about, and was thinking about shutting down the blog for a while, or anyone beside Skipper, Verlie and Grandpa Roger would know. Last thing, becuase of the rain, Steph's dishwasher is hooked up and running, and the fridge is plugged into it's own outlet, not by an extension cord running to the bathroom.
Progress, little by little.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Montana Tourisim Council

A buddy of mine from Missoula sent me this today.
Montana life long residents love their state to death, and hate...let me spell that...H-A-T-E...the fact that people in California and other West Coast states come into town and buy up land, houses and resorts for top dollar because they need a break from the smog and the big city.
So when they see another article in National Geographic Adventure, Transworld Snowboarding, Outside Magazine or any other publication they cringe a little bit. They fear Clark Griswold will pack up the family RV and crowd their town for a glimpse of mountain, river and wildlife majesty.
They are a bit jealous about sharing their state, kind of like when you see Minnesota or Missouri license plates on another yellow H2 parked in front of field in the middle of South Dakota during the opening week of pheasant season.
I am sure Montana Gov. Brian "Bolo Tie" Schweitzer would not approve of the "campaign", but most of the Montana locals I work with feel at times like putting up a fence around the least on the west and south side of the state.
I am headed back to Montana next fact in the next 3 months I will spend about 40 days in Montana and Idaho...I think that gets me an "honorary citizen" pass for 2007 anyway.
If you want more reason to head to the mountain state, check out some pictures from an acquaintance of mine through work and pheasant hunting.
I have a "man crush" on Tony's abilities with a camera, and his overall job for that matter. He gets to travel all over taking pictures of active lifestyle kind of gig. You will realize why Montana citizens want the whole state to themselves after drooling over some of his pictures.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Learn To Play The Drums With Your Fingers.

You never know what you will get from the Living On Liquid blog site.

Today's post is a video that came to me from a friend who shares my love of playing the drums and congas.

At first I was like you have to be kidding me, this is ridiculous...then he busts out this crazy rudiment, that I couldn't play with 4 arms and 6 legs!

If I only I had a Creative Keyboard..."THIS IS ROCK AND ROLL".

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Butter Effect.

2 years ago BFY Productions put out a wakeboard film called The Butter Effect. In the world of skiing and wakeboarding "butter" is also known as "glass". When the conditions are winds, no is some of the most fun you can have on a wakeboard no matter how good or bad you are.

To snow skiers, it's 8 inches of fresh powder, to surfers it's a clean double overhead, to walleye fishermen I'm told it's a nice little chop in the water, to a hockey player it is freshly Zambonied ice...those perfect days and conditions for doing what you love.

Well, yesterday was a typical Monday, too much work to be done in too little fact, while walking through the hallway I actually thought about pulling a fire alarm so I could bail. I actually get that temptation almost every time I see a pull-type fire alarm, but that is another story, and my therapist won't allow me to blog about it yet.

So around 4:50 my wife says, "Hey babe when are you coming home? Just wanted to let you know I looked at the lake and it's butter."

This is where the Butter Effect kicks in...I forget all my worries and stresses of the job, and I find new life on a Monday. I got home in 15 minutes and was on the lake 7 minutes later. After a nice session in some pretty cold water the rest of the day was spent in the yard watching the boys play on the swing set, trampoline and riding bikes...pretty easy to forget about the Monday with a life like this.

It made me think, so many people don't have a "Butter Effect". That's probably why we have so much crap going on in the world.
What gets you off the couch, out of the cage you call an office and enjoying "God's Playground" as a great friend of ours would call it golf, biking, walks, fishing, hunting, grand kids messing up your house and eating all your cookies?

Teva sport sandals has a slogan to help sell sandals to people with a mind like Steph and mine...