Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Our family loves the Discovery Channel...last Saturday with all the snow on the ground, we watched a few of our favorite shows...Man vs. Wild, Planet Earth, and a little bit of Dirty Jobs.
We noticed that Discovery rolled out a new commercial set to the "Boom De Odda" song, and pretty soon we were singing along, then making up our own words.
Maxim loves the part where the native tribal man comes up to the camera and yells, "BOOM DEE ODDDDDAAAA!" Sunday in church Maxim went up to on of the older people and yelled that. The older non-Discovery-watching gentleman said, "He sounds like a native!" I thought, "Well, that's what he was going for!"
Here are the lyrics and the spot:
I love the mountains,I love the clear blue skies,
I love big bridges,I love when great whites fly
I love the whole world,And all its sights and sounds,
Boom dee odda, boom dee odda,
Boom dee odda, boom dee odda
I love the oceans,I love real dirty things,
I love to go fast,I love Egyptian kings,
I love the whole world,And all its craziness.
Boom dee odda,...
I love tornadoes,I love arachnids,
I love hot magma,I love the giant squids,
I love the whole world,It's such a brilliant place,
Boom dee odda, boom dee odda, ...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Do you believe in Miracles?

I was 7 in 1980 when Team USA beat the Russians at the Miracle on Ice...it meant the world to me as a Squirt-level hockey player and still brings in emotions as I see replays.

I really didn't understand the political implications involved in the era, all I knew is that we were the best in the world, and guys like Mike Eruzione, Rob McClananhan, Dave Silk and Jim Craig were regular guys that pulled off the unbelievable.

I wanted to play in the Olympics for Team USA...as did every kid on skates in the early 80's. My dream to skate on Olympic ice would sit dormant for over 20 years.

Hockey has been over for about a month and a half now. I haven't been on skates since about a 3 weeks ago, but later this week I will be on the ice at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as a hockey official.

It is part of a USA Hockey Officials training camp where we are treated as Olympic athletes and stay on campus right there with all the real athletes, eat meals with them, use their gym, classrooms and facilities. I'm not even 100% sure all that will go into it, but it should be a pretty cool experience.

There are 2 other guys from S.D. that are going, and that will be nice as they are guys I have worked with for years.

I have been staying in shape for this, but really there is nothing you can do to be in "hockey shape". I have been running 3 miles a day and lifting harder than I have in years, and the pay off is showing. My dress pants are starting to hang again...that hasn't happened since 2002.

I just know that no matter how in shape cardio-wise I am, on Thursday night, right there on the Olympic Training Center ice surface I will be hacking up my lungs and fighting for breath. But that's what you get for trying to be a 35 year old Olympic level referee...realistically, I mean just the best college/high school hockey ref I can be.

"Do you believe in miracles???"

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Syrians Are Gonna BLOW...according to the Wagner Post

Jay Leno has his Headlines skit where he shows funny stuff from papers...I thinking about sending this one in!

It seems the Syrians in Wagner are gonna blow...that's funny because I didn't know we had a large population of Syrians in South Dakota.

The Wagner Post...just a step below your local High School newspaper...and for the record I guarantee Ron Gall didn't write the text!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day.

I have always been a bit of a tree hugger...I think I got it from my dad.

Steph and I will pass that love and respect the outdoors, wilderness and being in tune with nature, to our boys. I think it is already working.

I told you about the tree we had to cut down in the yard because it was growing into the overhead power lines and causing a general mess. Well, it was sitting on the trailer waiting to be hauled away, and last week Steph saw Maxim laying on the huge tree stump that was on the trailer. She didn't think much of it, until a while later she saw him hugging it, so she yelled outside to him to see if he was alright. He responded to her, "Yeah mom...I'm just saying goodbye to the tree."

It made us proud to think that he already has a respect for his surroundings.

With the price of gas, electricity, propane and all other energy products it has become pretty fashionable to be "green-minded", but actually being "green" is not always fashionable. Smaller cars, or biking to work, recycling, weatherizing your home, using energy smart products is all a challenge, but worth it.

A friend of mine was featured in the paper again for Earth Day...you can read his story here....or read his blog by following the link to Minus Car Project located on the right sidebar of this page.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Skipper & Verlie should be proud.

This weekend was my wife's favorite kind of weekend...I was home with nothing on my schedule, and she has a list a mile long of things for me to do.

She was a taskmaster, and didn't stop handing our chores or doing her list of things to accomplish until the sun set. I think I mentioned before that we have been watching that show Ax Men on the History Channel, and it must have rubbed off on her, because she demolished all the undergrowth on our hill. Between her clear cutting, and my leftover logs from the evergreen we cut down, we had a huge pile of lumber on the trailer.

The boys got 4 baths in 3 days this weekend, so you know they were happy. Maxim even parted ways with his training wheels on his bike this weekend. He's got scrapes on his feet and knees to prove it.

Just so Skipper and Verlie know I earned my keep around here this weekend, and had time to clean up the boat...only to climb on a plane Monday morning headed West.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Using GPS on commercial airplanes.

So I picked up a Garmin NuVi a few weeks ago for all my travels, and so Steph never has to open a map again to help me find my way around a city...and I love it.

On the way to Montana on Tuesday I was playing with it on the airplane and it picks up the satellites and starts calculating how long it would take to get to Denver in a straight line!

I wasn't sure if it is approved electronics on a commercial airline, so I felt like an 8th grader...later to find out it is ok with most non-signal emmitting units.

So now instead of wondering how much longer I have on flights I can boot up my GPS and I will know right away. The other cool thing is that the Garmin also measures traveling, average, maximum speed and altitude. My max speed was 114mph, but now my max speed is locked in at 454 mph! (Don't ask how I got the max speed to 114mph in the first place!)

I think I will turn it on again tonight on the company jet...that thing goes like 500 something!


I went on this horse pictures kick last week for some reason...here is one of them.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Birthday Boy.

This picture pretty much sums it up.

Brecken the Cowboy.

He turned 2 on Sunday, had a nice small party. Grandpa brought out some horses again and Breck was in heaven...all his favorites...horses, mud, trampoline, his chaps, boots and hat, and some frosting from his cake. He is a 2 year old.

Another barn.

This is another barn that caught my eye in the middle of the snow storm this weekend.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Today's picture was a quick shot on our deck. Steph put her super bright plastic chairs on the deck last week, when it was spring.

Today...not so "Springy" out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday's Picture.

This was an old barn that caught my eye on H-way 77 in Northern Nebraska...took this on Tuesday on my way to Lincoln.

Picture a day.

I have long been a big fan of photography. In college I even dabbled with the thought of still photography as a career.

Jim Brandenburg has been one of my favorite nature photographers ever since I learned who he was. When I was working in TV I was lucky enough to be one of the first journalists to go through his exhibit hall in Luverne, MN. I think his quote to me...something to the effect, "if you can make the Prairie look beautiful in a picture, you can make anything look beautiful." was a challenge to my creative side to try to look around my everyday situation for those beautiful moments.

Brandenburg did this experiment in photography before the boom of digital photography where he took one picture a day for 90 days in the summer in Northern Minnesota. You can view the pictures here.

I have always thought that would be a cool challenge, but I don't have a whole summer to devote to taking 1 shot a day, so I will post a picture a day to my blog. Some will be good, some average, some will be pictures I have taken in the past, some will be as recent as yesterday. Hope you enjoy.

I will post them as I have time, so you might get a couple days in one shot.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Lake Is Open.

On Saturday night Grandpa Bob brought 3 horses out to the lake so Brecken, Maxim, Cowboy Bob and I could go on a long ride. We rode about 2 miles and the last part of it was along the lake.

Dad asked me if you could still walk on the lake and I had heard that it was still 6 or 8 inches thick so I said yes.

12 hours later you would have to be a bit more divine than I will ever be to walk on the lake, as 2/3 of the lake was open water. By Sunday evening the whole thing was open, and Steph and I were celebrating Spring.

Then Sunday night it snowed.

I need to remind myself I'm in South Dakota.

Friday, April 04, 2008

James Valley's Promo Video.

Here is James Valley's new promo video...you might recognize at least one of the kids in the video of the pre-school.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Price Of Everything Is Going Up....

This morning on National Public Radio they did their usual economy news. Which is pretty bleak, millions of foreclosures are fore-casted for 2008, the price of gas predicted to go up to $4 a gallon, milk prices, cereal grain prices...etc.

$4 gas is not even a drop in the bucket for what you are about to read...when we were in Phoenix we stopped at a pet store in a mall because they had Whippets, and I totally want one...in about 10 years.

Puppies are crazy expensive in Arizona. A simple black lab puppy, that you have no idea if the parents were field tested or "his daddy was a great duck dog" type statements to back up what kind of dog you are buying, will cost you $2,500! We saw a couple breeds that went for as much as $4,000.

About the same price, with insurance, it takes to have a kid. Not to mention in Arizona you have to buy all sorts of doggy accessories, like diamond necklaces, sweaters and special bowls and a carrying purse if you have a small dog.

I wonder what most Arizona dog owners would think of South Dakota classified advertising for dogs. FOR $200 I CAN GET A FIELD CHAMPION POINTER OR A LAB THAT WILL BE SMARTER THAN A FENCE POST! Where do we sign up?

I have to think the dog ownership in Arizona is behind that of the average Midwest town.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools...

I have to admit that I have some tricks up my sleeve for today. I really like April Fools Day, I think I got the love of practical joking from my Uncle Skip.

He was on us all the time with jokes and pranks, but I think I got him the best, and he has never quite topped the day I put his newer, sharp looking pick-up for sale.

When he lived in South Dakota he was a foreman at a plant and got a good parking spot right in the front of the building, so everyone walked by his truck in the morning. He had people coming up to him all day asking why he was selling his pick-up for such a low price. He'd ask them what they were talking about and tell them his truck wasn't for sale.

It was one of the best jokes I ever pulled on him and it only cost me $4 and a little lost sleep.

Skipper was good about it, and promised revenge...so I waited, and waited and waited. I was always on the lookout for his next prank, but it never came. Finally, I asked him if he was going to pull a revenge prank on me and his answer was, "I just did, you have been so nervous waiting for me to get back at you why did I need to!"

He did the same thing about 4 months ago...he was in town for something and came out to our house to eat...I was late getting ready and knew he would be there at any time so as I was in the shower, I was completely insane thinking every noise I heard was Skipper coming in with a bucket of cold water. He didn't do anything! Which was a better prank than if he would have.