Friday, May 30, 2008

42 mile bike to work.

Living On Liquid guest columnist "Cousin Brent" submitted this video post about a guy that bikes 42 miles to work each day.


Yes, he saved $400 in gas, but from experience....he probably ate about $200 more to fuel the machine that pedals his bike.

My motto lately...BIKE BIG, EAT BIG...

Thanks Brent.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kayaking Byron.

I have pirated our neighbor's kayaks. I planned on returning them on Sunday when I borrowed them, but it is almost easier to keep them in our boat house, because I have been using them more than they do.

Last night Steph, the boys and I kayaked for about 2 hours...3.5 miles to be exact...using my mapping tool. It was somewhat chilly, but we had hats and long sleeves, and when the wind died down it was perfect.

Kayaking is so different than what we usually use the lake for. A more organic experience, you see things you would have never seen before. We scared a fox up the shoreline...Maxim got to see him running over the rocks as he ran away from us. He didn't know they were more orange than red.

The highlight of the night was when we found his Dora The Explorer ball washed up on shore about 2 miles from our house. It had blown off the dock late last fall and we had no chance of retrieving it. We rescued it from the rocky shore and he stowed it away in the hull of the kayak...somewhere there is still a basketball of ours out there too...we will try to find that on another adventure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I was wrong on my facts...

I know...details are important when you are writing a story. So I have to admit that I inadvertently lengthened the bike ride distances traveled from last week, as was correctly brought to my attention.

A year or so ago I used the Subaru trip-ometer to figure out the distance between the office and home. It came up at 18 miles, the problem was that I zeroed it out at the gas station D&S Mini-mart. Which is about a half a mile from my office.

So to keep things legit on my website, I did not complete an 18 mile ride 2 different times last week...they were only mere 17.59 mile rides. I did not want to lead anyone astray. (Of course I post this with the utmost humor, funny story telling, and good intentions for the 3 people involved in this story, you know whom you all are!)

To attain my goal of riding my bike 18 miles to work I will, from now on, continue south on Dakota Ave. to the Donut Shoppe, grab 2 cream filled chocolate long johns and a Mountain Dew, then return to the office, making it a true 18 mile ride. But then again the trips to the Donut Shoppe is the reason I need to ride my bike in the first place.

Here is the map for documentation

Memorial Weekend Repeat.

Anyone remember last year' s Memorial Day Weekend weather? From what I remember, we got an exact repeat this year...but with a bonus 15 degree increase in temperatures on Sunday.

We spent Friday and Saturday in Sioux Falls with friends. Saturday morning we were planning to head to Newton Hills for a good mountain bike session, but we got rained out. Riding Newton after a rain is a muddy the point where your forks build up with mud and it feels like your are riding your brakes all the time. We ate raspberry and blueberry crepe's and sipped gourmet coffee instead.

On the way home we detoured north to Brookings to see Cooper, the newest addition to Dr. Schneider's family. Everyone was sleeping so we just looked at him through the glass, like we were watching him play dawned on me that I should pound on the glass and yell, "Cooper, Cooper!" (Like the NHL commercial) but I didn't want to get thrown out of a hospital again.

Sunday was the day...I think I put 4 miles on the kayak and I have the life jacket sunburn to prove it. We worked around the yard and played outside all day Monday. I knew the boys had a good day when around 9:45 pm, by his own will, Maxim climbed into bed, then called us in to pray with him so he could go to sleep.

Maybe we can boost the temperatures to the high 60's this weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Biking to work...

If you have visited my friend over at Minus Car Project you know his dedication to riding his bike all the time, to reduce his carbon foot print and save the Earth. I have those same tendencies, but it is hard not to rely on a car when you choose to live 15 miles from town. However, 2 days this week I have biked to work. 18 miles door to door.

Don't go thinking I am going to drive my bike full time, but I will make a conscience effort to bike to town if Steph and the boys are also coming in that day. I'm not doing it to save money on gas, or so much to reduce my carbon footprint, those are just nice things that go along with it. I am more doing it to help recycle. Recycle some clothes that didn't fit about 5 months ago that is.

I have been running 3 miles 5 times a week and lifting 5 to 6 times a week for over 3 months now, and I read something the other day about shocking your body through new additions to your work outs.

Believe me, my body was shocked this morning. At mile 14 I hit a wall, and it was time to go to my happy place and just pedal. I sat in the hot tub at the office for about 10 minutes before I showered...that was the pay off.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jay Leno Headlines

I want to say I was tempted to send to Jay Leno's Headlines the "Syrians will blow" advert the Wagner paper ran a week or so ago. I didn't send it, but somebody did.

Living On Liquid readers have informed me that Jay did indeed run the advert on his "Headlines" segement last night. It garnered a good laugh from the crowd as well.

Here it is again in case you missed it the first time, and on Leno last night.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Guilty Pleasures On My MP3 Player...

I learned something about myself today...I have guilty pleasures right there on my MP3 player.

Guilty pleasures in my circle of friends would be described as something that you like, but don't tell your buddies about it. Be it figure skating, home decorating, flower planting, Celine Dion's music, any movie with Julia Roberts or Hugh get the picture. Basically un-manly things. (For the record the above named things were simply examples and do not reflect my guilty pleasures in any way, shape or form. With the exception of figure skating during Olympic years)

So during a lull in a meeting today somebody mentioned that they couldn't get this Brittney Spears song out of their head today. When interrogated about the lingering tune, it turns out that this person has 2 albums of Brit on HIS (yes...HIS) iPod.
So it was "come to Jesus time" and around the room we went giving our "guilty pleasures of music" that is loaded on our MP3 players. A couple of folks had 'NSync, and an over 60 lady had 98 degrees and Color Me Badd! Some other notables...The Chipmunks, Boy George and Milli Vannilli.

It came to me, and I had to actually think pretty hard about the music that would get me ridiculed in a hockey locker room. I came up with Pink, the Dixie Chicks and Vanilla Ice's "Extremely Live" album. The last one of the 3 made me the butt of every ensuing joke for the meeting. So as soon as I got done with the meeting I deleted every Van-Ice song from my MP3 player.
It wasn't a peer pressure thing, I just don't want aliens to find me someday running around the lake listening to "Ice, Ice, Baby". Pretty sure any chance I had of being abducted, taken on a space voyage and then returned to Earth to write a book about it would be shattered if they thought Earthlings listened to that kind of musical junk. I would much rather have them find me listening to Johnny Cash or mewithoutYou. I think they would think I was smarter than most that way.
I kept Pink and the Dixie Chicks on the player, because of their musical talent and vocal range. I think the aliens would agree with me on that in theory anyway.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Screaming + Puking = Lots Of Coffee

Last night was one of those nights where you kind of wish you slept so hard you don't hear a thing. Unfortunately for me, I hear everything.

Brecken started the night off right At about 1:30 am he wakes up screaming...not any words, not light cries of need for his mommy...straight horror movie-type screams. 5 minutes later he is still screaming so Steph goes to get him and the screaming ensues for another half hour. Finally he settles down. I'm back to sleep.

2:30 am I hear the pitter-patter of Maxim's feet...then those words that test every parents athletic ability. "Mommy, I'm gonna throw up." Steph picks him up like a football avoids the pile of clothes and my gym bag that I leave lying around, and runs him into the bathroom...spiking his head in the toilet like a running back celebrating a touchdown just in time for the full puke in the bowl. (ESPN's da-da-daa...da-da-daa was playing in the background as this is a Top 10 play of the night)

Brecken was still in our bed from his scream-a-thon, so Maxim wanted to go back to his own bed. So Steph sets up his room for the full barf on the bed or floor experience, equipped with a garbage can, just in case his 5 year old mind thinks..."Hey, I'll save the carpet some wear and tear by puking into this trash receptacle." Yeah, right.

Brecken gets put back into his own bed around 3:00 am, and I fall back to sleep...3:30 am another pitter-patter and the unforgettable sound of "chicken noodle puke" hitting the carpet. Steph tended to the boy, I cleaned. At 4:30 am I was using Resolve and our carpet spot remover vacuum to clean up the evidence. I am sure I set a new standard for cleaning up crime scenes, but I can't stand the thought of germs.

After my Martha Stewart moment, I was wide awake, so I pulled a blanket and pillow and watched a re-run of WEC Wreckage cage fighting on Versus. I think I slept 2 hours on the couch. I'm on my 3rd cup of coffee this morning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2 milestones this morning...

This morning was an exciting one in Living On Liquid history.

Brecken woke up with a dry diaper and wanted to get on the potty. So Steph hustled him in and sat him down. About 2 minutes later he did his job, we celebrated, took some pictures (of Brecken, not the toilet) and helped him flush it down. 10 seconds later he finished his job on the bathroom floor, I have no idea how a body that little can hold so much pee. I let Steph clean it up.

Also today is Maxim's last day of PreK. I told him he is getting to be a pretty big boy and that next year he will be really big and in Kindergarten. He informed me that you are not big until you lose a tooth, and that most dinosaurs were herbivores. Random thoughts, but pretty spot on for the transition he is making from pre-schooler to school-boy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things A Grown Man Should Never Have

I read Men's Health because the writing is witty and sharp. The last issue had a story called "Things a grown man should never have"...thought it was funny so here it is...can you think of anything else to add to the list.

1. A black eye. Unless the rim hits your face mid-dunk, your peepers should remain unblemished. You're smart enough to talk your way out of any fight you're going to lose. (haven't had one of these since I quit riding...falling off of bulls.)

2. A witty e-mail signature. Quotes and song lyrics should be heard during toasts and karaoke performances, respectively. Don't let your electronic correspondence become the digital version of a motivational poster. (mine is my name and contact info)

3. An empty refrigerator. Your larder should be amply stocked, your pantry provisioned. Always aim to be ready to create an on-the-fly, three-course dinner for her...along with breakfast in bed. (this is basically Steph's job)

4. PlayStation thumb. When they're relaxing, grown men can behave like children. But if you devolve long enough to cause calluses or button-shaped bruises, you're assuredly missing out on life. (I do play, but only with Maxim and never enough to get college I did)

5. A key chain with a bottle opener. This bauble is both a gauche reminder of your college days and proof that you don't know how to apply leverage using available, impromptu bottle openers: a lighter, the back end of a fork, this magazine. (A co-worker of mine has a metal shark on his chain that doubles as a opener...I thought it was cheesy before I read this)

6. A lucky shirt. Every shirt is lucky when worn by a man who knows that the harder he works the luckier he'll be. (I have about 3 lucky shirts, I will continue to wear them too)

7. An unstamped passport. (Mine is stamped, but also now expired)

8. Olympic dreams. Exceptions: curling and archery. (Did I tell you what I did 2 weeks ago...guess I still have Olympic Dreams)

9. Less than $20 in his wallet. Fiduciary nudity is negligence. A real man should always carry a business card and enough dough to pick up coffee, bagels, and the Sunday paper without whipping out the plastic. (I never have cash...that's what Steph's purse if for)

10. The need to quote The Big Lebowski/ Caddyshack/Superbad. Reciting someone else's lines reminds people that you haven't the wit to write your own. (Guilty...on occasion)

11. A futon. Beds are for sleeping. (We got rid of our a long time ago)

12. Code words for ugly women. Actually, code words for anything. (can't say I do)

13. A Nerf hoop in his living room. Keep the adolescent accouterments where they belong: in the rec room or above the wastebasket in someone else's office. (Brecken would tear it down anyway)

14. A secret handshake. (Steph and I have one, Maxim and I have one, Dad and I have one...)

15. Drinking glasses with logos. Especially those kitschy McDonald's Hamburglar ones. (Do plastic Cubs, Coyotes and Twins cups count?)

16. A recent story with the phrase "So I said to the cop..." (Kind of tough not to have a story like this when you live right next door to cops.)

So I am holding on to some childish things...what can I say, I'm a kid at heart.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What Superhero are you???

Maxim is big into Superhero's...he comes by it I am right beside him watching old episodes of Justice League. It helps that every year Marvel Comics makes a new movie out of an old superhero from when I was a kid. Like Iron Man, Batman, X-Men...etc.

He loves Ironman and always wants to be him when we play...I am either Wolverine or Green Lantern, which were and still are my 2 favorites to this day...Aquaman runs a close 3rd, with Spiderman and The Silver Surfer close behind.

A buddy sent me a quiz you can take to find out what superhero you are by answering some personality questions, and it came out that I was Green Lantern, which is weird, because, like I said, I have loved this guy since I was a kid. Maybe I was drawn to GL because of his personality, and I could see myself in him even as a child. Who knows, but it solidified my love of GL, his power ring and his ability to make wise cracks at bad guys while he was battling them to save the world.

My results:

Like GL you are sometimes hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination and charming personality.
You are Green Lantern

Other close matches include:

The Flash


Iron Man

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Family Boating.

Last night, after our assigned work was done, Steph was eager to get the boat in the water...of course, it didn't take me too long to agree.

Perfect water, perfect night. Maxim was excited to make big waves and chase birds, and for Brecken this was basically a first time experience.

He has been in the boat since he was 2 months old, but I don't think he really remembered it, because last night all he could say when we would slow down or stop was, "more, more, more boooot."

Some neighbors on the South side were doing yard work so we stopped to say "hi" and steal some freeze pops. They had a fishing line in the water, so the boys were messing with their minnows.

The best part of last night is when Steph took one for the team. You see, the dock at the boat launch is not in the water yet, so you don't really have anywhere to jump off to go get the trailer without getting wet.

Lucky for me Steph is real handy at backing the boat trailer down and didn't really want to drive the boat onto the trailer. So we floated up to the boat ramp and she jumped into about thigh-high water...pushed us back out and got the trailer. We loaded up and she pulled us out...I did the whole night without getting a drop of water on me above my ankles. She was soaked, freezing and telling me how much of a Prima Donna I am.

Monday, May 05, 2008

This Blog Is Bigger Than The "Huron Metro Area". (Monday's 2nd post)

I hadn't looked at the hit counter at the bottom of this page for a while, and today I did.

Living On Liquid has had 14,000 hits in it's life...that is bigger than the whole "Huron-Metro"...and just in case you are wondering that includes Yale, Wolsey, parts of Pearl Creek Colony, Virgil, Al's Corner, Alpena, Huron Colony, Riverside Colony, Broadland, Lake Byron, Cavour, White's Drive In, Woonsocket, The Levo Larson Watermelon King Compound, Iroquois and everything East of Main Street in Wessington.

(Notice: Hitchcock was annexed to the "Huron-Metro Area" during the ice storm of 2005, but population numbers are not included to Huron's total due to results from a 2006 survey.

The survey found that female shoppers from 25 to 60 years old overwhelmingly found the "Redfield Shopping Experience" supremely more sophisticated, and in tune with today's style than compared to that of Wal-Mart, Runnings and Double "D" Western Tack; all of which are located in Huron's high fashion South End Shopping District.)

4 OT's

I am back from the dead...or I feel like it.

The Olympic Training Center was a great experience and ultimately made me a better hockey official, but they ran us so hard in classroom and ice sessions that I feel like a zombie today...for more reasons than that.

Got back last night around 8:30 pm and played hard with the kids until bedtime, then Steph and I turned on the Stars vs. Sharks playoff game about half way through the 3rd period...the game was still tied up I was happy to see that I would catch the game winner and then go to bed.

Well the game winner happened sometime Monday morning...I fell asleep during the 3rd overtime and woke up to an infomercial.

4 OT's it took these 2 teams to decide a game. The Stars won the game and the series.

The end of the 3rd and, from what I remember, the 1st and 2nd overtime were some of the best periods of hockey I have watched in a while.

It made me look back on the weekend spent with Olympic athletes and us non-Olympic types in the same facility. You looked at these guys in the lunch area and instantly realized there was something different about them...something deeper than perfect bodies and athletic was mental, a deep desire to win, to focus on something and not be satisfied until you get it.

Be it 4 OT's to make it to the next round of the playoffs, or being able to control your heart rate so you can steadily shoot 5 targets after cross-country skiing up hill 10K, I got a small understanding of what it takes to commit to being the best.

Now if I could just push myself a little harder to lose another 20lbs!