Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Not so bad.

Okay, Tuesday night hockey weather wasn't bad after all.  27 degrees is tolerable.  The wind put the chill on a few times, especially skating into it, but I can deal with 27.  The former Purdue players were there, John and John.  One works for Black & Veatch and the other works for Openwave.  Both are good hockey players.  One is small and fast and wears the number 19.  He reminds me of Joe Burton who played for Oklahoma City all those years.  He plays like him, too.

Rolf is in town.  I was playing hockey when he arrived and crashed out.  I'm being intentionally very quiet and not blaring some music, as is typical.  The housekeeper will be here tomorrow. :-)  That means I have packed up any loose laundry into bags for dropping off for the Korean lady to wash and fold. . . so it's out of the housekeeper's way.  They don't do dishes or laundry, and they won't vacuum where clothes are strewn.  They vacuum and dust and scrub all the floors, sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs.  I got the dishes done and the sink clear except for one pan, in which I roasted some chicken earlier.  Mmmm, Chicken Chili!  I ate it all.  I'm going to try Turkey Chili next time and leave out half the beans.  I bought chickens at the market from a farmer who raised them.  Sho' nuff delicious.  Range chicken tastes way better than caged birds from the grocery store.  Fresh is good.

I like the new pizza place, Spin, which opened in Lees Summit (on Chipman).  Apparently, it's a local chain now.  They use fresh ingredients and their thin crust is awesome.  Yeah, I went way off the diet just to try it.  I wonder if the location in Overland Park is as good.  They sent me this email and some login credentials for their online frequent flyer program.  (My emphasis in red.)

Dear Charles,

Welcome to the SPIN! Club!
We're so happy you joined your fellow SPIN! Pizza lovers. As a member you can earn many rewards including:  
  • Every 13th pizza free (same with salads, sandwiches and flatbreads)
  • $5 gift voucher every $120 you spend
  • Monday Carry-Out Special (buy 2 or more pizzas, get one free)
  • Free Gelato every 6th visit
  • Seasonal Promotions


Thanks for being a SPIN! Club Member.  We try to give you great benefits with as little hassle for you as possible.
We hope you are taking full advantage of your SPIN! Club Membership. Sometimesour hosts get busy and forget to ask if you are a member. Remember, you do NOT need your number in the restaurant, only to access your record online. All you need to do is give us your name and we'll take care of the rest.
Ci Vediamo (See you soon!)
Your friends at SPIN!
SPIN Neapolitan Pizza | 6541 W. 119th Street | Overland Park | KS | 66209

Monday, February 25, 2008

More snow?

It really is snowing again?  This winter is unrelenting with the snow!  Just when it is nearly all melted, it snows again.  I knew the weather would go bad again for Tuesday night hockey.  It's been really cold out there some nights with single digit temps and below zero wind chill factors.  Someone took pictures of us at the outdoor rink (and warming up by the fire between periods), so here they are:

You know it's time to pause and warm up when there's frozen sweat on your jersey and frozen snot on your mustache (flavor saver flavorsicle, a snack for later).  After you start sweating in those temperatures, steam is rising from all your sweaty areas.  Every breath leaves a trail of steam.  By the end of the game you can't feel your ears, feet, or face.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


The workouts (and eating 5 or 6 meals a day) are paying off.  17" arms, going on 18.  Each week, I'm doing two back workouts, a shoulder day, a chest day, an arm day, and two leg workouts a week, plus ice hockey two nights.  I'm stronger and faster, and it feels great.  I'm not trying to become a neckhead, but the idea of entering a natural bodybuilding competition in a couple of years is not out of the question.

The downside is that my clothes don't fit.  My shirts are tight through the chest and in the sleeves.  In fact, my thighs are getting so hard, I only have a few pairs of pants that still fit.  When I was in Chicago the first week of the month, I had a massive blowout  when bending down to read a label on a cable under a desk.  I had destroyed my favorite slacks.  Luckily, this happened at the end of the day.  Luckily, I had a long overcoat to put on.  Additionally, my favorite jeans now have a hole in the crotch.  My last pair of unripped jeans no longer fit comfortably, and if I put them on, I can't get anything into the pockets.  Another pair of slacks has a nice hole in the outseam right below the pocket.  This rip developed when I put my cell phone in my pants pocket and stepped up into the Jeep.   I also ripped the stitches out of the inner thigh of my formerly loose workout pants.  These days, it appears that I'll have to buy 38 inch pants, even though my waist is 34, because they're the only ones that fit in the thigh or through the hips with enough room for a Castanza wallet and Smartphone in the pockets.  Or I need to splurge for some tailor made stuff.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Michigan. . . in winter. . . not fun

Today, too many things went wrong and I missed my return flight to KC out of Detroit and I had to move my return flight to tomorrow.  I quickly booked a hotel using my laptop and phone-as-modem from the airport.  Too bad I had already returned the rental car.  Consequently, I ended up tagging along with some flight attendant types on the hotel shuttle to a local "bar and grille" called Wheat 'n' Rye for some massive sandwich called Superbird, which turned out to be a chopped chicken hoagie with an entire salad on top served with a single serving size plastic packet of thousand island dressing for the exhorbitant price of $6.75.  One of the swishier flight steward types told tale of how they'd order that, scrape half the chicken into a styro go box, put it in the crash pad fridge, and make sandwiches out of it for the next couple of meals.  After working through lunch in hopes of actually making my flight, I needed massive food.  In retrospect, I would have prioritized my day differently.  It was just too much work for one person in one day, really, even skipping meals.  I should have hit the important items and headed out an hour or so sooner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Google Image Labeler OR It's Like Crack

I watched UFC 81 tonight, which was waiting on Rich & Lisa's DVR since Saturday night.  I was out celebrating Tricia's birthday with a group of her friends, and her man Garrett.  I dragged them to the jazz club, where we stayed until 5 AM or so.  Will I never learn?  I was dragging the next day.  We lost our hockey game Sunday, and I was victim to some cheap shots by their defense men in front of their net.  When the ref did call something, they would try to instigate something to get a retaliation to try and get a matching penalty.  Very cheap, especially when they were winning.

My latest addiction is the Google Image Labeler.  It's so random and engaging, it's usually more exciting than actually doing my work.  http://images.google.com/imagelabeler/  Try it.  It's like a combination of Taboo, $10,000 Pyramid, and a Rorschach inkblot test, but with random web images.  It pairs you up with a partner for two minutes and you start entering keywords to describe the image which appears.  Previously chosen keywords are off limits. When you and your partner have both entered a matching keyword, it goes to the next image and you are awarded points based on the relevance and quality of the keyword.  If you run out of ideas, you can click "pass" and go to the next image.  If you sign into Google, it will keep a running tally of your points.  I'm embarrassed to say how many points I have.  Think 7 digits.  You start with the obvious.  If it's a picture of people, you just type people.  If there are words in the picture, you can type the words.  If the image is from a movie, the word movie or show generally matches up with your partner.  My problem is recognizing celebrities and older models of cars.  I'm sure someone on the other end who has entered 11 keywords is screaming at me when I'm clicking the "pass" button and waiting for them to do the same when it's somebody obvious.  I just don't read People or watch E!  Sorry.  And I don't read Car and Driver, either.