Saturday, July 23, 2011

I am Norwegian and I am sad

To the four people who read this blog, I'm sure you don't read it for news.  If you did, you would probably not know that we're at war or that the Arab Spring happened.  So I'm sure people know about the tragedy in Norway.  Currently the death toll stands at  92, with over 80 of those being children gunned down at a summer camp by a guy dressed as a police officer.  Now I have plenty of thoughts about the fact that because this guy is white, no one seems to be calling him a terrorist, but I'll save that for later. 

Now I'd just like to say that this day is probably akin to 9/11 in Norway, except there won't be tons of Americans waving Norwegian flags or leaving flowers and posters at embassies and consulates.  And that saddens me.  As we approach the 10th anniversary of a terrible day in our history, where the world stood with us and we are so insulated as a nation, people care more about the NFL season going through, much less thinking of outward displays of solidarity with the people of Norway. 

Well I was there at 9/11.  I dug through the pile and I stood down there and remember all of it.  And I remember the English Bobbies of the Met lined up in full dress uniform to pay respects, and firehouses all over the world draped in black bunting.  And I want to tell Norway, that today I am Norwegian,  and I am with you.  You are not alone and we do remember our friends. 

God bless you. You'll get through this.  We always do. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Weekend Your Primary Care Physician Warned You About

So this weekend, I flew to Columbus to meet up with my brother Ross and continue on our epic quest to win a satin jacket from a bar by drinking 100 beers in one year.  The three brothers started this quest in January, which was designed to coincide with visits to visit our 2 year old niece who lives in Colum time, bus where my brother teaches at OSU.  However this time, the family is in China where Broxton has been doing research on lakes.  So, with our beer count at 37, Ross and I decided to fly out to Columbus, stay at a hotel nearby one of the bars, and get it down.  So lets get down to the numbers, shall we?

  • Number of miles traveled: 646 miles
  • Number of beers imbibed: 30 (actually 32 if you count the airport bar waiting for Ross to show up)
  • Number of sprained ankles: 1 (Ross thought he was Superman)
  • Current Beer Total: 67 
  • Numbers of Baconaters consumed: 1
  • Number of plush toys won in the claw game: 2
So I don't advise you to do this.  Drinking 30 beers doesn't seem like a lot, but these are not Miller Lites.  These beers are Belgian and English and have names like Tripel and Doublebock.  Drinking for two days straight and missing daylight, which while necessary to the task at hand, is not for the feint of heart.  And I will never be doing that again.  I can't even look at beer.

It's a good thing that I have a lovely family out there, because it gives us reasons to slow down and drink leisurely.  I'm flying out to Atlanta tomorrow for work.  I am going to sleep the Odin sleep tonight. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday Saturday Saturday!!!

So this Saturday found me at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore for Monster Truck Jam.  I got these tickets through Goldstar which is like Groupon for events, shows and other stuff.  I am a large fan.  Anyway, when I saw they were available, I immediately snatched them up and sent an email to all my DC friends to the effect of "ZOMG! Monster Truck Fest!  Let's all go!" And you know what?  Not that many people in my friend circle are apparently into monster trucks. 

I did wrangle another couple to come with my gf and I and we had a great time.  I learned a lot.  Here are some highlights. 
  • There was a lot more diversity than I thought there was going to be.  I was expecting mullets and guinea T's, but it turns out that every race's kids apparently like watching giant trucks drive over things.  Except the asians.  Probably too busy studying...
  • Some people actually follow this stuff and individual drivers, which is kind of sad because while I understand that it can't be easy to drive a giant truck over a bus, I'm pretty sure it involves more luck than skill.  
  • Grave Digger is very big.  Last night, there were three Grave Diggers
    • Grave Digger (The original apparently)
    • Grave Digger Legend (Oddly not the original)
    • Son of a Digger (Not making this up.  Driven by the son of the guy driving Grave Digger) 
So that was a little strange because you figure there's a much better chance of one of them winning, since there's three of them. 

  •  Feld Entertainment, owners of Ringling Brothers, also runs this event around the country and....owns Grave Digger.  So I would imagine they have a lot more invested in one of the 45 Grave Diggers winning, to increase t-shirt sales
  • The drivers are all very, very thankful for the crowd, as they yell into the microphone over and over again.  One of them even called Baltimore a mini Las Vegas.  Which tells me that this guy hasn't been to either Vegas or Baltimore. If you Google Image Search for Baltimore here are the two cities.  Which one would you rather visit? 

So you can see the similarity.  All in all, it was a good time.  Loud and different.  Though the announcer, who was like the Mean Gene Okerlund of monster trucks, was a buffoon who kept telling people how excited they should be that we were going to be on Speed TV

My final thought is that when the trucks crash in spectacular fashion, everyone loves it, but before the crowd can get concerned for the driver, this truck with lights flashing comes out.   I thought it was a fire crew truck, but then some dude started shooting T-shirts out of the bed of it.  You would have thought they were UN Food Shipments in Haiti.  Mind Boggling.