Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome to the Man Cave Sweet Lou

Well, it's taken me awhile, but I have finally found the right bobblehead at the right price to commemorate my trip to Tropicana Field this past June. 

Many know Lou Piniella as an outfielder for the Yankees, or for his 1990 World Series Championship in Cincinnati, or his record 116 win season in Seattle. He captured two National League Central crowns while managing on Chicago's north side.  But the Chicago media somehow found a way to vilify him when the club turned in less successful years in 2009 & 2010.  From recent developments in Cubs news (firing of Jim Hendry), I think it's safe to assume that not everything was Lou's fault.  He'll always be one of my favorite managers.

Lou also spent three years managing the Tampa Bay Rays and at some point a bobblehead was created in his likeness and given away at Tropicana Field. Through the powers of eBay I have added Lou to bobblehead shelf in my man cave.

Here's a link of my favorite Lou Piniella commercial, epitomizing what he was most known for: click here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


You may have noticed from the last entry that the first letter in each of the three paragraphs was enlarged, bold, and red.  The three letters spliced together spell SUP.  What is SUP you ask?  Stand up paddle!
Tom in Hawaii.

Laura's cousin, John Putes, introduced SUP to us when we visited Arizona back in April.  I must admit, seeing a deflated paddleboard on his hardwood floors left much to the imagination.  Fast forward to July and our trip to Hawaii: Laura booked us a couple of lessons and we had a blast!  The boards were fiberglass and a little longer than John's inflatable board.

Laura on Illinois River
The box that Gus was checking out in the last post oddly enough came from a Sam's in Arizona. I'm still wondering how a state that is mostly desert is a popular place to SUP.   Anyway, we are now the proud owners of two inflatable paddleboards.

The picture to the left was from earlier this morning at the Marshall County State Conservation Area, which is located north of Hopewell and just south of Sparland.

The water was a little choppy, but it was a beautiful day to be out and active.  We did a nice little out-and-back trip as you can see on the map.  We only saw a couple of Asian Carp, and no, the ones we did come close to didn't knock us from our boards.  I'm still working on the stand up part, but Laura seems to have mastered it!  She was born to SUP!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A New Box! Just for me!

Since we missed the FedEx guy Laura had to go to Kinkos/FedEx yesterday to pick up our packages.  After unpacking the contents, I try to break down the cardboard so that we can recycle and do our little part to save the planet.

Unsurprisingly, who do we find in the box as soon as I turn my back?  Yeah, that silly cat of mine, Gus.  He will try to claim any box he can get his paws on.  His pattern usually goes something like this: 
          1. Jump in box
          2. Do multiple laps in box, sniffing all the while
          3. Sit in box and inevitably fall asleep
          4. Surprise attack by Mooshie!  (Always fun to witness!)
          5. Begin to tear apart box (so that Mooshie can't have it OR out of boredom)

Perhaps you are wondering what was once contained in the pictured box?  Well, there is a clue within this post.  See if you can find it!   If you're still not sure, no worries, I will post an update before school starts (August 15th).

Friday, August 5, 2011


1. Two cheese steak sandwiches, two drinks, and an order of fries to go from Billy's Phillys = $20.25

2. Two ice cream cones from Emack & Bolio's = $6.14

3. Dinner at a quaint picnic table along Grandview Drive, a walk to grab dessert, and relaxing evening with the love of my life = priceless.

I kind of miss those Mastercard commercials.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Landscaping . . . again.

I took advantage of a "cooler" forecast today and did a little updating to the backyard. Laura had laid down black landscape plastic a few months ago to kill the grass. All of that came up the other night and black landscape fabric took its place. Then we used some leftover pavers and installed a little walkway from the patio to the raised garden beds.

Today I borrowed my dad's truck and used some "Hardy Bucks" at Hoerr's to purchase about a ton of 1.5-inch river rock. About 90 minutes later I had consumed about a half gallon of water and sweated through my third shirt of the day. (#1 happened when I "weed & feed"-ed the yard at 7 this morning; #2 was at softball practice)  Oh!  But, the good news was the truck was void of rock and the new pathway looks pretty decent. 

Why the river rock?  Well, the droppings from the bird feeders were sprouting and making a mess of the yard.  What else were we to do?  I mean, we can't take away Gus' favorite spot to watch outside.  So, the bird feeders had to stay.  Hopefully we'll be able to suck out the sunflower seed shuckings with the leaf hog every now and again.  Also, we have river rock in the landscaping already on the north side of the house.

As you can tell from the picture there is an empty space on the other side of the sitting wall. 

We have $29 "Hardy Bucks" left and I see another shrub and some tall ornamental grass in our future!