Saturday, September 24, 2016

Clancey's First Soccer Tournament

This afternoon was Clancey's first soccer tournament over in Cedar Rapids.  Holy crap it was total banana cakes at that place.  They had 32 fields and all day long they had teams on each which meant there were thousands of people there. 
Since Marshall and I had the 5K this morning we couldn't make it for the first game but we got there in time for the second game.  I have to say I was shocked at the increase in the level of competativeness these kids are good little soccer players, which makes sense since most have played for 4 years compared to Clancey's 1 year of play. Hopefully over the next year or two Clancey can fill in the gaps and get caught up.

Color Run

This morning Marshall and I got up early to go over and do the Color Run in Stanwood. We both needed to get runs in so this seemed like a good fun way to get our runs in for the day. It's surprising how much faster Marshall is getting by running cross country. I better keep after my running or he is going to start beating me soon. Once again it was made clear to me that I'm in horrible shape and need to get back after my fitness. One day at a time I guess.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Got the Camaro Out Today

After spending the some getting the Camaro running again over the weekend I figured it was time to get it out for a drive.  With it getting cooler out again and no early meetings that I had to be at today seemed like a good day to get the Camaro out for a drive.  The car ran great, started right up and drove nice the whole way.  It rained a little bit on the way home but nothing crazy.  Probably going to have to make this a habit, at least until the snow starts to fly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Marshall and Daddy Night

With Clancey playing soccer until 8pm every Tuesday and Marshall in cross country until 6pm every night it means that Marshall and I ride solo every Tuesday.  That means I'm in charge of supper, which normally turns into pizza or something frozen.  Today though I thought I would stop and get some steaks to grill up for Marshall and I.  Of course it couldn't go smoothly.  I ran out of propane while warming up the grill and had to make a quick run to Casey's.  Really need to get the second propane bottle filled back up.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Marshall Cross Country

Tonight Marshall had his second Cross Country meet in Bellevue, a town over on the Mississippi River.  I wasn't able to make it over to the meet which sucks.  Problem was it's 2 hours away and started at 4:30 being as busy as we are at work lately I just couldn't get out early to make.  Jen, Clancey, Mema and Papa were able to make it so he had a large cheering section.  It was a really hilly course but even so Marshall was able to take 2 minutes off his time from his first meet.  Marshall is really enjoying cross country and really likes running.  If he keeps after it all winter he is going to have a really good year next year.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Headed To Church

This morning as we were getting ready to head out the door to church I took this picture.  Jen looked really nice and so did Clancey so I figured it was a moment that needed captured.  Got to grab those memories when you can because time just goes too fast.  I mean how old Clancey is already getting, he's going to be headed into college before we know it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hunting Junk

This morning Jen and I headed over to the Quad cities to run some errands but mainly to hunt for junk, or as Jen calls them "treasures".  I guess technically this stuff was for a sign she was painting so it was junk with a purpose but still junk non-the-less.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Volunteer Dinner

This evening was the big Volunteer Dinner here in Clarence.  Now just like every big event in Clarence Jen had a big part in making it happen.  This dinner was an opportunity to celebrate all the volunteers in Clarence and get everyone together.  The group also awarded the first ever "Best Of Clarence Volunteer Of The Year" to Kris Plueger.  Turned out to be a good event but I'm wondering if Jen is always putting the event on when she can win the award ;)

Monday, September 12, 2016

First Cross Country Meet!

Marshall had his first cross country meet tonight in Wyoming just north of Clarence.  His first meet was supposed to be a week ago but it ended up getting cancelled because of heat so tonight was the first meet.  Marshall was pretty nervous for the meet but he held it together and ran well.  It was a hilly course and there was a pretty good wind so it was tough conditions to run in.  He did way better then I did my first cross country meet.  My first meet a sprinted out to an early lead and about 1.5 miles in I totally fell apart and had to walk.  Marshall went out at a good pace and managed to run the whole time.  I'm proud of how well he did and can't wait to see him run again.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Feeling Like a Worthless Turd Today

Today is Ironman Wisconsin and for the first time in 5 years I'm not participating in the race and let me tell you, I feel like a worthless turd.  I was signed up for the race but didn't train at all this year.  No excuse, I was just a lazy turd and didn't put the work in.  In the last year, I've gained about 15 pounds and lost pretty much all my ultra-distance fitness.  At this point I doubt my ability to run a 10k let alone and Ironman.  After pretty much taking this whole year off, next year the plan is to not do any full 140.6 Iron distance races.  I'm planning to get back into it by doing 3-4 half Ironman races and then 2 years from now get back into doing Ironman.  Have a long ways to go but I've done it multiple times in the past I can do it again.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Comparing Beards

As a beard guy now I'm always looking for my fellow beard brethren to celebrate beard life.  This evening I went up to the Onion Grove to talk to this fine gentleman about getting a piece of furniture fixed.  I did have to talk the opportunity to get a selfie with him because both have such great beards.  

Monday, September 05, 2016

Holiday Golfing

Ok, ok... I get the picture above is of a really nice looking Camaro so the title of golfing probably seems a bit strange but I did spend the morning golfing with my friends.  After I was done golfing we stopped up town in Solon to get lunch and when I was walking in I saw the freaking awesome car parked in the lot so I had to take a picture.  Camaro aside, I did have a great time golfing today and actually played really well.  Ended up beating my buddies and winning $20, which makes for a good day.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

He Did It

Clancey conquered "The Monster" and completed his goal of riding every ride at the park.  Let me tell you he is feeling pretty proud of himself.  As you can see he negotiated some Dipping Dots for his brother too but as the "Great Ride Conqueror" he has the juice to make it happen.  Now it's time to pile into the car and head across to the state to head home.

Enjoying The Day

Having a good time here at Adventureland today.  So far Clancey is on track to get all of the the rides in.  We've done all of the hard rollercoasters so far except for "The Monster" which Clancey says he isn't going to do now.  Has turned out to be a great day, its not too hot, the crowds aren't to bad and lines have been reasonably short.  We have a few more rides to go and then we will be on to "The Monster".

Day At Adventureland

We weren't entirely sure that we were going to be able to make it too Adventureland this year but after I got free tickets at work the other day we figured it was a good reason to go.  Clancey told us on the way down this morning that we wanted to ride every ride here and told us if he succeeds his reward is going to be some Dipping Dots.  Now that we are here though he is starting to get a bit worried about having to do the new roller coaster called "The Monster".  We have all day so he may get brave by the end of the day. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Drink The Kool-Aid

Today at work our Engineering Director had an all-hands meeting.  There meetings are traditionally very boring and don't really provide a whole lot of good information.  I always liken it to watching politicians on "Meet The Press".  They have a very tailor message and never really say what they really think or what really going on.  During the meeting the provided refreshments and as you can see it was Kool-Aid.  I didn't know if that was symbolic or not but I did certainly something I took note of.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rolling To School Small Town Style

This morning as I was getting ready to leave for work I saw Jen and boys take off in the golf cart figured it was a picture I had to take.  Only in small town Iowa can you drive a golf cart up to the bus stop to drop the kids off for school.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Enjoying The Morning

As the summer is drawing to a close I figured I better start to try and take in every last moment of it.  This morning I got out of bed early, made some coffee and sat out on the porch to enjoy the nice morning.  There is nothing better then sitting on the porch, listening to the birds and having a cup of coffee.  While I'm looking forward to winter and being done with yard work, I am going to miss the warm summer temps.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First Day Of School

The summer has unofficially come to an end with the boys headed back to school today.  Marshall is headed in to 7th/8th grade, he is taking three 8th grade classes this year, and Clancey is headed into 3rd grade.  He is officially a Junior Higher this year and that much closer to graduating.  Clancey is still in elementary and has a few year left so he can still be the baby of the family for a bit longer. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dad Night

Clancey has officially started soccer again and his practices run pretty late, 6:30 - 8:00pm, with the drive they won't be home until 9pm.  This result of this is I'm home by myself this evening to do what ever I like.  Figured it would be a great night to enjoy a steak, chips and a beer.  Seems like this could become a weekly thing for me :)

Monday, August 01, 2016

Relaxing Morning

This morning we all kind of slept in a bit and took some time to enjoy the morning.  I guess technically I didn't enjoy the whole morning, I did attend two hours of telecons while I sat on the porch.  After we have lunch this morning the plan is to head over to the "secret beach" for a couple hours and then head down to the community center for a bit of internet and then have some supper.  Another nice day on the island.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Reading and Poker

Jen decided to curl up on the couch to enjoy a book while I taught the boys to play Texas Holdem Poker.  Actually, once the boys got the hang of it, they turned out to be pretty good.  Thinking it was a good thing there wasn't any actual money on the line or I would be broke.  I won the first game, Clancey won the second, and Marshall won the third.  Looks like we will have to play the tie breaker tomorrow.

Bike Ride

The first thing we decided to do as a family was head out on a bike ride.  It's only a couple miles into town so we thought we would ride in a have lunch at the lighthouse and throw the frisbee a bit.  Not sure what the plan for later is but we are on island time now so there really is no rush.  Probably just head back and relax a bit.

Morning Coffee

As I said yesterday, I'm enjoying morning cup of coffee and enjoying the view this morning.  I'm not sure we could have gotten a better forecast for the week.  Going to be in the mid 70's and low 80's all week with no rain.  The water temp is good and it's looking to be a great week.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

At The Rental House

It was a bit hard to find but we made it to our rental house for the week.  The place is probably the nicest rental place we've had on the island.  Great living space with a big window that has a view of the lake.  Looking forward to enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the morning while I enjoy the view.

On the Way With the Truck!!

We are officially on our way to Beaver Island and the truck is on the boat with us!  The truck was literally the last vehicle to get on the boat and the only reason I think it got on was because it was so big.  There was a spot that couldn't fit 2 cars but could fit my truck so I got bumped ahead and saw the truck get on  just as they were getting ready to close up.  Going to be nice to get there early and get settled in before midnight tonight.  As you can see the family is all pretty stoked about our 2 weeks on the island.

Waiting For the Boat

 We made it to Charlevoix and now we are waiting for the boat to get here.  When I went in to talk to the boat people they said there are a lot of cars on stand by right now so it isn't very likely that the truck will get on this boat.  At least I can park it behind the gate which means we can go over on the 2:30 boat and I'll just have to walk back at 11:30 to get my truck.  I'm really hoping that the truck gets over before 11:30 because I'm not looking forward to the 5 mile round trip to and from the rental house and unloading the truck at midnight.  Wish us luck!!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Headed To Beaver Island

Here we are on our way to Beaver Island for our first 2 week stint on the island.  As you can see with the truck we were able to pack a whole lot of stuff for the trip.  The plan is to stay in Grand Rapids Michigan tonight and then head up to Charlevoix tomorrow and see if we can get on an earlier boat to the island.  We are currently scheduled on the 8:30 pm boat which won't get us to the island until nearly 11:00pm which is pretty late.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Ironman Is Coming

Just like the past 8 years, I have Ironman Wisconsin coming up in only two shorts months.  Unlike other years I have been a complete lazy turd and not really done any training at all.  I get the urge stick too it for a couple days and then stop for a couple weeks.  Kind of been in this cycle for the past few months but time is running out.  Wisconsin is not an easy course at all and it's very hard to fake it.  I could probably get through the swim and run at this point but right now I have zero confidence I could complete the bike.  The bike course is just too hilly and if last year is any indication if you don't train you are in for a bad day.  Last year I trained at least a little and I struggled.  This year I haven't trained on the bike at all.  If I'm going to have any chance of finishing the race in just 69 days I'm going to need to focus on biking.  I've told myself that I need to bike almost every day between now and Ironman if I'm going to have a shot at actually finishing.  Time to buckle down and get the work done!

Grand Mound Fireworks

Been a couple years since we've actually been to a Fireworks show.  Normally by the end of day on 4th of July we are completely tired and end up just going to bed early.  Well this year we decided that we should actually make any attempt and go to a show.  I was talking to my neighbor Joel this afternoon and he recommended the Grand Mound Fireworks show.  Surprising that we've lived here 12 years and have never heard about this show.  Turns out that it is one of the best in the area.  They have a huge event and people get there mid afternoon to get a good spot to watch the fireworks.  We did not get there early and ended up watching them about a mile away on a gravel road.  The show was still good and certainly better than not going.  Maybe next year we will actually get the motivation and go over early for a spot.

Parade #2

We just got done with parade #2 of the day and I'm actually surprised we made it.  After we grilled lunch and got the kitchen cleaned up Jen and I thought it would be a good idea to lay down for a quick nap for 45 minutes.  I set an alarm and we were both asleep almost immediately.  Apparently staying up until midnight for the past few days caught up with us.  Well 45 minutes came and went and we got to a little over an hour.  The plan was to leave at 2:45 but we woke up from our nap at 2:50 after the alarm had been going off for 20 minutes.  We rushed around the house and got on the road and made it to the parade in time.  This parade wasn't as packed as the last one and it was quite a bit hotter but the boys still had a good time.  After today the boys got a couple more followers on Facebook and Instagram so who knows maybe this will turn into more customers.

Grilling Time

It just isn't a 4th of July celebration without out a little grilling, especially when you are rocking a new Weber Grill.  Besides not being able to swim in the pool and being grey it really isn't a bad day for the 4th.  Actually can sit outside without melting in the sun.  Thinking while were in between parades here I'm just going to sit on the back patio, listen to some music and relax.

Parade Time

As you can see the float ended up coming together really nice.  Pretty sure it was one of the coolest floats in the parade.  We've been to the parade a number of times but, Wow, I didn't realize how many people came to the parade.  At the beginning it was freak crazy packed.  The boys had a really great time throwing the candy out, in fact, so much so we are going  to go to another parade in Oxford Junction this afternoon.  Not sure how many new customers we will get out of this but it's way more fun to be in the parade than it is to sit and wait for everything to come by.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Getting the Float Ready

Kind of as a spur of the moment kind of thing the boys asked if they could be in the Tipton 4th of July parade tomorrow.  Being I'm clearly running in the red on wife and family points from 3 weeks of travel I immediately agreed.  The float isn't all the way complete but as you can see Jen has once again come through with an awesome design.  Might be a little girly but it will be one of the nicest floats in the parade.

Ice Cream With the Family

Yesterday turned out to be kind of cold an damp so it turned into a lazy indoor day.  The boys and I fired up our Xbox Ones and played Destiny in our own 3 person fireteam for most of the day.  Today it's still not that warm but we needed to head to the Quad Cities to run some errands.  On the way back we decided to stop in Dewitt for some ice cream.  Just not summer without a little ice cream.

Friday, July 01, 2016


After a short flight from MSP to Cedar Rapids and a quick stop into the office to physically attend the meeting I was virtually in all week I made it home.  It was nice to get home and see the kids, at least for the short time before they headed back to the video game room.  Wouldn't want to lose any of that precious video game time.

Slumming It At The J.W. Marriott

Last night I was sitting at MSP waiting on my 9:53 flight home and it kept getting later and later so finally around 9:00 pm when the flight had been delayed to midnight I pulled the plug.  I could see more and more flight getting cancelled and more and more people trying to find a place to stay.  I've played that game before and knew what was going to happen I would sit here until midnight it would get cancelled and I would be on a sleeping pad at the airport for the night.

Instead I booked a room at the JW Marriott which is a decent enough hotel, ok I'll correct that, it's a luxury hotel, and spent the night.  So instead of sleeping at the airport I'm refreshed and ready to go for the day.  Have to say I'm looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight and seeing the family.