Friday, October 31, 2008

Faces of (near)Death Part Deux

First, my apologies. I didn't intend to keep everyone waiting so long. I actually welcomed a whole morning of work with open arms. It has been awhile and I must say, when you are busy, the day flies by. So let us begin.

The ice cracked beneath the weight of the truck and it slowly began sinking/sliding into the lake. It was very slow for some reason, or perhaps my memory is just in slow motion. My dad had some quick thinking and opened the door, (you don't wear seatbelts when your on the lake), and took my brother and tossed him out onto some of the stable ice. Then the back wheels had lifted off the ice and the truck fell forward a little more, like the jeep on jurassic park. The pressure of the ice slammed the door shut and he couldn't open it back up. Water continued to fill the cab and was approaching the seats. He began rolling the windows down as fast as he could, thank god electric windows hadn't become common yet. When that was all the way down he took me and pushed me out the window and I crawled over to Jay. Then the ice line began to approach the window and he started crawling out. I remember thinking if the truck sinks any further he would be cut in half by the ice and the truck. He pulled myself free and came over to us. We looked at the truck and boy was it a sight, nearly completely vertical, half under the ice. (not pictured above, but looked very similar) We looked around and saw a shanty in the distance. We walked over knocked, and told them what happened. They gave us a ride to Waverly Tavern and we had to call to get a ride home from a relative.

My dad either didn't tell me right away, or I forgot, but there are fast and warm currents the flow through Winnebago that don't freeze completely during the winter. It is usually common knowledge and they are mostly marked off. But with the dense fog that day Dad must have gotten turned around and we drove right into one. We had to hire a towing company that specializes in lake excavation to come pull the truck out without damaging it too much, and they had to do this before the lake melted too much.

The wierdest part of the story was what happened with my aunt. She worked with my mom at Tom's Drive In, a local fast food restaurant. She came in and said she had a dream where Robert (dad) and you're two sons were in danger and something bad happened to them. My mom said not to scare her like that and couldn't get ahold of us when she tried calling, so that freaked her out even more. Eventually she found out what happened to us and realized that almost goes right along with my aunt's dream.

Oh, yeah, im Listening to: Welcome Home by Coheed & Cambria

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Faces of (near)Death

Check out this guy. Thinks he can grab all teh interwebz traffics in one foul swoop. Well, I'm not standing for it, or sliding off of a roof crying for it, either. I hereby declare the first "Theme Week". Since we seemed to have grown a small semblance of a blogging family, I feel that maybe once in a great while we can have themed blogging, or perhaps contests? I see this pop up most commonly with webcomics, seen here. But I have a dream that it could work with us too. (You know who you are.)

So to begin, Death Week. (Or Halloween week, if you must) Or close calls, or even eye witness accounts, and if all that fails on you, maybe something you read in a newspaper once.

My tale of woe begins with a cold Wisconsin winter. I apologize to this being a lunch time repeat (we should publish those minutes). The snow froze the great lake of Winnebago. As any good natured Wisconsinite would do, my dad took his truck out onto the newly frozen water and put a home-made Shanty out on a rectangular hole he cut. And, of course, he brought his two young lads out with him. (5 and 10 I want to say) I'll humor you with some details, although I know you've all experienced this first hand. Your dad goes into the shanty, and looks down the hole. Sometimes there is a radio on, but you are not to talk, or move around. You sit. But outside the shanty, woah boy! Let me tell you... The skys the limit. If you were lucky the family dog was out and you could throw a tennis ball for miles (ok, 15 yards feels like miles as a chap) on that ice and watch the dog lose his footing cartoon style until finally getting going and chasing it down, only to realize he had too much momentum and no way to stop. It never got old. But if it did, maybe you wanted to do some sliding yourself? Er, I digress.

I was in the shanty once trying to get "dad points" and Jay was outside playing with this plastic jurassic park dinosaur. My previous examples were on days where no snow was on the lake. Very fun. Days where it snowed (90% of the time) you had to think of non-sliding games to play. Except the one my brother just presented. He comes into the shanty. Knock first, you don't want to blind your dad's newly adjusted cave-dweller vision while he's stabbing some Prehistoric Fish. (seriously they live longer then we do... unless they meet my dad)

So Jay comes in and tells me he has a game for me. What game could this 5 year old possibly have for me? I go out and accept the challenge. He tells me to find the dinosaur. I look around, snow. Snow banks, hills, lines, tracks, footprints, you name it. I enjoy the idea for as long as a young child can, digging, searching, sifting. Finally I tell him he wins, I give up, where is it. And he laughs in victory. Then begins digging. And next he's playing the same game I just did. Not too fun anymore. And guess what, it was our favorite toy. We spent the rest of the day to no avail. Apparently our dad didn't have any luck either because the next day we move shanty locations and we don't even get another chance to search again.

Or do we? The season is ending and we are about to pull our shanty up and go home, no sturgeon this year. The wind has been blowing hard the past few days, the moisture level is up and snow is non-existant, you can see ice for as far as the eye can see, that is if it wasn't for that meddling fog. My dad tells us he can bring us back to the old spot to find the dinosaur. Realize this is before GPS devices. He has some internal GPS that can bring him to the exact location of a 3ft by 5ft hole, now actually frozen, within 137,708 acres of lake. Oh yeah, I see it dad, that clear sheet of ice looks more rippled then that one... right. So, with the fog and all (you can't see coastline) we make it to the old spot. Low and behold a lone Stegosaurus, braving the wind. Quite the sight to see at that age. We grab the escape artist and jump back in the truck to head home.

Well, that internal GPS device I mentioned, it has only failed a couple times to my knowledge. Without a shoreline, and no paths in the snow that trucks follow off the lake, my dad led us astray. We thought everything was A-ok until a sound erupted like thunder crashing down on us. We jerked forward tight against our seatbelts and could only see ice approaching the windshield. As I looked down at the floorboards I see water, freezing cold water, was creeping up through the engine into the cab. I remember the feeling of claustrophobia as the water rose towards my dangling feet. One of the most frightening experiences of my life. What would we do? Is this how it would end?

To find out, tune in tomorrow. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Wow, it's been a week. Reminds me of when I used to blog back in college. I would look and another month had passed without me posting. I'll try not to let it come down to those days again. I don't really even know what to talk about. I've been playing Fable 2 a lot. Possibly too much, as some would say. It's addicting when a game involves the aspects of leveling that are comparable to WoW, and then includes real estate investment options which actually collect revenue while you are away from your xbox. It's an aspect I have yet to see in a game, and I think they nailed it. I found myself getting the game and instantly trying to put my money into real estate because as any young invester knows, (or what has been pounded into our heads) is that the Time Value of Money is most important. Invest as soon as feasible and continously. So when I get home from work, instead of running, it may be more lucrative for me to quick log on, and use my new funds to buy more shops and houses to rent out. That way when I go running afterword I am actually bringing in more revenue.

Haha, well, those are the thoughts that cross my mind. I can't say I am yet to the insanity level where I will be tricked into mixing up my schedule for virtual, useless, pieces of gold. Keyword there is "yet".

On the topic of investment though is the impending crash of the stock market. I have never really been into politics, or our economy for that matter, much. I always left that up to others. Now that it appears everything is crashing down around us, I suspect that this can only be good for my generation. When it hits record lows, in a year or 2, I suppose the best bet would be for us to just pile money into our Roth IRA Mutual funds or similar accounts. I think that this plan seems foolproof, but I didn't really live during the last depression. From what I hear it was pretty ... depressing. And I mean, when people start jumping out of buildings because they lost everything it seems like maybe theres a little more at stake then some 65 year-old's retirement funds. Is it possible that the stock market will never come back? Id hate to push the max 4-5k into my Roth IRA in a year and then have the stock market just disapear, vanish, into thin air. I guess if I had cared about our economy or politics during any of my time in college I would know the answers to these things.

Listening to: Did My Time by Korn

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I said Brrrrr. It's cold in here.

I've volunteered my time recently to fund-raising for the United Way here at work. I don't really know how it came to be, a previous intern is running the thing, so she came to those who she interned with for help. So of course now you look at the committee of IS'ers and it's nearly 75% people who I interned with. I guess we are perfect candidates because we don't really have the workload or ethic that would keep us from enjoying 4-5 hours of not working for 2 days. Sounds like a good deal to me. I stole the idea from a previous fundraiser to run a Wii challenge. $5 an attempt, winner of the 2 days takes home a ipod of some sort. The idea I stole used the Wii golf target chipping. I figured another great challenge is the homerun derby, so that's what I am in charge of. At first I thought I was going to be a sideshow in a large list of IS activities. Haha, unfortunately I was mistaken and the Homerun Derby is now the mainstage IS activity. So lets hope I had a good idea, eh?

I also looked at the other department's games and guitar hero is rearing it's head as it seems to do around every corner. I figure I'll stop by and see what kind of competition it is and maybe try my luck.

Listening to: Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who'll stop the rain?

Well, were back from the Door County trip. It was a blast, pretty much just what you'd expect. Seems like I was waiting for it to come so long, and now what is there to wait for. New video games I guess. I haven't been putting much thought into what I will actually be purchasing, mostly because I didn't want to get let down as I did with The Force Unleashed or even Fracture. The idea behind those games were big and I figured they were a sure-thing purchase. But then the reviews came out and it sounds like LucasArts dropped the ball, so I have yet to even rent those.

This week (tomorrow for Fable II) and next month there is a lot of new games coming out. Guitar Hero World Tour is this next sunday, which should provide a nice new list of songs to play fake instruments too. I wasn't too excited about fallout 3 but a trailer and the wiki article have given me a reason to look into it. The same goes for Fable, which I am now pretty excited about.

So that should keep me going this Fall. Nothing else really to post at the moment. I hate what achievements have done to games, and that I don't play a game to finish it now, I play it to get achievements. I should mention that currently I am in the process of beating COD4 on veteran to pick up those achievements, and Halo 3 for the same reason.

Oh well, I guess it gives me a reason to pick up old games again.
Listening to: Sober by Tool

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Continues part deux

Well, I had a huge post, about running in highschool, and going to state. But I am just not sure that's what you all would enjoy reading. So now it's stuck in the drafts. Perhaps someday it will be released... or put down.

So, to not leave you hanging, I will just wrap up the running thing. It was pretty much all I did in high school. I qualifed for state as an individual senior year, which I don't think anyone expected. Then I went to college and it was like getting a highscore in a video game only to have the scores reset and start over at the bottom. I personally had enough and quit running competetively after my first semester.

I have been on and off with running, it seems like I should make it more of a habit now that I have a career. I also gained weight since I graduated, so I am in the process of doing something about that. I figure a marathon or some running routine will do my body good. I like the idea of this blog as a way to share my progress back into the athletic world. So I think a lot of these posts might include words on recent runs, workouts, etc. Hopefully that doesn't bother you.

Listening to: Last Resort by Papa Roach

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The beginning.

Well, It's kind of a daunting task making the first post on a blog. I feel it has to be something big, because no one wants a grand opening to be anything less then stellar. I have been sitting on this blog for a couple days now and nothing has come to mind. I fear I won't start it unless I take that first step. Also, I have decided to do what Lopez did, and that is not tell anyone about the blog. That way, by the time anyone finds it I've posted a couple times and the first won't seem so significant.

Greg sent me this Link today. It is about a sportscaster/journalist in the area who also runs marathons. In this article she basically explains her love and reasoning for running. If anyone truely knows me they know that I have had a long, hard, and ugly relationship with running. Like the beaten and battered housewife who can't leave her trailer park hubby, I too find myself coming back to Running's cold embrace.

I can still remember my first long distance run, I was early in middle school and it was my bedtime. When I complained my parents told me that if I wanted, I could go outside for a run, otherwise it was bedtime. Ha! they would soon realize their mistake. Not ever having run long distance before, I went out in the same shorts one would wear to school and I ran up and down the streets near my house. It probably looked something like This (This site is my newest toy and I'll probably post about it at another time). So I ran, I didn't know where, I just knew that I was able to cheat the curse of the 8 or 9 o'clock bedtime by running. Everytime I thought I was too tired and I should turn back I would add another block on. I eventually found my way home and my Dad told me that my Mom had gone out driving to find me. I was happy because I had ran around 45 minutes and if I worried my Mom that means I did something right. I also remember the cargo shorts I wore gave me 2 huge patches of rugburn on the inside of my thighs. Ouch.

I became fascinated with running and since I had recently given up on middleschool football, I had a season open to run cross country.

I have been talking a good bit and lunch is over, I'll continue the story of Running and Me tomorrow.

Listening to: Time Bomb by Godsmack