Saturday, November 22, 2008

My physical grace simply amazes me

Last weekend The Wife and I cleaned the hot tub which involves draining it, hosing it out, etc and then refilling it. Once it is being refilled we have to add various products because we have such hard water (helps to keep the minerals from depositing on the hot tub and in the pipes). To facilitate this process we had removed the cover, folded it in half, and placed it on the lawn about a foot away from the concrete slab upon which the hot tub rests. I was walking around the tub pouring in the first bottle when I suddenly found myself on my back staring up at the beautiful blue sky. Apparently I caught the edge of the slab, slammed down on my right knee (giving myself road rash right through my pants without tearing my pants...), and then proceeded to roll across the cover. Of course, no one was filming this because it was totally an America's Funniest Home Videos money shot. I managed to not spill the bottle of hot tub additive and found it happily bobbing, open end up even, in the partially filled tub. At the time, I was focused mainly on my knee because that was what hurt but it was very apparent on Monday morning that I had pulled/strained muscles all along my right side. My trainer was very understanding on Monday night (and quite concerned - asked if I had hit my head etc) and helped me stretch things out. We even had to make adjustments for my shoulder on Thursday night. For those of you who know me IRL, you know that I am prone to this sort of amazing display of physical grace. This one was simply better than most of my displays... I am such a tool.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Beef Stew Recipe

We made this in the crockpot today and it is the first crockpot beef stew recipe that I've liked.

1 lb stew beef, cubed
1/4 c. flour
1.5 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, cubed
1 turnip, cubed (if you don't have or don't like turnips, use another potato)
2 potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t paprika
2 c. lower salt beef broth

Dredge beef in flour and cook in hot oil until browned on all sides. Put all ingredients in crock pot, cover with foil, then add lid and cook on high for approx. 4 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving. If the stew is not as thick as you like dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in a tablespoon of cold water and stir to dissolve. Add to stew and mix well. Let stew cook for another few minutes to thicken. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What Major League Baseball can do to fight ALS

A few days ago I read this "My Turn" in Newsweek and I thought "I like baseball, I love the Phillies, I should write to them and ask them to champion this." Then I thought "Hey, why not ask friends who are fans of other teams to ask those teams to do it too?" So, here we are. Here is the idea (from Michael Goldsmith who has ALS and is an Orioles fan):
At some point, we talked about what Major League Baseball could do to fight ALS, and I realized that next July 4 will mark the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. Since his retirement, more than 600,000 Americans have shared Gehrig's fate, as medical science has made virtually no progress toward finding a cure. Through the years some players and a few teams have occasionally helped raise funds, but Major League Baseball has never taken comprehensive action against ALS. Defeating ALS will require the same type of determination, dedication and drive that Gehrig and Cal Ripken demonstrated when they set superhuman records for consecutive games played. With this in mind, why not make July 4, 2009, ALS-Lou Gehrig Day? Dedicate this grim anniversary to funding research for a cure; every major- and minor-league stadium might project the video of Gehrig's farewell, and teams, players and fans could contribute to this cause. An event of this magnitude has the potential to raise millions, dwarfing the relatively scant sums that ALS walks, rides and similar small-scale efforts have produced.
Today, completely by accident, I found out that Curt Shilling has a blog ( and has raised money for ALS (Total Raised for ALS $135,300 - I think this is the 2008 total) so I'm going to write to him too.

So here is what I am asking everyone to do:
1.) Write a note to the team of your choice (major league, minor league, independent league, little league, I don't care as long as it is baseball) asking them to champion creation of "ALS-Lou Gehrig Day" on or around July 4, 2009 and every year thereafter in ballparks around the country.
2.) Ask the team to commit to raising money for ALS on that day from players, coaches, and fans - recommend that they pass out self-sealing envelopes that fans can fill in with credit card info or include cash and drop in boxes around the stadium or take home and mail (teams are already doing this for things like All-Star voting). They can address the mailers to The ALS Association or baseball can set up their own foundation (but going with one already in place makes the most sense to me and donations are likely tax deductible.)
3.) Ask your family, friends, and co-workers who are baseball fans to do the same.
4.) Leave a comment indicating what team you wrote to and follow up with a comment if you get a response.

I don't know anyone personally who has ALS but it's a crappy disease (yes, I know, all diseases are crappy) that shortens lives. I can't begin to explain how it affects the lives of those who have it but if you want to read about what it is like to have ALS you can click here.


Mr. Goldsmith - I wish you the best and I hope for a cure that comes in time to help you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

At 6 PM this evening nearly 80% of registered voters in my precinct had voted. However, my gamble to wait until after work to vote paid off. I walked in and only had to wait about 5 minutes. The Wife and I continued our tradition of voting and then going to the local diner for dinner. Now we are watching The Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash on the DVR and waiting for returns to come in. I am intentionally avoiding the networks. We are going to watch Indecision 2008 with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert at 10 PM.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Facebook has sucked me in

I've discovered Facebook and it has sucked me in. It has also sucked away the few minutes I have to blog and any and all creativity that I might use to blog. The parents (and the sister) are here this weekend and we've had a nice time together. The weather blew the plans for yesterday as we were going to go to a outdoor festival. Dad was sick (bronchitis) when he arrived so it was probably better that we just stayed home and he was able to rest. He announced this morning that he was "cured." At the moment we are waiting for The Wife to get up so we can all go to breakfast. I must have coffee.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tonight Gay = Happy Again

At least in CT...

From the CT decision:

"Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice," the ruling said.

"To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others. The guarantee of equal protection under the law, and our obligation to uphold that command, forbids us from doing so. In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry."

Unfortunately The Wife and I don't live in a state that permits it but wow it makes me happy to read the CT decision.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I got yelled at by MTG today. I was having a bad day at the gym and she said "You're not taking care of yourself, are you?" She's right. I'm not drinking enough water, I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm drinking too much caffeine, and my diet is boring and repetitive. I was too sore to walk on Tuesday and last night just got away from me. I'm having a major internal debate with myself this evening - watch rest of VP debate, then go in hot tub or just bail on debate and go in hot tub to get to bed by 10:30. I'm finding Palin really condescending and shit, she cannot say nuclear. She's another nukular pain in my ass.