Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fantasy Wrap-up

Another year of Fantasy Football has come to a close. This was the closest I came to actually playing any football this year - sad, I know. I set up 2 leagues. In one league I started off with my team being called the Rattlefrogs (leave a comment if you know what that means) and after losing my FIRST SIX GAMES I changed my name to "TrainWreck." Miraculously this strategy worked. I rattled off several victories in a row and somehow go into the playoffs as a 6 seed out of 8 teams. Again I somehow lucked out and made it to the finals against my good friend Larry. Coincidently, he was the 8 seed! Larry beat me, but I've never felt better with a second place finish. (Ha, Becki!!)

In my league with my work friends I had a way better regular season. It's nice that I reluctantly drafted Tom Brady. But I lost in the semifinals simply because Brian Westbrook decided to TACKLE HIMSELF on the one-yard line. (see the video below) If he'd have just walked in I would've made it to the championship game. I have to give the guy props for the selfless act, but wow, I know for a fact that a lot of guys lost a lot of money because of it.

Thanks to all my fantasy football friends! Can't wait for the Madness of March!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Spinning Wildly

Traci (the Mrs. HTF) is an avid exercisist (a word I just made up meaning that she exercises mucho). Every morning at 5 she's up and out the door. She comes back a while later either smelling like chlorine or covered in sweat (I'm told that for women it's called "perspiration") I respect her a ton, while I'm sleeping of course. She most often talks about her "spinning" class. I assumed that this was some sort of aerobic dance class where you spin around to music. I've tried spinning around to music, and I could only go for a minute or so until I could no longer stand, so I can see how you'd need a class to get really good at. To my shock, Traci corrected me and told me that it was a class where you ride a specialized stationary bike to music. She has specialized shoes and everything. It's special.

Well, for months she's been telling me that I need to go with her. Conveniently we have 4 children and getting a babysitter at 5 AM is kinda goofy, so I always have had an excuse. Well, my mother-in-law is in town for the holidays, and Traci said all she wanted for Christmas was for me to go to the "Spinning" class with her. I couldn't say no. So this morning we went. It seemed benign enough when we walked in. There were a bunch of cool-looking bikes that don't actually go anywhere, but I quickly noticed a huge design flaw in all of them. The seats were tiny and harder than the wooden chair I'm sitting on now. I asked Traci about this, but she just thought I was being funny. I wasn't. She got me all set up and the class got started. After the first 8 seconds or so I was hurting in places where I've never felt pain before. That tiny seat was literally "kicking my butt" in ways it's never been kicked before. I figured I'd last longer if I never sat down. Yeah, so that strategy didn't work well either. I toughed it out and I'm sure there were plenty of chuckles directed towards me during those 45 minutes of torture since my form was a little bit shy of perfect. About 30 minutes in I started actually feeling ok, but that's probably my body going numb. Well, I can't really walk up or down stairs now, so I'm thinking that this spinning stuff may not be for me. And this wooden chair is making me squirm.

There's one problem . . . Traci wants me to go again on Wednesday.

Here are some links to a few of my blogs about other exercising adventures:

On Two Years Rest . . .

The Only Guy

That's Great, But Please Don't Crowd

Friday, December 21, 2007

Who feels guilty now?

This morning I asked (told) my boys to go upstairs and get dressed, make their beds, & brush their teeth. To my extreme shock (sarcasm noted) they didn't comply. Instead they were watching TV and playing Xbox. So I told 'em that for their punishment they'd have to stay in their room after they got dressed. They weren't too happy about that, but life's tough. I went downstairs and started in on the dirty dishes. After about 10 minutes or so, a paper airplane sailed into the kitchen. It was clear that something was written on it. So I thought I'd share (click the photo if you can't read it). Needless to say, a few minutes later they were back to the XBox, with Daddy in tow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Words to live by

"Whenever I’m about to do something, I think “would an idiot do that?” and if they would, I do not do that thing."
(Dwight Schrute, from The Office)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Religion, Politics, and an Awkward Moment

Well, I’m not one who blogs much about politics or religion (although they are two of my favorites), but lately I’m hearing far too much about those two topics in the same sentences. I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked at the role religion is playing as we go through the bizarre process of selecting our next President. Likely my surprise is driven by the fact that it’s very much my religion in question. That’s not a bad news story holistically – hopefully some of the really odd misconceptions that are out there can go away for some folks. However, I’m sure hating feeling like we (using that pronoun generically) have to defend what we believe, while other’s beliefs, even if they’re identical to mine, get zero scrutiny. Let me give you an example:

I’m walking out of the office yesterday and next to the elevators is a TV showing CNN. Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Mike Huckabee, and the text on the screen is quoting Governor Mike’s upcoming NYTimes interview where is rips on “Mormons” using some really goofy speculations about what we believe. You can get more info on it here. While I’m listening a guy in his late 40s, early 50s walks up behind me and starts watching with me. I don’t know the guy, but he says to me, “Wow, those Mormons are a really weird bunch.” I asked him why he was saying that and he referenced what was on the screen and other stuff that he’d heard (none of it true). I stopped the conversation by telling him that I was a “Mormon” and that he was tragically misinformed. (example, he thought there were 200,000 of us and that the church was headquartered in Independence, MO) Of course that made for a nicely awkward moment. I let the silence hang for a while. I told him the names of several prominent members of the church at our own company and in public life. He was shocked. I would’ve taken the conversation a bit further, but he was so embarrassed that I think he just wanted out.

I should’ve sent him here so he could actually read and see what we believe instead of hearing it from a disingenuous politician on TV. Anyway, long post here, and I have a lot more to say on the topic, but I thought you might find the story interesting. Lots of polls have been out there about the "Mormon Problem" for Mitt. I saw one that said 56% of the respondents would be less likely to vote for a Mormon. Wow, are we really still so backward and misinformed?! And don't think for a minute that other politicians aren't using that to their advantage (example above). (even letting their mothers get in on the bigotry) It's frightening to think that we very well may choose our next President based partially on which Christian church he goes to. Absolutely frightening . . .
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