Sunday, December 31, 2017

Only 364 Shopping Days Left

Well another Christmas has come and gone

3rd Annual Christmas Letter, 2009

The first real snow of the year is on the ground so what better time to write the old Christmas Letter. In preparation for writing this year's letter I reviewed some of the previous years' letters. That is one nice thing about the old blog, you can just go back and look at last year's letter anytime, not that i don't keep everyone else's letters too. Anyway 2009 was a little different for the Helfen's. Actually is started out kind of hectic as I was unemployed for about 2 days when the Triple C ranch closed its doors and I went back to the Big O. I wasn't planning on staying there, but things started working out and it ended up being a really good fit for me, so I guess it was kind of a blessing in disguise . . . deep deep cover disguise. Anyway after the initial rough phase of the year things started coming our way. I got Sophie a really nice Sony Camera for her Birthday, actually it was after her birthday because we had to do a lot of shopping for a camera that met all of her needs. Which are a lot for someone who is as particular about her pictures as Sophie is. Sampson played T-ball again for the Pirates and did really well holding down the hot corner for most of the year. It was neat to see how much he had improved since last year. His team even pulled off a legit double play. Football was a little rough this year as the Buckeyes came up short in the playoffs even after scoring more points than the other team, but in the third place game he did score 2 TD's so that was pretty awesome. Now he is playing basketball for the 1st time and doing really well, he even scored in the first game. Peach had a pretty rough year too, like old Dad. She started out getting stitches in February after doing a face plant on a popcorn tin, then she managed to break her arm right before her first ever dance recital. She did really well though, she just didn't get to do her Acro stuff, but we waved and made a big fuss for her and she smiled really big while she was sitting there with the other girls. After the recital, she got flowers and a dancer Barbie. She was very excited. Also me and Sampson won the fishing Derby, which was awesome. We had been trying ever since he could hold a fishing rod, ok even before he could, but this year we won, finally.

After the kids' birthday party in July we headed to Pennsylvania for our vacation. We headed to Lancaster for Dutch Wonderland and a stay at the Howard Johnson and their indoor water park. We detoured through Gettysburg on the way and back, which I thought was really interesting, but Sophie and Sampson didn't enjoy it very much. Peach liked it pretty well I think though. We all enjoyed Dutch Wonderland though. They had a combo amusement park and a water park there and we spent the whole day. We did the sky ride and the roller coasters (the little one once with everyone, I had to ride the big one myself), and the big water slides. It was a very fun trip and slightly educational. The indoor water park was fun too, as it was right in the hotel, then at lunch we went to Chuck E. Cheese and for dinner we went to Friendly's which was neat because they had a balloon guy and he made animals for the kids.

Sophie and the kids also got to go to the Columbus Zoo with her Aunt and her boys this year. That was a long day for them, Dad didn't get to go cause they went in the middle of the week, but Peach is still talking about the trip. Sophie got a lot of neat pics too.

The end of the year seems to be picking up for the Helfen household too. Work is going pretty well, the company stock is up about 1000%, but I don't want to take all the credit for that. I mean I'd like to think I helped. I won Fantasy baseball this year too, so if you see Stevie remind him about that. Also I played a bunch of different online games and met some really neat people. Well here is hoping this finds you happy and healthy, and wishing you a great 2010.


The Helfens
Kirk, Sophie, Sampson and Peach

CrossRoads ... or not

I'm just at a very difficult part in my professional career as this year winds to a close.  I have been with my current employer for the last 4+ years and have probably done more here than at any place I have worked before.  Not combined for everywhere, but I have been involved in two reactor installs and have been involved in all of the instrumentation and commissioning of every new piece of equipment that has been brought on-line in that period.  So I feel like I have done a lot and I definitely have the knowledge of all these new pieces.  So onto the cross road part.  Well recently my boss got promoted (congrats), but I did not.  That's okay as I don't really have a back up and no one is in a position to do my job if I moved up so I would essentially be stuck doing two full jobs which would be impossible.  But (and there is always a but right?) when the move happened I wasn't involved in any of the talks.  Well that's fine as I'm just a lowly process engineer, but I was told that I would be reporting to the production manager who was going to take over some of the site manager responsibilities.  I said that wouldn't be a problem as that was my gut reaction to be a good little soldier and not a problem maker.  After about a week, December 8th to be exact, it starts to dawn on me that 1) I wasn't consulted in any of the decisions and am the 3rd most tenured person at the plant now, 2) my responsibilities seemed to increase after my boss left with no increase in compensation even though the new manager got a promotion and raise.  Now I'm not one to begrudge someone else but the person that got the promotion was in a similar position on the org chart to me, but now I'm below them.  So this is indirectly a demotion for me.  Now I'm second in tenure at the plant, but aren't being consulted about any decisions related to the plant.   So in the first month of this experiment I've watched us run our most critical chemical level down to a point where we didn't have enough to neutralize our tank, and the level in the tank has dropped off the thermocouple, so we have run the pump in manual for the last 2 weeks because the automated heating and cooling cycles won't work.  We ruined a pump and in haste to neutralize a tank used a chemical that we haven't used before and it corroded the inside of the tank.  To boot the only reason that we didn't have more issue with the chemical tank was because I just happened to realize the cooling system was trying to run, but wasn't working and the tank was heating up by the constant recirculation.  I'm just at a difficult point because I have seen a lot of other plants close and fail, and I don't think we are there, but there has definitely been a change in the last month that isn't a positive.  I don't really want to leave because of all the time and work I have put in, but I question where my ceiling is now.  Clearly I'm not getting the credit, or should I say some other people are extremely good at taking credit, and now if I say something to management it will seem like sour grapes.  Also the people that I work with are slowly starting to grade on my patience and there are about 4 people that I try and avoid at all costs, which is not good for a work environment.  At any rate this is just kind of an exercise to help me think through things and really give myself some perspective.  Every time I have left a job in the past has been out of necessity to stay employed and this would really be the first I have left because of work issues.  I honestly don't see a way out, but it is going to take a while.  All I can do is put my faith in God that he has guided me through things before and done it for a reason.  If my purpose has been served here and it is time to move on then great, but if I'm supposed to persevere to learn something then that is going to be rough.  I know how hard it is to start over and my past is about 4-5 years and hit the reset.  I have about 20 years left and there is no way I'm going to be miserable working for the next 20 years.  Peach said she wants me to be happy, but that is a hard thing sometimes.  What really makes you happy?  Knowledge of what you are doing?  Comfort where you are working?  Not having to start over again?  Feeling that what you are doing matters and getting recognized for it?  Well I know what being miserable is, happiness may just have to wait.  Hears hoping 2018 goes better.  Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Big Debate

Well that was disappointing. I think every presidential debate you think the next president will just pop off the screen and then the debate ends up devolving into a series of personal attacks about how the other candidate is sooooo much worse that anyone with any sense would never vote for them.  I was kind of hoping that in the historic nature of the debate that the candidates would recognize that it was going to be one of the most watched debates in history and take the high road a little, but it didn't happen. At all.  One of the worst things to me was the moderator calling out Trump for comments.  Dude, you are the moderator, you want to be in the debate, run for freaking president. Other than that keep your opinions to yourself.  And then when he presented the half truth that the law Trump was talking about was struck down because it was unconstitutional, Trump had to defend himself to the moderator and explain how the judge was taken off the case and the new mayor of New York dropped trying to defend it.  Trump was right, but it was a waste of time and effort.  Looking back I do feel like Trump got a raw deal, and that is the worst thing the democrats could do is make him look like a victim.  For Hillary she acted like the little school girl that knows all the answers and constantly has her hand in the air.  Except she didn't answer questions.  Holt would ask a question, and then she would give a preplanned response based on something similar but not the actual question.  It is bad when Sampson starts yelling at the screen that she isn't answering the questions.  Yikes.  Then Holt asked Trump about the birther conspiracy.  Just let it go man, no one cares.  Obama is 3 months away from completing 8 years as president, no one can do anything now.  The only two people that know where he was actually born are dead, so let's please let that issue die.  But Trump responds in what is probably the second worst way he could, by accusing Hillary of starting it back in 2008 during the primaries.  Just let it go is all he had to do.  Just play it off as a non issue and that no one was talking about it and then he could have spent about a minute and a half blasting Clinton on Whitewater, her foundation, the e-mails, Benghazi anything, but he screwed that up.  Another thing he screwed up was when they asked about the Iraq invasion.  I really don't care what his position was 14 years ago because he was a private citizen.  If you think it was so bad Lester, why don't you ask Hillary why she voted for it.  And why was it bad anyway?  Look at the timing of it, it was still a year or so since 9/11 and we were still looking for "someone's ass to kick" (to borrow a phrase). The problem wasn't the invasion, it wasn't that Saddam was removed from power, it was that there was no exit plan once the objective was complete.  Then when the leader was gone it was like "hey why don't you guys try democracy, it's like super great.  Ok whelp see ya later.  Oh and don't worry about giving us oil or any repayment for you know setting you free, its totally cool."  Then Obama comes in and yanks the troops out, and leaves a giant power vacuum forming ISIS... If someone was legitimately in the middle and that debate swayed them, I feel sorry for them.  Unless it swayed them to the third party candidate in which I totally understand.  I hope the next debate asks some tougher questions to Hillary.  She can't be lobbed softballs all the time, she is going to have to deal with some difficult questions and answer them.  We now turn to Vince Foster for his opinion on the debate... oh wait nvrmnd...

The Drought is Over

In case you were wondering the time was 3.4106776 years between posts, but that is just a rough estimate.  I don't think much happened.  There was a flock of sea gulls and a gas shortage and that's about it.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Presidential Debate of Aught '16

Ugh ugh cough cough... sorry had to knock the dust off the old blog.  I think this may be the new record, but I'll address that later.  I just wanted to get some thoughts down before the big show down tonight.  No not Falcons vs. Saints, I'm talking about the big debate.  It will be historic as the first woman nominated by a major political party will take place in a presidential debate, so hey its got that right?  But it will also be the first time in about 20 years that a non-politician will get to take the stage in a presidential debate, Ross Perot anyone?  Any how, I was just thinking that since this election is so tight already that I really think tonight will be the deciding factor.  Both of the VP's are pretty noncontroversial (yeah check that word out), but the two candidates themselves couldn't be more polarizing.  I really think tonight will be the one chance that the candidates have to make an impact.  I know there are two more debates, but in this short attention span climate, that first impression goes alongggggg way.  I think Trump can win the election tonight, if he can stay on topic and not go off the rails screaming or making a point of some controversial topic or directly insult Hillary's womanhood.  If he can stay in his lane and be "presidential" (basically not pissing everyone off, like normal) he will make a winning impression.  On the other hand, if Hillary can come off as genuine and honest (good luck) and boil her policies down to understandable, quotable, relatable really not sure where I was going with that, but if she can argue policies and not hyperbole I think she can make the stronger impression. 

Personally I think we really missed the boat with Romney four years ago.  This is at best a train wreck / dumpster fire of an election.  Between the two candidates they have been elected to a major government body, exactly once.  And that was the senate, not even a governor here.  Has anyone seen Tom Tancredo?  I seriously think he was lost in one of those corn field in Iowa back in '08.  Anyway, good for the candidates to make it this far, but unless someone can just blow me away tonight (Clinton reference, #amiright?)  I really feel like we are in trouble.  I really hope someone comes out sounding presidential.  Just to be clear as of right now, I really don't view Hillary as a leader, but I don't know that Trump will have enough support from either party to accomplish anything.  Which hey, maybe that isn't a bad thing.  Well see you on the other side of history.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1st Mustang Game of 2013

Well I feel like the worst parent/Coach on the planet.  Our coach has put me in charge of pitching and as the "Pitching Coach" of which I know only what I have read and looked at on-line and learned from other people I get to be in charge of 5 young kids who all want to pitch every night.  But tonight was the worst case scenario for me to be in that position as Sampson is one of the pitchers.  And he  has done phenomenal in the 2 scrimmages we had and even in fall ball.  Well tonight the first kid pitched 3 scoreless innings with 6 k's, then the second kid pitched one inning of 3 K baseball, then I sent Sampson in to pitch the last 2 innings facing the meat of their order and he walked 6 straight to bring to game to 3-2.  So I had to go out there and pull my son from the game, and he hates me now. Hopefully he will talk to me tomorrow.  The next kid did come in with the bases loaded and struck out 3 and got the other team 1-2-3 in the 6th to preserve the win.  Sampson did come back up after I took him out and he got a hit, and slide into second, and then stole 3rd and got to home on another hit and slide into home.  Two perfect slides.  We ended up winning 6-2, and combined the kids pitched a no-hitter so there is that for the old pitching coach, but right now I feel horrible about taking him out because it upset him sooooo much. He also had an unassisted out at 1st so he played a good game, he was just very dissappointed about the thing he wanted to do the most.  Sorry buddy, I do love you.  Who knows maybe we will laugh about this someday...probably not tomorrow though, I'm just hoping you talk to me by then.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peach's First Lost Tooth

Well she finally lost that tooth that has been loose since like Thanksgiving. If I think of it and am motivated enough maybe I'll post a pick of her new smile. Anyway she told Sophie "so Mommy here is that tooth". Here she pulled it out herself. Pretty good little girl, but don't get any ideas about ripping the rest of your teeth out. Apparently the tooth fairy is pretty generous when it comes to your first tooth, especially when you pull it out yourself because Peach got a 1 and a 5. She was supposed to split it with old Dad, but she promptly went out and blew it on bigger Lego's. I fear she could become quite expensive . . .

Double Double

Sampson is back playing hoops this winter and he got his first double double last week with 10 points and 10 boards. He followed it up this week with another double-double by getting 10 and 12 rebounds. He was really excited about it, but I told him right after the game he had a double double with points and turn overs, he only had 3 of those though. I sure am glad they aren't keeping score this year. . .

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Fourth Annual Helfen Christmas Letter

Well this is actually after Christmas, but as you can notice I haven't exactly been blogging like crazy lately, it is possible that I may not have even done one of these last year, but anyway on to the letter. This was a pretty good year for the old Helfen clan. We took a big trip to Florida in July to visit Disney World and Universal Studios, which was pretty much the highlight of the year. We had decided last year that we were going to take the kids and just go and have a really good time and that is exactly what we did. We hit all the Disney Parks and Universal Islands of Adventure, it was a lot of walking to do in 5 days.

We also made an addition to the family, no not like that, we added a little four-legged member named Brownie. We got her in February when she was just a little pup, now she is a slightly larger pup, but she has been doing better lately. She may eventually be a good dog even if Sophie threatens to get rid of her at least once a week.

On the kid front, Sampson played baseball, football and basketball this year. Last year was his first for basketball and that sport is probably his favorite. This year he started again right before Christmas and dropped 20 in his first game. Peach had her second recital, in which she did very good. She didn't have a broken arm this year so that was a plus. She also started pre-school this year and had her first program earlier this month. She was a little lamb and did a very good job singing and reciting a bible verse.

On a professional front the year was good as well. Instead of a severing or shutting down production, we actually are restarting two of our idled pot lines. So it has been a little more busy at work at the end of the year, but that is a good thing. I also got to go to Seattle for a conference in February, which was very interesting. It was my first trip to North West and it was very pretty country, but city life is a little too crowded for my taste. I did get to go in the Space Needle for all of about 10 minutes, because it was just so busy out there.

Oh also I won this year's addition of fantasy baseball, for the second year in a row.

Well here is hoping that you have had a great year too, and wishing you the best for 2011.


The Helfens

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Bucks Win!!

Sampson's team won their first game today. Way to go boys!! 18-12 I think. The got to play on the big field this year, artificial turf and what not. I think next week I will help coach so I can go down on the field.

Fantasy "Real Deal" Pitchers for 2011

As the 2010 fantasy baseball season er "real" baseball season winds to a close there are a couple of things I wanted to get down to kind of be ready for the draft next season. Basically I don't care for Yahoo! rankings of players and I think their system is seriously messed up when it comes to pitchers. According to the old Y! there are 30 starters and 12 relievers that are in the top 100, but when you start looking at who can give you more in a head-to-head one-week-battle pitchers offer far less than there positional counter parts who on a good week can contribute in 5 categories on 6 days. For starting pitchers you get a max of 4 categories and usually only 1 start per week, although sometimes you get the magic 2 start week (rarely), but you can also get really hosed before and after the all-star break. For these reasons I don't feel any of the top 50 picks should go to pitchers and as I have stated before I won't risk a 4th rounder on a starter again, but should any of the following 10 guys show up around the 50th pick or so they are definitely worth a look as I would consider them proven "real deal" pitchers for the upcoming year. You know, baring injury or trades and stuff in the off season. These are in no particular order.

King Felix Hernandez - I didn't realize how good this guy was but he is way up there in innings (which actually could be a liability for next season), K's, and his ERA and WHIP are pretty stellar. Wins are a little harder to come by in Seattle.

Cliff Lee - Yeah former Cy Young winner innings eater and future pin stripe wearer (most likely), still one of the top guy and worth it if he falls to 50 or so. Lefties aren't a bad choice in NY.

CC Sabathia - Yeah former Cy Young winner innings eater and present pin stripe wearer (unfortunately), still one of the top guy and worth it if he falls to 50 or so. Lefties aren't a bad choice in NY.

David Price - Lefties that can throw high 90's wins 18, K 180 plus and have an ERA less than 3.00 in the AL East are pretty nice. Well worth a 5th or 6th round pick.

Jon Lester - Lefties that can throw high 90's wins 19, K 220 plus and have an ERA less than 3.00 in the AL East are pretty nice. Well worth a 5th or 6th round pick. At first I wasn't sure of how good this guy was, I mean he was a nice story about coming back from cancer, but this guy is a top 5 pitching talent. Definitely the Real Deal.

Roy Halladay - 200+ innings - 20 wins, 200+ K's, ERA of around 2.50 and a WHIP under 1.10. And he pitched a perfecto this year. Two Words - Real Deal.

Josh Johnson - Over 1k per inning and he pitched over 180 innings . . . before September. Which is a little cause for concern next season that he didn't pitch an entire month, but he was by far one of the best pitchers April - August. Hopefully his stock drops because without even playing month he is still in the top 30 according to Y!.

The Cardinal Tandem of Wainwright and Carpenter - Wainwright is the top rated Y! pitcher of the season 20/213 K's/2.42/1.05, just slightly ahead of Roy. Carpenter checks in around 15/175/3.42/1.20.

Tim Lincecum - He was a little off this year and well under performed his preseason Y! rank of 9, but he is a former Cy Young winner and I look for him to bounce back. He is probably at the bottom of my list and he checks in with 15 W's/220 K's/3.51/1.27. The last two categories are a little high, and that is what will get you in fantasy head-to-head, not worth a top 6 pick in my opinion, but someone will take him.

I figure a couple of these guys will be around after the fifth round as Yahoo! is sure to screw up the preseason rankings, and when they are I might even draft one. . . might.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Frogs Sprinting Down the Stretch

The fantasy baseball season is quickly coming to an end and the old Ungiggable Frogs have found themselves atop the standings as the last week of action commences. It has been a long battle back as I have never been more than 10 games out of first, but I was as low as 7th during the season. Anyway I still have one more week after trouncing Stevie 8-0-2 last week. The guy I'm playing this week has been inactive for like a month, but I think he has decided to play this, oh well. We'll see if the old frogs can't bring home another title. Since the season is almost over I just wanted to get some thoughts down to remind myself of things for next season. One is trust my gut and not Yahoo! rankings. I felt like Adam Wainwright was the best pitcher available with my 4th pick, but instead I went with Dan Haren because Chris Carpenter was still on the board and Yahoo! had him ranked ahead of Wainwright and it just didn't make sense to pick Wainwright over Carpenter cause they are on the same team. Anyway that was wrong because even though Carpenter is ranked like 15 or something Wainwright is #6, meanwhile Haren is around 150 or so. Not terrible and certainly not worth dropping, but well under where I drafted him. Anyway the lesson for next year is to ignore Yahoo! cause the basically don't know what they are talking about. I don't think I'll draft a pitcher in the top 100 next year, my other pick was Beckett for Boston and he was flat out horrible. I did end up dropping him, but I mean what is the use there are tons of pitchers available during the season that do awesome. The only two starters I have kept all season are Haren and David Price. Picking up Price at around the 200th pick kind of makes up for Haren. Billy Butler is another who has disappointed, but at least been consistent. I read an article before the season of Butler vs. Morales, kind of a fantasy shake down comparison. Anyway the consensus was Morales was more ready and as luck would have I actually ended up with both out of the draft. Morales was definitely the better talent, until he broke his leg . . . in like May. I think he stayed in the top 100 for about another month, but he was sorely missed in the old frog's lineup. If I had him for the full season it is quite possible that this season wouldn't even be in doubt. As it was I managed to pick up Russell Branyan who has performed decently given he didn't even play the first month. Kind of like the anti-Morales or Bizaro-Morales. Either way he filled in nicely, but was a step below what I had. It is just very hard to replace top 50 talent during the season. If I do manage to win I think the MVP will be Troy Tulowitzki, who pretty much sealed the last week for me with 9 runs 6 HRs and 17 rbi's with a BA of .346. That might be the most incredible week of stats I have seen by one player. Well as long he continues to do that I shouldn't have a problem, lol. Did I mention he was my number one pick. Alright 2 more weeks and we'll see how it all shakes out. . .

The Greatest Moment in OU football History . . .

. . . well you know not counting MAC Championships, which I don't. The Bobcats put the old smack down on one of the other large state universities this past weekend. Well at least the mascot "Rufus" put a beating on the other school's mascot "Brutus". Here is the video just in case you missed it.

The only bad thing is Ohio actually apologized for this. Why? No apology needed for something this awesome. Way to go Rufus, even if you picked up a lifetime ban for this. . . still totally worth it.

Totally unrelated, but Sampson will be playing for the Bucks this year in flag football. I guess I'll keep an eye for any Bobcats that come along, but there shouldn't be any problems as his team doesn't have a mascot.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Disney Vacation

Oh yes we did get to go to Disney World. As part of the lucarative winnings of the fishing derby was an all expenses paid trip to Disney World. You just won the Beallsville First Christian Church Fishing Derby what are you going to do next - I'm going to Disney World. Ok that isn't how it happened, although expenses paid would have been an awesome way to go, we actually paid our own way and the trip was completely unassociated with the fishing derby. Anyway it was the kids' first trip to Disney, second for me, and 3rd for Sophie. You see me and Sophie went to Disney on our honeymoon, but that was pre-blog. Sophie's Mom went with us too, to help with the kids and carry all of our stuff and take our pictures and what not, just kidding although she did get to do all of that too plus ride roller coasters with me. We went at the end of July, week of the 18th to be exact, and surprising Florida is quite warm that time of year. Ok it is down right hot, but the kids did excellent at the parks. We didn't even have to get a stroller. I think the excitement kind of kept them going, plus Sophie had started them on a training regiment early in the summer getting them used to walking by taking them to the track, which turned out to be a very good idea. We did 5 parks in 5 days, which by the end of the vacation I needed another vacation, and it was very fast paced. We stayed off site at Fantasy World Club Villas, and they were very nice. I would recommend them to anyone, as they were a 2 story villa with 2 bedrooms, kitchen, living room, 2 baths and a washer/dryer. Plus where we were at was right next to the pool so that was neat. The only bad thing is there is no close stores for food, but we did take a suitcase full of food so we would have snacks for the parks and pop-tarts in the morning :D. Oh and the water sucked (insert mr. yuck symbol here). So the schedule we planned on doing was 2 days at Disney 1 day at Universal and 2 more days at Disney. By staying at an off-site hotel we could go to different parks, which in a nice advantage, the bad thing is Disney was the only park worth going to. If we had it to do over again I would say we stay at Disney and just do the last day at either Magic Kingdom or Epcot. I'll tidy this up in a bit, I have to relinquish control of the computer to the girl for now.

Fishing Derby of Aught 10

This year was special because it was the first time that Peach got a trophy. She was kind of upset when Sampson got another trophy and she thought she wasn't going to get one, but when she found out she won she had the biggest smile on her face. Sampson fished with Uncle Bo and got the "Most Fish" trophy while Peach and I pulled in the one for "Smallest Fish". What? She could have won a trophy for anything and it wouldn't of mattered as long as she got one. And she actually did bring it in. Old dad was busy trying to bring the biggest fish, but my line got tangled on a old rope (which I estimate the rope's length at about 30' which would have one for longest catch, you know if there was a category for that) and it ended up costing me about 5 minutes out of our 15. If that wouldn't have happened we might have ended up with the most too. But I'm not greedy, I'm just glad Peach finally got a trophy to put on her wall. Check out how excited my little girl was. Also Nippert (from the famous sheriff election of aught 8 or so) got the win for biggest fish. See he is money at making the big catch, too bad you didn't elect him sheriff so he could be "catching" criminals instead.

Oops what happened to August

Holy cow I forgot to blog in August. . . well "forgot". Sometimes I go through periods where I don't blog for a while, I mean come on how was I going to set the record between blog posts of over 2 years. Well on this "labor" day I've decided to "work" on the old blog and catch some stuff up from over the summer. Wow, I seem to be using the old "quotes" a little bit too much.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy 4th Everyone

We had a pretty busy day on the 3rd, and just kind of took it easy around the house on the 4th. My mom did just send me an e-mail though and I thought the image was pretty powerful as it kind of puts into perspective all of the freedoms we do have and the cost with which they have been paid for. 234 years ago some very brave people were willing to give everything they had to start a new nation even if it meant giving their life. Unfortunately that kind of sacrifice is still needed, and still greatly appreciated.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Peach's 2nd Recital

We have a pretty jam packed weekend coming up, with Peach's second recital and the Fishing Derby. This year Peach is in 3 classes, so she will get a little more face time at the recital, unfortunately not until the 3rd and 4th act though. Also me and Sampson get to defend our title of most fish at the fishing derby. Can't Wait...check in for the results.

Oh also we have avoided (well at least through today) any broken apendages that may effect the dance recital. . . .

Baseball Season is Over - Well Rays Pinto Season

Well today the Pinto Rays finished their season a respectable 6-4-1. We started out like gang busters, but dropped 4 of the last 5. It seemed like we were a lot better than some of the teams to start the season, but we just didn't improve as much. Either that or the hot weather got to us. I think we got a little out of sorts when we were off for 10 days and didn't really play. Oh I kept working with Sampson on the weekends and I think he really did do better as the season went on, but some of the situations we ended up in were really difficult to prepare for. Just different scenarios with runners on and where the forces were at, stuff like that. Sampson did have all 3 out unassisted in one game at Bridgeport though. He played 3rd base all season and the other team happened to get runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs and the next 3 people lined the ball right to him and he just grabbed it and stepped on the base. Sometimes he really impresses me with what he does and just surprises me. I'm really proud of the way he played this year, we even had what I would call our first real game of catch in May at Maw's house. Well the season did end on kind of a sour note, with out team getting mercy-ruled by 10 runs in the last 2 games. This last left me Really upset, not because I thought we could come back and win, but in the bottom of the fifth inning after we had gotten on of the kids out at first the first baseman went to through the ball back to the circle and he threw it to the opposing coach. Well "Coach Super Bad Sport" (as he will be referred to for infinity) ducked, wait did you catch that he DUCKED out of the way so that the ball would go out of bounds and they would get another base on the over throw. Well the kid was awarded 3rd base and then scored on the next play which was a fielders choice from the short stop which would have held the runner at second with 2 outs and we would have had a chance to get to the 6th. I just thought it was really poor from a sportsmanship standpoint to do something like that to 7 and 8 year-olds. The bad things is that since it was a continuation of a game we had already started, Sampson didn't even get to bat tonight. So that is all for this season since we won't have enough kids to compete in next weeks playoffs, eh I was ready to be done, just a little disappointed in the way it ended.

My biggest gripe may be the stupid rule about the circle. We never had the circle growing up and in my opinion it is stupid. That blunt enough for you. It teaches terrible fundamentals, in my opinion was the ball is secured in the infield by any of the infielders the base runners can't advance, period. When they get to high school someone isn't going to make the turn to third when the second baseman has the ball, it just teaches horrible base running habits. I don't like it and I think it ought to be changed. That circle is just bad and you don't need the thing, get rid of it.

Ok now for some happy pictures of the season, well after this weekend maybe. Oh did I mention I kept book for the team. It was pretty hectic keeping up with the kids, I only made one mistake all season. And if you believe that . . . Well I will say this the other coaches on the team said that they had no doubt that someone wasn't going to pencil whip us. And they wouldn't have.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Survivor Finale

Just watched the worst suvivor finale ever. I had such high hope and then they were dashed when Sandra the worst player ever won again - by default. Please Survivor no more 3 person finals, just go an extra day or so and go all the way down to two.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mailing One In

Well time is tight right now around the old Helfen Household.  We got baseball 3 days a week and dance one night.  Soon dance will go to two days a week, so I wanted to practice the old mail in the posts and see what that looked like since I might have to start mailing them in.  

New Fantasy Season

Well we drafted about two weeks ago and the "Ungiggable Frogs" have emerged as the early leaders in the new fantasy season. Well actually I think I'm tied for fourth or so, but we are coming on strong. I ended up drafting 14th, which didn't end up being as bad as I thought it would be. I picked up a SS Troy Tulowitzki and 3B David Wright with my first 2 picks and they are both in the low 200's right now. Wow, way to go guys, what did you do check to see if I drafted you. Anyway I would have taken Reynolds then, but I didn't want to reach to the 15th spot on him, I thought that was too early, we'll see. Anyway I kept with the Frog theme, since it has worked so far, the ungiggable part came from the pass word for the league which was something like "letsgofroggigging". Stevie has gone the revenge route with "Coalminer's Revenge". You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after last year's "Revenge of the Frogs", but unfortunately in fantasy baseball imitation can only get you to second place. My draft started to fall apart in the last 7 picks or so. I ended up with Eric Bedard who won't play until the second half and my back-up second baseman doesn't even start. Oh well, just have to pick some people up and make a go of it. At least I got Kurt Suzuki with my 12th pick, now I don't have to worry about catcher. Sure he isn't great, but catchers are notoriously bad fantasy players and I have found not worth the moves to try and find a diamond in the rough.

Well a new twist this season, I have branched into the 'B' category of fantasy players. I have 3 teams, but I still manage them with an 'A' type personality, checking the waivers, and free agents constantly. I haven't completely annoyed Sophie yet . . .yet. Anyway one of the teams is in a league with Mom. She wanted to play. Well I'm pretty sure she did after the constant badgering that me and Stevie give her. We also got Bo to play, so it should be fun. Probably not too much smack talk in that league, well very little. Ok probably A LOT. Anyway good luck everyone in all leagues, have fun fighting for second.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A New Poem (It's the Bomb, trust me)

Well in honor of Big Chief Red Metal's recent run-in with the law and his penchant for telling stories in the poetic style, I have constructed the following poem. Hopefully it will illustrate the hilarity (oh yes hil-ar-ity) of the whole bomb episode.

The time had come, oh yes it had
For all to leave, times had gotten bad

Well old Chief Red Metal stayed to help
"No problem Dale", he said with a yelp

He'd check the plant day after day
But one item eluded his vision's stray

When Consol had bought the place
Shock and Aw did fill their face

For in the Big Chief's office did they find
One big detail he had left behind

It was not a mess or ISO files on his desk
It was the fake bomb he made for that safety test

His pride and joy it was
But that darn Consol had called the fuzz

They came with lights and the sirens blared
They even shut down Route 2 to show they cared

Consol did not want their new plant blown apart
So they began their search for the owner of that car in the parking lot

All signs pointed back to the Chief
"It's a fake" he said but to no relief

They couldn't figure why he left it out
It's all Dean's fault he began to shout

It must have been that spider bite
That left him not thinking right

But he stayed right there he would not run
"I'll blow this place to kingdom come"

Oh wait, no it really was a fake
Being a prison bride he could not take

He got off for now, the police did not arrest
But I'm sure he'll land on the no-fly list

Ok, well this is just getting to be ridiculously long now, so I'll just revert back to the prose I'm more used to. Anyway I don't think he got arrested, but I suppose he is still at risk, and probably up for the no-fly list and what not. Oh man, I forgot I really wanted to come up with a rhyme for no-fly list . . . Well I changed the last line of the poem to reflect it now, but I'm too lazy to erase what I've already typed. Actually I'm not even sure that arrest and list rhyme, but that's the best I got. Hope you enjoyed it.

New Robin Hood

You'll always be the gladiator to me Russell Crowe, always.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sampson's New Team

Sampson got on the Rays!!! Once a schedule and stuff comes out I'll be sure to let you know.

Also in honor of the new baseball season a little something to get you in the mood for baseball . . . or not.

It's Peanutbutter Jelly Time !!!! (better late than never)

Ooops, forgot the video. Well here you go.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let's Go Bobcats!!!!!

Watching the Bobcats play G-Town in the Tourney. Up by 12 at the half, LET'S GO CATS!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Changing Seasons

No not the weather - sports. I haven't been keeping up with the old blog too well lately *cough games*, but Sampson finished basketball at the end of January. He did very well, he even poured in 16 points one game, old dad has the video footage too. Last week we signed up for baseball. It should be pretty exciting this year as they keep scores and outs and what not. I think it is coaches pitch, which is essentially what they did during instructional league so that shouldn't be too bad. I'll have to get him out and work some of the rust off if it would ever not snow or rain. Well hopefully I'll do better keeping track of the new season. Oh also his team was undefeated in basketball, even though they didn't keep score for two full games, but that is mostly do to the fact they were blowing the other team out. I think he really enjoyed it. I can still take him though. At least in his room on the little rim he got for the back of his door at Christmas.

Sampson Trades Rooms for Magic Beans

Well not quite magic beans, but 2 packs of Marvel figures. Of course that is what Sophie thought he traded for, turns out Sampson thought the deal was Super Hero Squad bed sheets, a new paint job in the room AND the two marvel packs. Well that is what he started telling everyone else he traded the room for, so in all likelihood Sophie is going to have to throw in the stuff now too. The sweetheart part of the deal for him though is that he thinks he traded for a bigger room too. Unfortunately buddy you didn't, but after we started moving all of Peach's stuff into Sampson's old room and his stuff into Peach's old room, it did look like Peach's old room was bigger. Well I know for sure that the closet is smaller and that will be big for her later, trust me. Anyway the whole reason that came about is because I broke the piece of crap computer chair that we had in the kitchen. Sophie says I can have a nice big chair fully capable of supporting me if we can move the computer and stuff down stairs, but in order to do that we needed to move the doll house upstairs, which required a larger room for Peach, which means Sampson needed to switch rooms with her, which meant that Sophie needed to bargain with him to do it, which she did for 2 Marvel Packs. And apparently some other stuff, but really he could have asked for the kitchen sink and probably got it. So buddy someday you'll realize you gave up your room to your sister and there it is. Hope it works out, I know it will for me, I'm getting a new chair!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


The US Hockey team just beat the Canadian team 5-3, in Canada even. Yeah, take that Canada, now that victory over our women's curling team isn't quite as sweet is it? That was the first time we had beat them since 1960, so you know I have been waiting for this opportunity for a while. Well not really, but it sure was convenient. Anyway Congrats U.S. Team and keep up the good work. I forgot it was on until there was 5 minutes left and the US let the Canadians score with 6 seconds left in a power play late in the third period. Then the goalie Miller saved about 20 shots in 2 minutes and one of the defensemen added an empty netter. Pretty awesome win for the US.

Jimmie "wins" 5th Championship

Well he hasn't yet, but judging by the first real race of the season HESCAR hasn't done anything to slow him down, plus they conveniently bend the rules for him so he can get back out front after late cautions when he is on pit road. Plus HESCAR left all the chase tracks the same, so it is only a matter of time before Jimmie gets number 5. I don't know if I can watch anymore of the season, I'm so disgusted right now.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

New Dog

Well Peach is finally going to get herself a new dog. You see she has been begging and begging for a puppy ever since, well I think since she could talk pretty much. And at first we told her we would get one if she potty trained, but then we didn't want to get one when the weather was going to be bad. Then the timing just never really worked out until recently and one of Sophie's Mom's friends had some pups she was giving away. So since the price of free is always in my ballpark and the pup was a beagle mix we decided that we should go ahead and get one. Sophie and Peach went to look at them yesterday and Peach was in love. The only problem was she thought she was going to get to bring it home, but the pup isn't weened yet. Anyway I guess she threw the fit of all fits when she had to leave the puppy, but Sophie got her calmed down a little by promising her a DVD or something. Ghesh, you promise a kid a dog, then you got to bribe 'em on top of that. Can't wait until she is ready for a car or something then maybe we'll have to bribe her with a laptop or jewellery. Anyway here are some picks of our new dog Brownie. Named for the Browns of course. I can't tell who is more excited Sophie or Peach.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quick Fact

Did you know India consumes about 46% of the total butter produced worldwide? Well that may have been before the USA got Peach, cause that girl likes her butter. Watch out India here we come.

Surviving Sophie

I imagine if our fish had a blog that is what the title of this post would be. Either that or 'The Adventures of Mac and Cheese' cause that is their names. Anyway last night I had just laid down in bed and Sophie started yelling for me to come into Peach's room because she needed help and the light was off in her room. So I came running in there and here Sophie had started to feed the fish and the lid had fallen off into the fish tank along with about half the can of fish food. So she is standing there trying to get the pump unplugged and I just imagine the fish are swimming in there going "Hallelujah". The fish tank was pretty well filled with food at this point and Sophie was in pure panic mode as she hustled the tank down stairs and did the fastest tank cleaning job she had ever done. As she was pulling the fish out of the tank with the little net it was impossible to not get some food in with them, so they were setting in the little temporary bowl with food still floating around. I wish I would have gotten a picture, but given the circumstances that it was already past midnight and Sophie's head was hurting a little it probably wouldn't have been a very good idea. Old Kirk could have ended up "sleeping with the fishes" if you know what I mean. Anyway Sophie cleaned all the rocks and stuff off as best she could and I cleaned the fish food lid off and the filter stone and carried the clean tank back up stairs. It was definitely something unexpected, but hey now it will be a while before the tank needs cleaned again . . . hopefully.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Well happy new year everyone. Hope 2010 is a great year for you!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Invite Friends To Play Cyber Nations

Invite Friends To Play Cyber Nations

if you want to play cyber nations use this linky. It helps me :D.

Bobcats Bowl Game - Live Event Blog

12:20 PM- I'm going to try and do something new and capture an event as it is unfolding. Right now it is about 40 minutes before the Bobcats get ready to take the field for hopefully their first ever Bowl win. I'm going to keep updating as time elapses. Should make for an interesting read, I hope. I see Bill Simmons do it for the Super Bowl one year. Right now Sophie is out picking up the pizza. Little Caesar's of course.
12:37 for the pregame I'm actually watching 'Overboard' with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Funnier movie than I thought it would be.
12:57 - ok, ESPN has just switched coverage over to the game. I'll have try and catch the end of that overboard movie sometime. Still waiting on Sophie and Pizza.
12:58 - Sophie arrives - With Pizza :D
1:01- kick off and we are underway. stumble in the endzone for OU. O-H-I-O gets the ball first, let's go Bobcats
1:03 - Sophie gets the mail, Christmas letter from the Simmons' is in there. Well time to load up on pizza. Little Caesar's no less. Dang 3 and out for the 'Cats. Good punt 50 yarder. Crap I hope the Punter doesn't turn into the MVP for us.
1:06 - 'Cats hold the Herd to 3 and out. At least Brazill is playing this time.
1:10 - first little Caesar's commercial telling me there is going to be a special deal this weekend. Hope we got that. Whooo hoo 'Cats get the first first down of the game. An end around by Brazill.
1:15 - working on my 3rd piece of pizza.
~1:18 - Ohio drive stalled inside Marshall territory. Lot of positive yardage this drive.
1:19 - Ooooo Marshall Penalty. I hope they don't do a bunch of cheap shots like Central Michigan did. Also Sophie says she is full. Pizza very good after 2 full days of ham.
1:21 - Marshall gets a first down. Yuck
*an observation - I don't like the "little Caeser's" logo in the endzone. I mean it is in the middle of the field and all over the promos - we get it. The team names should have been in the endzone. That is all.
1:26 - 'Official' review of Marshall ball carrier. Peach is playing here new DS and screaming 'Fly'. Yeah. Now it is 4th and 1 good review. Apparently there is a female ref. thanks ESPN.
DANG 17 yard run Marshall
1:30 - Marshall scores, thanks to some horrid tackling from OU. Dang it. Sophie says there are just some things women shouldn't do and I have to agree, why would a woman even want to ref a football game. well 7-0 bad guys.
1:37 - crap another 3 and out for the bobcats. And Marshall scores on the punt. Ghesh.
1:39 - Little Caesar's has a coupon for 3.99 pizza for today and tomorrow only. Sophie is a little hot since she paid full price and was wearing her OU stuff.
1:41 - it may be time for another small piece of pizza.
1:44 - mercifully the first quarter is over. Oh crap personal foul penalty against the bobcats. Terrible call, but the Marshall guy seems to be in a lot of pain. Well maybe it wasn't a bad call. Oooo a play update presented by "Flomax", that just doesn't seem right.
1:49 - no it was a terrible call, he came up and tried to run into the offensive player who defended himself. Well let's see if the 'Cats can tackle this time. Another flag. catch interference i bet.
1:51- Yep catch interference. 15 yard penalty for that, seems a little excessive. They should have varying degrees of interference cause that would be a 5 yarder. Sophie is unimpressed with the announcers, one of which is also a woman who stated that the Bobcats haven't scored yet. Really?!? I guess that is why they have 0, who knew.
1:53 - apparently this game is a snooze fest as Sophie's mom managed to take a nap.
1:55 - Crap another penalty. pass interference on a horribly thrown ball. You know if the receiver has the run into the defender that is not the defenders fault. We need a turnover right here.
2:01 - Shoot another TD, from the hated Herd. 21-0.
2:08 - Turn over OU. Hey isn't there a tuck rule in college? If there was that woman ref probably wouldn't know it. Oh complaints of a phantom whistle that stopped OU players. TO Herd, run back . . . TD for the 'Cats . . . flag on the play . . .fingers crossed
2:10 - TOUCH DOWN OU!!!!!! whew we needed that. Holding on the offense penalty declined 21-7. Maybe a little momentum shift. Way to go Ballard.
2:14 - Sophie's mom wakes up to catch replay of Touch down.
2:22 - OU stops Marshall and the 4 on 4th and 1. WHOOO. That was dumb. Chance to get some more points before the half easy kick and they go for it by pitching the ball and Noah Keller comes up to make the stop. Man if OU can take the ball down here and get something before the half that would be a HUGE shift.
-New Allstate commercial with a dummy, funny stuff
2:26 - well Marshall blew the first play up and called a timeout. OU can run the clock out though as Marshall only has one timeout left. Also Sophie's Mom went back to sleep. Marshall shouldn't even call a timeout. How dumb. Just run it Frank and run the clock out or kneel, yep kneel. Duh. Well we'll have to try and mount a come back the second half.
2:29 - time to check on some laundry
2:47 - Well while I have time I check the old fantasy sports over at Yahoo.
2:50 - Here we go time for a come back, Oooo tackle behind the 20 by OU. Good way to start.
Wow Noah Keller had 11 tackles in the first half. Come on guys don't forget this is for the BELL!!!
2:53 - Oh nice tackle there. 3 and out for the Herd. Let's see if we can get one here from Brazill. . . nope, but well start near mid field.
2:54 - Big pass to Price . . . Here we go . . . O-H-I-O.
2:56 - 3rd and 11, Pryce picks it up but comes back doh! 4th and 1 . . . depends on the spot.
Stopped by less than an inch. Dang.
3:04 - Good Defense OU. Got 'em into 3rd and 12 and then got the sack. Then I think there was a crappy punt too. Sweet. 'So you're saying there's a chance'.
3:08 - Yep crappy punt, then a face mask, OU operating inside the Marshall 25. Little Caesar pizza may be catching up to me. Our yelling about a run inside the 10 wakes up Sophie's Mom.
3:10 - a timeout. Dang my stomach is aching. apparently peanut butter cookies are not a good chaser for bread sticks and then throw in some squirt.
3:12- I (Sophie) have to step in to tell you about the OU TOUCHDOWN because hubby is indisposed. Go Bobcats Go!!!
3:19- Oops Marshall was that supposed to be a punt...Go OHIO!!!
3:22 - Ohio FIELD GOAL!!! 21-17 come back Ohio stop Marshall.
3:29- Hubby's back we will see if he is bad luck guy.
3:31- end of the 3rd quarter.
3:33 - (Kirk) I guess the aching could have been from the chocolate orange slices I had too. Sampson had 5 pieces of pizza. Better get ready for your own belly ache son. Hans was supposed to be here too, but so far he is a 'no Show'.
3:35 - 20 yard pick-up on 2 and 25 . . .Nice bobcats nice, way to start the fourth. Oh yes First down.
3:37 - exciting 4 yard loss by the bobcats . . . But a flag on the play 15 yarder on Marshall . . . Another First Down!!!!! Almost a TD. the flanker pass goes incomplete, but Price was wide, wide open. Another timeout Ohio. Boy I hope we don't need those at the end of the game.
3:44 - Oh yes throw that flag lady! Late hit Marshall another pick up on 3rd down.
3:47 - 4th down, field goal try 29 yards . . . no good. Dang.
3:54 - Ohio stops Marshall on 3rd and short. Oh man that Brazill gets a lucky bounce to retain possession. He is exciting every time back there, whether he returns the ball or not, unfortunately. Hans called apparently he got busy and now is not going to make it. 7 minutes left and the Bobcats need a TD to take the lead now as they trail 21-17.
3:59 - Ohio has to punt the ball away and play defense now. Another Turnover would be real nice. Dang another 1st down Marshal.
4:03 - Another Marshall first Down - less than 3 minutes left now.
4:04 - Ohio has to use its last time out. 1:47 left. Only a flicker of hope remains now for the Bobcats. Sophie and her Mom agree that the Bobcats are done, but I'm holding out for history. What better way to win their first bowl then the come all the way back from down 21 to win.
Starting to wish I had watched the end of that 'overboard' movie. Wonder how that ended.
4:08 - 4th down Marshall. On the 21, 1:02 remaining. Good chance the Herd will go for it. Nope field goal . . . Oooooo Miss. Only his second miss all year.
Here we go 'Cats.
57 seconds left
Incomplete - that's ok it was a short pass anyway.
47 seconds - complete to Brazill out of bounds 4 yard gain. Brazill hurt a little
Interception!!! Game Over.

well Dang it. The bobcats come up just a little short on their first ever bowl bid. Man I was so hopeful. Well there is always next year. Hope you like the post anyway.

New Year's Music

In order to help people transition from Christmas to New Year's I've put a little "New Year's" music up. 10 Auld Lang Syne to help ring in '10. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eternal Couturiers Men's Page

Eternal Couturiers Men's Page

Check these out from my good buddy Casca. Lots of neat Religious Shirts just in time for the Christmas season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peach the Vet

Peach said today that she wanted to be a vet, but that if someone came in with a skunk pet that she would not look at it. Because "skunks could get their stink on you." So in the future if you are thinking about going the the Peach Helfen Home of Healthy Animals with your skunk you might want to rethink that because she isn't going to even check your skunk. Then you'll just have to go somewhere else anyway.

Bobcats Win!!!

Sampson won his first ever organized basketball contest. Yah! Overall the Bobcats played pretty well, you could tell the second year kids from the first year kids though. Our second year guys really carried the load this first game. Sampson did start contributing late in the second half as he scored his first ever basket and then later scored his second ever basket. So good job buddy and I got it all on tape er I made a digital recording of it anyway. See Sophie and the kids let me have my Christmas present a little early so that I could record his game. In HD no less. It is funny watching him play because I go over a lot of stuff with him and we even played at Maw's house yesterday working on rebounding, but when he got in the game and started playing it was like he forgot everything. Oh well, he has a game Thursday hopefully he remembers to REBOUND. We'll work on it. I think his stat line was something like 4 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds, maybe a steal or two and at least one turn over. The final score was like 32 to 24 or so. I could check the tape again. I made him watch the game film already. Well I mean I wanted to see it hooked up to the TV anyway so we just went ahead and watched it. Good stuff.

Oh also the OU Bobcats are going for their first ever bowl win on December 26th around Noon Eastern or so against the Marshall Thundering Herd. This is also a rivalry game, so I wonder if they will put the "Bell" up for grabs. I mean the splendor and history of the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl should probably be enough, but I mean why not throw it out there for a little extra. If you happen to be thinking about it on the 26th think some positive thoughts for the old Bobcats. Thanks.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Bones" Jones - Future LH Champion

I watched Jon "Bones" Jones on the ultimate fighter finale last Saturday and just let me say I think he is very impressive as a fighter. He is in that light-heavy weight division that is severly stacked, and even though he "lost" I honestly think that in the next 4 years he will be the light-heavy weight champion. No pressure kid. But seriously he really handled Matt Hamil and I thought Hamil was pretty decent. He ended up getting DQ because of illegal elbows, but that was after he beat Hamil in the mount for about a minute straight. He is extremely long and throws very high impact unorthodox shots from crazy angles. Right now I don't see a good defensive strategy because he can out reach you and he has the more dangerous wrestling background of Greco-Roman which is tough in MMA because they like the clinch around the waist and most regular wrestlers like to grapple higher or lower. Honestly because of the crazy 84" reach I don't know how you get to this guy, I guess just shoot early and hope for the best cause if the fight stays standing I'll take "Bones" in the first. But I just wanted to call it on the old blog that by the end of 2014 "Bones" will probably be hoisting the belt. I see a good match between maybe him and Cantewell as he is a good up and comer too. Then maybe a Jardine, which would be interesting because of the two unorthodox styles. Next would be Evans or Griffin and then Machida or Rua whoever isn't champ and maybe a few other fights in there for good measure but within the next four years it will be difficult to keep him out of a title shot, just like it was difficult to keep out Machida.

Also during the finale Kimbo Slice finally looked like an MMA fighter. He was down to 112 lbs. which is pretty impressive considering he is all muscle and only weighed about 230 before. He said he wanted to try and fight at 205, which would probably be better for him than fighting heavy weight, but he is definitely improved. I think he could probably beat Seth now straight up, but the top of the 205 lbs. ranks would give him fits. Houston Alexander was a little disappointing, because he's got that knockout power, but I think he over-thought the fight by trying to key on the leg so much. I think he should have keep throwing the kicks, but he kept distance too much. The circling the whole first round was just way too much for me. If anything the first round could have been 9-9 because of the lack of action. But I thought in the end when it came down to a decision that Kimbo should have won because if nothing else he controlled the center of the ring.

If you'd like to meet Mr. Jones here you go -

Browns Really Did Win This Time. . . No Seriously

For the first time in the history of the blog (yes, for real the very first time since before '04) the Browns have beaten the hated Squeelers. Ending the streak of defeats at 12 and hopefully starting their own winning streak. At the heart of the win was Joshua Cribbs (Note to Cleveland: GET THIS GUY A HUGE CONTRACT) who did basically everything, but play defense, and actually the defense itself which played good enough to not need Cribbs. Cribbs kind of reminds me of the "Water Boy" that way like "com'mon guys you gotta help Josh out there. He can't do it all himself. (then the coach turns to Josh) Ok Josh you are going to have to do this all yourself, cause you have absolutely no help out there." Unfortunately we were without two of the bigger name players on the team and bigger players for that matter in Jammal Lewis and Shaun Rodgers. I wish Shaun could have played cause then maybe the defense would have had about 12 sacks. As it were they pretty much raped the squeeler offense (oops, sorry big ben fans) and held them to only 2 field goals. As a side note, it was the coldest game ever played between the two teams so for those people who said the Browns could only win if hell froze over, I guess it finally did on December 10th 2009.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Browns Win, Oh Wait Nevermind

No they didn't win, in fact they actually came up with a new way to lose. They were actually down in the fourth quarter and came back to score a touchdown and get a two point conversion to go up by 6. Then they stopped the Lions with like 3 minutes left, but couldn't run out the clock so they had to punt back to the Lions. I'm not sure how much time was left at that point, but it didn't really matter. You see the Browns allowed the Lions to make it down to the 1 yard line before coming up with a stop as time ran out. Well it seemed like a stop, but apparently it was pass interference. So the Lions get one more untimed down. And they scored a touchdown to tie the game, then got the extra point to win 38-37. You see in the last few years I've gotten accustomed to Romeo ball, where you get really far behind then make a charge at the end, but still come up short. Apparently with Mangini ball you can actually take the lead, but if it looks like you might win - even though you couldn't run out the clock and I guess you thought throwing on 3rd and 5 was smart with a 6 point lead (it isn't you should run the ball, always run the ball, don't get cute) - you just commit penalties to keep giving the other team shots at the endzone so they can win. I didn't think it was possible, but way to disappoint me in a completely new way.

I also heard a story that some people went to a Browns game and the Dad got arrested and a kid got his noise maker taken off of him and broken right in front of his face, because "people aren't allowed to bring anything into the stadium". Now if this is true, this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of, and if it happened to me I would quit rooting for the Browns right then. I mean if it wasn't painfully obvious that you have an organizational problem it should be after something like that. If you are going to put a team out there that is as bad as the Browns are now, you should let people bring in what ever they wanted to make the game more enjoyable. I mean let 'em bring in noise makers, or something that could give you some home field advantage. You need to be extra nice to the fans right now, because let's face it you aren't winning any new fans because of the awesome effort you are putting out there on the field. But you know I don't even blame the players, because the fact is that other than a few really good players here and there - Joe Thomas, Josh Cribbs and Shaun Rodgers - these guys just aren't capable of winning games. Right now Cleveland just has a severe lack of talent and that is the fault of the front office in my opinion and I don't think that Mangini is all he is cracked up to be. I would have rather had Mike Shanahan myself - a proven winner with a good zone blocking scheme that made any running back look good. Just ask the Browns about Reuben Droughns remember him, he rushed for like 1200 yards for the Broncos and the Browns traded their entire defensive line for him and he ended up doing squat for the Browns. I guess he did rush for 1,00 yards . . . once. Ok I'm done I need to think happy thoughts before going to bed.

Basketball '09

This is Sampson's first year of basketball and he is only 7, so I worry about pushing him too hard too fast and sucking the enjoyment out of the game, because right now I think he really likes it. You see, me and him play NBA 2K7, yeah I know it is old, but it serves its purpose, on the PS3 and he really likes that, and when we play outside I think he enjoys that too. Plus, of the sports he has played I think he most looked forward to playing basketball. I signed up to help coach too. What, I should be fine remember it isn't like they are 11 and 12 year-olds, only 1st and 2nd graders so I should be good, right? Well maybe I'll pick up a couple of new ankle braces just to be on the safe side. He had an open gym today, conveniently on Maw's 80th birthday (Happy Birthday Mom), but he did good. He just needs to work on his handle and getting stronger to push the ball up. Unfortunately they will always play on Sunday in this league, so no trips to Mom's on Sunday, but there are only about 4 teams so it shouldn't be too bad. I guess they play 16 minutes halves with continuous clock, on 8 foot rims. Should be good, hopefully he gets on a team were he can contribute. He said he didn't make as many baskets as he would have like too, well keep trying buddy you'll get there.

Parade Odessy '09

Well Peach is old enough to go on the float for the Dance Factory in local parades. Right now she only gets to ride on the trailer and the older girls dance behind. They did really well in the first two parades we went to this year, I mean as well as a four year old can do just kind of sitting there waving and being all cute and all. First we had the St. Clairsville parade on Thursday night and that was her first parade ever, so that was neat. Then on Friday we had the Wheeling parade, "the big time". I guess last year there were like 50,000 people that came out to watch the parade and judging from the traffic I would say it was pretty close to that again. While I was watching the parades, I realized that I'm really not a parade person. Not that they aren't nice, but I just wouldn't go out of my way to watch the old parade if I didn't have a personnel interest in it. I mean if they came up with a virtual parade that I could download or watch on YouTube then I might do that, but someone would probably have to send me a link. Just kidding, I probably wouldn't watch that either. One funny thing from the parades though, other that Moon Dog following Santa at the Wheeling parade which is tradition, was in the middle of the Wheeling parade there was like a color guard with a bag pipe player, and following them was a float for a hospital or something. But in between the two were two people dressed up as super heroes, wait it gets better. One was dressed up as Bat Girl and the other one was Spiderman, but it looked like a chick in the Spiderman outfit, plus one is Marvel and the other is DC comics, so there is like no continuity, but the funniest part was I couldn't figure out which float they went with or if they were just like their own float. I think that would be hilarious if they were just random people that kind of slide in between two floats dressed up as superheros. Kind of like parade crashers, but who is going to pull them out of the parade. I mean wouldn't that be great to kind of just randomly join a parade. That is a new goal of mine, to dress up as a super hero and just get in a parade, but I think I would need someone else to do it with me to kind of add legitimacy. I mean in these type of parades there are always random characters and I bet if someone asked you could just say you were with one of the floats, and if the people behind you asked you would just say you are with the people ahead of you and if the people in front of you asked you would just say you were with the people behind you. Genius.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More from the Barn Painter

Well even though I'm not a huge Buckeye fan (understatement), I found this contribution from the barn painter to be very good and well worth the time to view. So head on over to youtube and check it out. Oh also if you are lucky you will even see a couple of vids of me in my youth. But you might have to look hard. Anyway here you go . . .

Also Go BLUE!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just How Good is that Romo?

Did you know that Tony Romo ranks third in all-time passer efficiency rating. ALL-TIME. As Kanye would say "He is the Third best passer of all-time, ALL-TIME". This interesting fact was brought up today at work just to stir the pot a little. Apparently he is behind only Steve Young and Peyton Manning. I said he is also down on the list in a couple of other categories. Like did you know that the current active leader in rapes at the QB position is Ben Roethlisberger. Oh yeah everybody knows that. So I guess Romo is like tied for second in this category since he has none, along with the rest of the active quarterbacks in the league. Just another thing the Squealers are on top of in the NFL.

HESCAR boots Jimmie

In what can only be described as a desperate move by HESCAR to appeal to the old blog and all of the readership, Jimmie was forced out of the race Sunday. Well he was wrecked out on the third lap by a combination of two of my new favorite drivers Sam Hornish Jr. and David Reutimann. I had forgot the race started at 3:30 (dumb time to start a race, but HESCAR will rectify this next season when all the races will start at 1PM / 4PM / or 7PM) so Bo called and told that I needed to watch the race so I could catch Jimmie wrecking. Oh it was nice. I mean I never want to see anyone get hurt, but watching him wreck out brought a tear to my eye . . . tear of JOY. All I can figure is that HESCAR is trying to even out the Chase, so that it will look like Mark Martin has a chance to win before Jimmie pulls off a Miracle in the final race to get his fourth "championship" in a row. Yeah I put "championship" in quotes because had it not been for the chase Johnson would have 0 championships, and likely Tony would be winning his third this year. The two worst things to happen to HESCAR in the last 10 years were Jimmie and chase. Among other bad things was taking a second race off of Darlington for California, and taking Rockingham off the schedule completely in all series. You can't tell me that with the lucrative sponsorship agreements and television deals that actual gate revenue is driving these decisions. It is horrible for the drivers, horrible for the sport, and worst of all horrible for the fans. Hopefully HESCAR can pull their heads out of their exhaust pipes and get back to being a fan friendly sport like NASCAR used to be, instead of some bleed every dime out of every sucker by any means possible because it won't be long before people quit watching all together. Seriously I'm about done. No seriously this time, if Jimmie wins another what is the point. He will just win next year and the year after that too, because the chase is totally catered to him. Also Junior has a chance to win his first race of the year this week at Phoenix, same as he has had every other week this year. This is just a fun fact Sophie and I like to remind ourselves of at the beginning of EACH race. Also Bobby Labonte has a chance to win his first race of the season. Sorry Sophie.

Sampson the Ice-Man

Well Sampson is on such an ice kick right now that maw had to buy a new refrigerator just to keep up with ice production. Actually I think she just got it because her's was getting old but between Sampson and Peach when they go out there I think they eat a tray of ice. Just the ice, not like in a drink or anything just eating ice cubes. Sophie says she used to do that, so I guess they get that from her.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Sophie says she is sick of all the tension between Bones and Booth. It is driving her nuts!!! Just Hook up already.

Also on CSI she says she is ready to right a strongly worded letter. Not because it was too bloody or gory but because in the opening scene a Nikon camera got thrown. Better watch out CBS, Sophie didn't think too much of that. I told her I'm sure it was a stunt camera though and no high end photographic equipment was hurt during the filming of the episode. You might want to add that disclaimer though.

Tuesday Elections

Tuesday the Republicans won the Governorships of New Jersey and Virginia after taking a butt whooping last year in the general election. One other race of interest was the New York 23rd district for congress (not sure if that makes a lot of sense but essentially it was the 23rd congressional district of New York state). You see what happened was Pres Obama nominated John M. McHugh to the secretary of the Army, which vacated the position needing a special off year election to fill it. Now what seems funny to me is that there was no primary for this office rather the republican leaders of the district nominated Dede Scozzafava. And Dede happens to be a very liberal minded republican for this conservative leaning district. Plus the Democrats got to put their own liberal candidate. So now it was playing out that no matter who won was going to be more left leaning than the person they replaced. Well the conservative part of the republican party didn't want Dede to get elected so they got behind Doug Hoffman who ran as a conservative (in New York you can be a registered Conservative - with Hoffman and Sean Hannity they probably have like over a hundred registered). So within a month of the election a bunch of big name conservatives came out in support of Hoffman, only it was too little too late. You see the damage had already been done, because the republican party ran ads against Hoffman and in the last day of the race Dede dropped out, because I guess she didn't want to split the vote. The vote with her liberal counter part that is, because she ended up ENDORSING THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE. Let that sink in for a moment. The republican party spent over 900 grand trying to get her elected and then when the leaders of the party realize she wasn't what they wanted, she dumps them and goes with the democrat. Say what? That doesn't make any sense to me. I mean if I saw an election was lost and a group had spent a lot of money on me I don't think I would support someone completely out of the party. Unless you know I didn't really belong in that party anyway. So here is my theory - Obama nominates McHugh to the all powerful and coveted position of Secretary of the Army, and then works out a deal with the locals of the district to get someone elected who would be more inclined to vote his agenda forward. Now what the people of the district would have got in return I'm not sure, but I would bet (yes I said bet - you know what that means) that there will be some sweet kick backs coming to that district over the next year. I guess will just wait and see. My favorite quote from the whole deal was from former Gov. Mike Huckabee who said the Democrats didn't win it because they were smart, the Republicans lost the seat because they were stupid. Well Mike stupid yes, but just how sneaky the democrats were remains to be seen.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The 4th Worst Race in HESCAR History

Well this past Sunday's race was one of the worst I have personally witnessed. I would say it is probably fourth behind the New Hampshire restrictor plate race(3rd), the Kansas race of '07 (2nd) and Indy '08 (1st), but I never saw the New Hampshire race thus the "personally witnessed" disclaimer. Anyway I will fill this spot in later, if you get a chance to watch the two wrecks at the end of the race you should watch those as that was the only interesting thing that happened.

Ok it's later, lol. We were at my mom's house and because Talladega is such a boring race (except for the final 10 laps - normally) I decided we could leave with 48 laps left and make it home before the end of the race. My reasoning was because there is usually a couple of yellows from a wreck and sometimes a red flag, and boy was I right. I only made it home to catch the last lap, but still we made it home. This week HESCAR decided it wanted to make Talladega "safer" by putting a bigger restrictor plate in and telling the drivers not to bump each other in the corners like they normally do. Well all that worked for about the first 182 laps of the 188 lap race and then all heck broke loose. First Ryan Newman got flipped end over end, that is right end over end, then he landed upside down in the grass and couldn't get out. Well that was more than enough to draw out the usual red flag. Because there weren't that many laps left it set the race up for a green white checkered. Which normally would be interesting, except the rules that were set up shouldn't provide that kind of finish . . . or could they. Just ask Mark Martin what he thought of the end of the race as he was the second driver to end up spending a little time on his roof Sunday. Here is an idea HESCAR - take the plates off. That will spread the field out a little and the bump drafting won't be an issue. I would think you could make the engines smaller and that might accomplish the same thing, so as to put a cap on the top speed but leave the field separated, because some engines will be better that others. But what I really liked was when Jimmie said 'take a bulldozer to the corners to flatten them, because cars will have to slow down." To which HESCAR basically said that was the dumbest idea out there. ha ha. Nice try Jimmie. Anyway it was a dumb idea to tell the drivers to not do what they normally do anyway, because all it did was push the big wreck to the end of the race rather than somewhere in the middle, poor predictable HESCAR. You could have done that by just racing 50 laps and it still would have been as good of a race, plus I probably could have seen the whole thing at Mom's house. At one point the entire field was just riding single file, putting in laps - boring (unfortunately I couldn't take a nap during this as I was driving, but I bet if you were watching at home it would have put you right to sleep). Hey that gives me an idea, me and HESCAR can team up and make DVD's of the most boring races, this one, New Hampshire - any rain out race this year and sell them as sleep aids. Well be rich! Well I guess HESCAR is already rich, but it would help make me rich!

Ok new paragraph that one was getting a little long. So HESCAR has other problems too. It isn't surprising that Chad, er "Jimmie", is going to win his fourth championship since all the races are basically the same every year. What HESCAR has done is make some of the tracks completely invaluable and a driver can pick to just tank it certain weeks and not really matter. I mean let's face it, if a road course or Bristol or even Pocono were in the Chase instead of Martinsville, Dover and Lowe's that Jimmie wouldn't even finish in the top two. What HESCAR has allowed is that Chad can focus on just the last 10 tracks to build cars specifically for those tracks, and as long as they grab a couple of wins on the way there, no worries about not finishing in the top 12. Then when the final 10 races roll around there is Chad waiting to capitalize on all the suckers that spent time setting up cars for the road courses, pocono, Bristol, Darlington. I mean how awesome would it be to see the final race of the year at different tracks. What about a finale at Daytona a complete circle of a season with a wild card at the end of the year, man that would be awesome. Just move the Indy race to July 4th and problem solved. Or what about Darlington in the chase or Bristol just for a change of pace. I mean as long as the last 10 races stay the same there is a good chance that Jimmie is going to keep winning Championships*. You know that under the old points system Jimmie wouldn't even have one Championship. It is the equivalent to having the Superbowl at the exact same stadium every year, and every playoff game at the same place. Anyway one other thing HESCAR needs to do is change what happens after the first 26 races. They need to seed people based on where they finished the first part of the year. It is fine if they want to give an extra 10 for wins, but who ever is ahead should still get something for doing so well and putting on shows at tracks like Pocono, Bristol, and the road courses because lets face it, if it were up to Jimmie and Chad we wouldn't even watch those races. Well I have definitely cut back my watching this year, and if things don't change I probably really will be done watching because they have made the entire season pointless.