Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sunrise in West Virginia

My fiance’ and I spent a year apart while she was doing a residency in West Virginia. My final day there, I woke up early and went for a walk with my weimaraner Tobey and took my camera. The pictures are below. In all, West Virginia has unmatched beauty but is surrounded by poverty and poor planning.

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A farm in the distance

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New Hope Baptist Church

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An abandoned Building in Disrepair

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 Moon at Sunrise over a Tree

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 Beautiful Fields

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 Sunrise over Power-lines

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 Definition of a Fixer-Upper

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 Another Abandoned Property

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I like this picture because the rock formation on the right
reminds me of a locomotive

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 A view from the Rails

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 A break in the tracks

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 Where the General Lee goes to die

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 A later view of the sunrise over the power-lines

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Tobey on the tracks

If you like any of the pictures or any comments in general, feel free to drop a note in the comments.

A Night with Weird Al

A few weeks back, my friend Jon jokingly sent me an instant message admonishing me for not knowing about the Insane Clown Posse coming to Columbus for a concert. This started a conversation of acts we’d want to see if they ever performed locally or things you should see once before you die (such as the Harlem Globetrotters or Carrot Top). We both immediately went to Weird Al. After a quick Google search, I found out that Weird Al would be performing in Columbus within a month. Our nerd dreams were coming true. Tickets had a face value of $30 and with the Ticketmaster surcharges, the final price landed just north of $40. I thought this was somewhat expensive for a Tuesday night concert, but seeing Weird Al live had the potential to be an unforgettable night. Unfortunately, Weird Al didn’t deliver.

The doors to the Newport opened promptly at 7pm. We arrived to campus a little bit later around 7:45pm and stopped at a Red Robin Burger Works on the way for a quick dinner. We entered the Newport at 8:15pm and were both surprised that there wasn’t an opening act and Weird Al had already been on stage for 15 minutes. Neither of us recognized the song he was performing as we walked in, but he was dressed up like Jack Hannah.

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The format of the concert was that Weird Al would perform a song, then go off stage somewhere and change while the crowd was shown a video on the ginormous video screen. Most of the videos were of Weird Al conducting fake interviews with various celebrities or various mentions and appearances in  television or movies. The videos were ok, but probably were better off being shown on Youtube rather than paying $40+ to see them.

The show lasted about an hour and forty minutes. It featured one encore,  and in the end, felt entirely hollow. Weird Al never spoke to the crowd and was seemed to be changing outfits more than performing. I know it was Columbus, Ohio on a Tuesday night, but there was still an enthusiastic crowd of around 2000 who spent a lot of money. It seemed apparent that Weird Al was going through the motions. I would have liked if Weird Al engaged the crowd and told a quick story on the background of the song or his inspiration. That would have made for a much more memorable concert. In the end, like the Harlem Globetrotters, I can tell my grandchildren that I saw them live and it wasn’t worth the hype.

Final Grade – C-

If you have any Weird Al stories or concerts you want to discuss, feel free to drop a note in the comments box (and before everyone tells me what a Homer I am, the Carrot Top reference was a joke).

Gallary

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Party in the CIA

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Amish Paradise

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No idea what this was

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Star Wars Parody

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More Star Wars

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Weird Al Fan

Random 11pm on a Thursday Post

I often struggle with what I want this blog to be. I think what I’ve come up with is sometimes I want to write an article or share something that’s longer than a Facebook or Google+ post. Other times I want to share a thought or pictures.

With that said, today was a really neat day that I want to remember. It started by reading an amazing article by my favorite writer, Joe Posnanski celebrating 15 years of marriage. The article is here:

http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2013/06/fifteen-years.html

I can’t recommend it enough. I’m currently a few weeks away from getting married and I couldn’t help but think my future bride and get excited as I read it.

When I got home, I was so tired. It’s been a long week. As life can be at times, there are are a million things to do and only 24 hours in the day. I knew I needed to go for a run, but just couldn’t muster the energy. I eventually rallied and ended up with one of the best runs Tobey and I have ever had. The run seemed effortless and the splits were crazy-fast for us.

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After the run, Tobey was out like a light and laid next to me on the couch as we watched the Twins lose to the Royals. We also dual-tasked (a lesser form of multi-tasking) and caught up on Mad Men and watched the Parks and Rec with the Leslie and Ben marriage episodes. I’m tempted to watch my favorite movie of all time (Juno), but it’s already 11:30.

I know this is kind of a random post so if you have any special days you wish to share or any favorite Ron Swanson quotes, feel free to drop a note in the comments.

Cutting the Cable Cord – Summer Edition

I’ve written multiple times in the past about my experience ditching cable. As of this writing, I’m going on 11 months, which conservatively adds up to around $660 of savings. One of the questions I had when I was contemplating removing cable was what do people do as a replacement. In my case, I subscribe to Netflix and access that on my Google Nexus 10, Xbox 360, and my Roku player. I also subscribe to the MLB.tv package so I can get the majority of the Minnesota Twins games (The arcane MLB blackout policy could be it’s own post). Anyway, without further adieu, here is what’s keeping me busy in place of cable television.

Minnesota Twins – MLB.tv

In what has become an oddity in this country, Baseball is my favorite sport. It always has been since I was a little kid. I remember my parents taking me to numerous Minnesota Twins games when we lived in Minnesota. As I’ve got older and the Twins have gotten worse, it hasn’t stopped me from remaining a fan and enjoying watching the games. Watching Joe Mauer everyday is an absolute treat as I think he will be remembered as one of the greatest Twins of all time when he’s ready to retire. As I’ve mentioned before, the Twins broadcasters are nearly unlistenable. Burt Blyleven adds absolutely nothing but shtick to the broadcast and in my opinion, wore out his welcome after about three games. I now watch every game on the non-Twins feed and hope to have a post later in the year grading the various announcing combos (so far Baltimore has been the gold standard).

 

Img_2264Nice guy in person (2006)

Parks and Rec – Netflix

I recently spent a weekend hand addressing wedding invitations. I thought this would be a good opportunity to give Parks and Rec a try. By the end of the weekend, I had all invites addressed and I was through 28 episodes. For those who haven’t seen it, Parks and Rec is created by Michael Schur (who also was influential in the Office) and stars Amy Poehler. It’s one of the few shows I’ve seen where almost every character is likeable. Ron Swanson is amazing and I’m in love with Aubrey Plaza.

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Arrested Development – Season 4 – Netflix

P-Hound! Season 4 was awesome. I watched every episode within 10 days and I’m already can’t wait to find time to rewatch them. For me, the season started slow, but once everything started coming together, it was back to being the best show ever. So far episode 5 is my runaway favorite.

Getting Married

As I mentioned above, I am in fact getting married this month so it is an insanely busy time trying to prepare. This has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more excited to marry the future Dr. Roehl!

If you have any recommendations or stories of ditching cable, please feel free to drop a note in the comment box.