Keep it down or I'll give you a smack!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Photo Day

I was bumping around on my computer and I came across some photos that needed to be posted somewhere. So why not here?

Me and Scotty on the roller coaster at NYNY in Vegas
The best part was that he lost the photo in the casino and somebody turned it into security. He had a pretty good laugh about it when we showed up claim it.

Looks like one hell of a tailgite party. For the record this was not at one of our tailgates. Although we could look like that tomorrow for the BG game. Except we'd have good beer like PBR or something classier.

Those just makes me laugh

Drink the juice! Drink the juice! Drink the juice!

I never get tired of this one. STALKER!!!!

Ay ziggy zoomba...

Taligate starts at High Noon Tomorrow
Be there or be square!
Roll along...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Top Gun 2006

While out for my afternoon "jog," I got a preview of the Blue Angels practicing for this weekend's air show. It is cool to watch them buzzing between the buildings and zipping around the city. Should make some some good viewing at tonight's and Saturday's tailgate parties. Lets just hope the weather cooperates!

Go Browns!

The rest of the story


So I wake up on Saturday morning and instead of being on my way to Firestone for “The 3rd annual sit on the 5th hole and wager on who is closest to the pin contest” I am getting prepared for my fantasy football draft.

Side bar: Mark, my fantasy commissioner, had asked me back somewhere around early May 2002 what I was doing on August 26th and if that was an open date for our draft. I of course hardly know what is happening tomorrow, so I agreed to the date. Little did I know that I would be missing my golf tournament? So I was obligated to go and draft my team.

I had spent the morning making sure that my spreadsheets were in order and made my way to the West side of town. I rolled up at 12:50 and plopped myself down and plugged in the laptop to begin. I had asked earlier in the week if they had power available so I could bring my laptop like the geek that I am. But it did cause a stir. I guess they thought I was kidding. But all my information is in one spot and it’s just a heck of a lot easier to find that way. I plugged in and popped open a beer and we were off.

(Fantasy Football nerd talk) This league is auction style draft so it’s a little more challenging than the usual picking of the best players. We use a $200 salary cap for 15 players. You need to work your strategies and try and get the best running backs without blowing the rest of your team away. Last year I had paid $70 for Tomlinson and I thought about making that same choice this year. He’s a solid guy that can score big numbers. Going into this year the talk that I have heard is which of the Big 3 RB’s do you go with? LT? LJ? Alexander? With an auction those guys can eat up your cap. So you got to have a solid idea going into it.

I dropped out early on LJ. He ended up going for $68 to a new guy in the league. Alexander went next and he went for a whopping $76. I hung around for a while in that one too but then decided that I wasn’t going that crazy for him. Jeff ended up getting him for the second year in a row. But I think it may have cost the rest of his team. And finally LT came around. I was in the bidding late and probably should have pulled the trigger on him again this year. But I bowed out when the number hit $72. I hope that I don’t regret it later on.

I wanted to take more notes of some of the funny things that happened at our draft but I was too busy drinking beer and trying to decide on my team. A couple of the highlight quotes that stick out were when Brandon said he was renaming his team “Dynasty” we asked if he really liked the 80’s TV drama that much to name his team after it.
We had a two man team that took so much time deciding on everything we figured they were a couple of homo sapiens so we renamed them the Gay Stallions or Gay Pride. Although I don’t think they enjoyed the name change so much. But it was a fun day of openly mocking bad selections and drinking some beer, which is always a good time.

My team for anybody that is remotely interested looks like this:
QB Eli Manning
Matt Hasselbeck
RB Willis McGahee
Reuben Droughns
Joseph Addai
Deuce McAllister (always fun when you can drop a deuce if he gets hurt)
WR Terrell Owens
Reggie Wayne
Lee Evans
Deion Branch
Laveraneus Coles
TE Jason Witten
Jermaine Wiggins
K Adam Vinatieri

Overall I am happy with my performance as a GM. I spent wisely and put together a good team. I have a few question marks especially if TO doesn’t get his shit together in Dallas. But I guess only time will tell on that.

After the draft I drove home and watched a little of the Browns preseason game while drinking a couple of Oatmeal Stouts and called it a night since I knew I had another big day ahead of me.

Woke up early and hit the highway again on the road to Akron. The kind people of the PGA tour were smart enough to move the tee times up to try and avoid some weather that was going to be in the area later in the day. I was on the road shortly before 7:00am to meet Matt in Akron. As I was driving I noticed that the skies were not very pretty. Cloudy and looming rain showers all the way down. When I hit Bedford the skies just started to open up. It got really dark and the rains were pouring down heavily. That along with the lightning strikes made driving a joy. We were doing about 35-40 mph for quite a while and you could hardly see 500 feet in front of where you were going. And I was on my way to go watch golf? Good times for everybody there! I showed up about 20 minutes late to meet Matt but we weren’t too concerned. It was still pouring and we figured there was no way they were starting on time today. He asked if I had eaten breakfast, which I had not so we made our way to the Denny’s next to our meeting spot and had ourselves a nice hot breakfast.

After eating and kicking back for a while we made our way over to Firestone, parked in somebody’s front yard (not the old bitter man) and were on the grounds by about 9:00am. Now the key ingredient today was that we were planning on hanging around the Sherwin Williams hospitality tent for most of the day. We had done the same last year and it is fantastic! Free beverages and food, TV feed of the tourney and air conditioning for the sweltering hot days are all key for men of our needs. So we made our way to Embassy Row on the 16th hole but not before stopping at the “All Merchandice 50% off Tent” (yep that is how it was spelled on 2 different signs). Matt and I each picked up a golf shirt for half price. After that we went and greeted Butch who was in charge of the SW tent. Matt and Ron had spent time there the day before so it was no problem getting in. We hung out there for a little bit and then decided to go watch some golfers that were out on the course.

We caught up with Jason Gore and planned on following him for a couple of holes. As we watched him on the green I was standing there minding my own business, when I had an intestinal urge to release some gas (I did have stout beer last night and a nice greasy breakfast). Luckily Matt was up wind so I took the liberty and let out a blast. I have to admit, that it was pretty nasty. And there was some poor unsuspecting sole that was standing down wind that got the full effect of it. So I start giggling when he lets out, “Oh Jesus. Smells like you had a few too many pork sandwiches.” So now Matt and I are in full church giggles mode as our new friend walks around us and gets up wind from me incase I decided to drop any more bombs in his direction. That’s me folks, Mr. Classy! But we got a new expression to use now anytime we have gas. Pork sandwiches, anybody?

After the gas incident we made our way around the course and followed Phil Mickelson and Ben Curtis around for a little while. Surprisingly there wasn’t much traffic around Phil as he was out of contention. So not much fan fare. We walked up the 16th with Ben and Phil and decided to set up shop in the tent for the rest of the day. It was time to start taking advantage of the free beverage service. 1 Bud Light and 1 Bud Select, please, Thank you very much!

We perched ourselves on the patio deck that over looks the landing area and watched the festivities from there for the next several hours. It’s a great place to be. 16 is the signature hole at Firestone, and there is a lot of foot traffic in that area. There we are with drinks in hand watching the females that pass by and making fun of everybody, and even watch the occasional golfer hit an approach shot. After a while the patio was starting to fill up with some of our real customers who were “supposed” to be there. One couple really got on our nerves. The guy was probably a painting contractor, but he looked like a shady character. The worst part was that he was chain-smoking some stinky ass Marlboros. We were constantly getting smoke blown in our direction. No matter where we moved to we couldn’t escape it. I think we both wanted to punch the guy right in the face for the years that he was shaving off our lives. So we had to deal with him and his wife as they pounded beer after beer along with us.

The Green Monster 16th Hole
After a few hours everybody started rumbling around as Mr. Woods and his group made their way towards the 16th hole. The patio got a little more crowded as everybody has to get a look of Tiger. That is when we met Bonnie. She was a cute girl that had been hanging around for a while. I had noticed her earlier but as we were talking she came up and introduced herself to us. I guess her husband (isn’t that always the way) is a sales rep for SW. He was wandering around somewhere in the tent. But she was real nice and friendly and we had a good conversation about making fun of people, golf and whatever else was going on. After Tiger came through our tent pretty much emptied out and most of the folks, including Bonnie and her husband had gone on to follow them in to the 18th hole. We decided to sit in the tent, drink some more beer and watch the finish on TV.

When the tournament went to a playoff, we were happy for the overtime in the tent. More beer for everybody!!! The bonus of our tent was you could watch the 17th tee from the back of it. On the 2nd and 4th holes we could watch a little more live action. There we were, drunken guys yelling at Tiger and Stewart Cink as they walked past us after hitting their drives. Another highlight was as CBS commentator David Feherty walked past everybody was giving him the business and he turned and called us all “assholes.” I’m not really sure why. We were all just out there having fun. I thought maybe it was that he was pissed that he wasn’t up there with us. But who knows. I think I read somewhere that he has quit drinking so maybe that’s why he’s angry.

On the fourth playoff hole Tiger made birdie to beat Cink and take home another cool $1.3 million. Nice work if you can get it. After the golf was done we stopped off at Bennigan’s and had a burger and watched the ending of golf on tape delay before calling it a night.

So the weekend was a success. There was a lot of fun in the sun and plenty of beer and hilarity for all. This weekend has all kinds of promise as well. Tonight is Bears vs. Browns pre-season NFL football and Saturday is Wisconsin vs. Bowling Green at Cleveland Browns stadium. Tailgate starts at 12:00pm for a 7:00pm kickoff. I’m quite sure there will be more stories in there somewhere. I am going to try and remember to bring my camera to document some of the action where possible.

Auf Wiedersehen

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I've been all around this crazy world...

Time for the latest 5000 word essay about what I have done lately!
OK here is the week that was.

The plan was to drive down to Columbus and see Natalie Gulbis play her practice round for the Wendy’s championship. We figured that we could go and see Elden and Mindy and stay with them for the night and then be right there for golf the next day. Ron had talked about playing golf with Elden as well. I was more there for the stalking of my favorite female golfer. So being the poor planners that we are we, we still were not sure what the plan was on Monday night. Ron was dragging his feet so Matt and I said the hell with him and we decided to hit the road. Matt picked me up and we were off by about 8:30pm on Monday night. We made good time to C-Bus in spite of some construction and pulled into the Elden estate in just over a couple of hours. We chatted and had a few drinks before retiring for the night. Matt and I ended up sleeping on couches in the living room even though they had two spare beds. I think may have a mistake in seat choice by taking the smaller chair and ottoman. But it was damn comfy while watching TV and falling asleep.

Ritalin boy was awake bright and early and I started tossing around as well. But when you wake up at 6:30 there isn’t anything better than having the USA basketball team on to make the morning a little better. Elden was up and getting ready for work so he threw some cinnamon rolls in the oven. It went well with the pot of coffee that been brewed up via automatic timer. After Elden left for work we kicked around for a little bit and watched the rest of the game before deciding to get ready for the day. By now it was going on 9:00am and we were ready to hit the road. We both were a little hungry and agreed on stopping off at Bob Evans before our day on the course. Here is where today’s first snag comes along. Fyffe is a Tabasco sauce guy so he grabbed a bottle to throw some heat on his eggs but in shaking it up got a nice array of red dots all over his white shirt. Luckily we each had plenty of clothes so he had a spare shirt with him.

After that we made our way to Tartan Springs golf course to check out the ladies of the LPGA. We found the course pretty easily and decided to drive close to the front gate to look for a parking spot. We have been to a few events before and they usually have houses near the course that sell parking on their lawns for $5 or $10. But today was different. This course was in a new development that had huge houses and none of that was available. So we drove around for the streets looking for a place to park for a while. But there were no signs or anything to help us out. Finally we stopped at the front gate and I asked the cop working the gate if we could park on the street anywhere and he told us we were fine right in front of the gate. He said they weren’t enforcing it so we should be fine.

Again we had never been to Tartan Springs so we had to sort of figure out the layout and see if we could find our girl, Nat. We walked to the driving range and checked out the action there for a minute but there wasn’t much happening. So we decided to take a walk around on the front nine and see what was happening. We saw a few girls out playing and followed them for a couple of holes but then just kept on walking and exploring the layout. We came upon the familiar face of Jamie Hullet playing a practice round but we kept on moving along. Finally we caught up to a couple of bigger names on Tour. We saw Morgan Pressel and Ai Miyazato practicing together. We hung out with them for a par 3 hole but then decided to head back to the clubhouse to see what other action was going on. When we were walking up the ninth fairway I was messing with my phone and texting Ron a message I wasn’t paying attention and kicked a ball that was lying in the rough. But it was OK it was just some lesbian that nobody knows. Sorry Mister!

As we made our way back to the driving range we spotted Natalie on the practice green and figured that we had found our target. So we just hung out and watched her work on her putting stroke with some training devices. So we hung out and watched, and watched and watched. She spotted us and we said hello and she made mention of us hanging out and carrying the bag again for her. Well that’s why we were there! After a while she made her way back towards the clubhouse and Greg hung out with the bag on the practice green. So we figured that we were just killing some time until she was ready to go and play her practice round. A little bit later I spotted Greg on a cart with her bag and I guessed that they were probably going to the back nine for her practice round. So we made the walk towards the 10th tee. Again it is a long walk so we made our way over and as we were walking I look over and I see Natalie in her Buick courtesy car leaving the course. Are you kidding me??? We missed her? She left??? So there we were with nothing to show for it. We made our way back towards the driving range and see if we could find anybody else that we wanted to stalk for the rest of the day.

We did find Paula Creamer working with a sales rep on some sort of putting tool that was measuring the amount of spin and loft on her putting stroke. Some of those kinds of things are neat to see on a practice day. The putting green was lined up with bags and different style putters. And the players try different things to see if they like the new models. We also saw a familiar face of Liz Uthoff who was a contestant on Big Break. We guessed that she was a rep for Sonartec golf clubs since she had a shirt and bag with the logos all over it. After the disappointment we decided that we had seen enough and we may as well get back on the road and head north back to Cleveland.

We decided to make one last stop at a Golfsmith store that we had seen the night before and see if we could spend some money to drown our sorrows. But I didn’t find anything to my liking. Matt was unsuccessful as well. The only excitement was we hit a bunch of demo clubs in their indoor range. Matt was looking for his Hogan hybrid that he has been searching for but the price wasn’t right and we hit the road for home.

We stopped off at the local beverage store near Matt’s place and bought some beverages for the evening. (I stayed at Matt’s place because we were waking up and going to Firestone for PGA practice round the next day) Pam cooked up some chicken and rice and we hung out on his patio relaxing while drinking beer and watching baseball all night.

The plan was to wake up and head to Firestone to watch the practice round for the Bridgestone Invitational. We stopped off at Matt’s favorite breakfast spot, The Canary. Canary is a salt of the earth kind of place where the most expensive item on the menu is probably about $3.00. So we ate up and of course made sure that Matt shook up the Tabasco away from himself so as to not repeat the previous day’s adventure. We came out of breakfast unscathed and we were on the road to Akron. We know that we can park on a street, just minutes away from the course we did so at a house that had a couple of young kids that were very excited to see us pull into their yard. After parking we made our way to the course but not before some bitter old man made that wouldn’t let us use his yard as a path to the course. So we gave him the bird and kept on walking.

It was a gorgeous day for golf. It was probably 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We took a stroll to the merchandise tent and then made it out to see some players. The first guy we came across was Fred Couples. Fred is usually a favorite so we hung out and watched him hit a couple of drivers. The most interesting thing though is that he had a few guys with him and they were talking about some of the new golf balls that he was hitting and it was really cool to be that close and listen to some of the specs and differences that a tour player can fell by using certain equipment. He hit a couple of shots and said that he didn’t think they were going as far as some of the other golf balls that he had been using. Again it was really interesting to hear it. Two other things that were interesting were after one shot Fred says, “Oh that’s not going to kill those guys” As two people were walking down a cart path where he just hit a shot. And then finally he said his caddy wanted him to hit a “cut shot.” He said that he may only be able to play nine holes and have to quit and in a bit of foreshadowing, Freddy did withdraw on Sunday.

The rest of the day, we wandered around the course and followed a few guys here and there. A couple of our favorites were a group of Jason Gore, Aaron Oberholser and Steven Ames. They were having a lot of fun and laughing while playing their practice round. Oberholser called the other two guys a couple of gorillas, after asking them what club they had hit on a par 3. That is the reason why I enjoy going on the practice days because you can get autographs and take pictures, but you can also see the players much more laid back and being regular guys.

After a while we noticed a swell of people congregating and knew that it was a Tiger crowd. So we perched ourselves in a favorable spot and waited for TW to come to us. We were on a nice hillside on the eighth tee box that we could see a couple of different holes. After a little while the crowd around us grew and Tiger came to us. So we watched as he was playing with Corey Pavin (who we don’t like but that is another 5,000 word story) teed off on the 8th. Tiger didn’t like his tee shot so he hit another shot to the delight of the crowd that had gathered. We let the crowd disperse and we decided that we had seen enough for the day so we made our way back and left Firestone for the day.

Thursday was a boring day of work so we can skip over that one.


Matt was playing in a golf outing on Friday so he gave me the tickets to use for Firestone (i think i forgot to explain that Matt and I bought passes for the whole week for the Bridgestone Invitaional). Ron and I decided to take a half day and make the trip to watch some golf. We skipped out of work somewhere around 11:15 and hit the highway. We stopped at McDonalds and ordered a sack of double cheeseburgers and of course Ron’s famous apple pies.

Again it was a gorgeous day. We decided to park in the bargain yard that only charges $2.00. We planted ourselves in a good spot in between the third and fourth hole and hung out and watched. It was a pretty uneventful day for the most part. We just watched as the guys came though and had some excitement when a ball would come close to where we were standing. The closest was Jose Maria Olazabal who hit a tree and landed real close to us. He walked up to us and was cursing in Spanish as he tried to decide how to play his next shot. Of course he hit from under the tree and landed on the back of the green. It’s amazing to see the creativity that PGA players have when they do get in trouble. After Tiger and his group came through and the crowd has passed, Ron suggested that we follow Jim Furyk around for a while. So that’s what we did the rest of the time. He was playing with Tim Herron and Johan Edfors. So we just attached ourselves to them and walked along watching them play. As we approached the eighth green we noticed that there was a back up on the tee. And if you watched Sportscenter or follow golf you probably saw Tiger hitting his golf ball on the roof of the clubhouse and the adventures that followed. So we were there but we were 500 yards away as it all happened. Of course there was everybody still around the 9th green telling tales and trying to figure out what actually had happened with Tiger.

We had decided that we had enough for the day so we shut it down and headed home. We stopped at Legacy Village and had dinner at Claddaugh. It was good enough food but they put in a back room that was absolutely the loudest room in the joint. There was a group there that must have been there cocktailing for a while and they were having a hard time using their inside voices. After a while they left and things pretty much had calmed down until they sat a threesome of ladies next to us. They were a little bit older and I was of course, being a smart ass. So I said in a voice loud enough, “Keep it down or I’ll give you a smack!” This set off the giggles for Ron and me. We tried to keep it together and just finish our meals. A little later on we realized that the ladies hardly spoke any English, so they likely didn’t even understand what I had said. But we had a good laugh over it. We decided that we were worn out and shut it down for the night.

(to be continued...)

I think that I have written enough for right now so I am wrapping this one up and will put together the rest in another posting.