Category Archives: Frank

ROUNDBALL ORACLES YEAR 11

Wow! What an amazing season of College Basketball. Especially in the state of Iowa. Almost everybody has something to cheer about:

The Iowa State Cyclones won the Big 12 for the second straight year. They are looking to make good on Hoiberg’s promise of a national championship.
The UNI Panthers won whatever backwaters conference they are in.
Iowa returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. They have a chance at their first tournament win since 2001. Gold star for Iowa!

There are all sorts of great potential matchups all over the place:

Fred Hoiberg could coach against one of his NBA coaches in the second round.
Iowa State and Iowa could play each other in the Sweet Sixteen.
Another possibility would be a dream point guard matchup between the best 2 point guards in the country in Monte Morris and Kevin Pangos.
The Elite Eight could feature a rematch of the 1944 Final Four game between Iowa State and Utah.

However, if you want to place your name on the List of Immortals like these people:

Roundball Oracles Champions

2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

All you need to do is contact me and I’ll get you the information posthaste.

The only “buy in” is pride. First place does win a trophy. The last place trying adult, also wins a trophy. Small chance there will be a traveling trophy this year, but I’m not made of money. Maybe some of the rest of you need to start kicking in on the bills around here. I’m looking at you Naima.

In case you need a refresher on how last year’s Oracles did, look below.

Rank    Oracle Score    Correct    Champion Last Year
1. Brandon Kahler 255 40 Florida 18th
2. Michael Augustin 241 42 Florida 31st
3. Paul Golden 235 41 Michigan State DNP
4. Jordan Toot 228 39 Florida 9th
5. Jon DeWaard 224 39 Florida 5th
6. Mark Wolfram 222 38 Florida 8th
7. Lowell Davis 216 40 Florida DNP
8. Andree Jauhari 210 38 Iowa State 28th
9. Derrick Gorshe 208 38 Iowa State 14th
10. Carrie Baier 205 37 Michigan State 19th
11. Robert Henning 205 36 Florida 10th
12. Bill Wentworth 204 38 Florida 15th
13. Nate Miller 203 36 Iowa State DNP
14. Frank Meiners 201 38 Michigan State 11th
14. Jesse Howard 201 37 Kansas 3rd
16. Corey Faust 200 36 Iowa State 7th
17. Humble Narrator 196 36 Iowa State 33rd
18. William Mcalpine 196 38 Florida 1st
19. Angie DeWaard 191 35 Arizona 6th
20. Sean Clubine 189 36 Syracuse 13th
21. Carla Stensland 189 35 Iowa State DNP
22. Ben Baier 188 35 Arizona 32nd
23. Jackson Faust 185 36 Florida 16th
24. Michelle Haupt 181 35 Arizona 26th
25. Elizabeth Nordeen 181 35 Iowa State 21st
26. Russell Kennerly 180 34 Florida 24th
27. Olivia Baier 178 34 Arizona DNP
28. Jason Baier 175 35 Florida 24th
29. Tim Peterson 175 34 Iowa State 22nd
30. Becky Perkovich 175 35 Iowa State 27th
31. Shawn Lockner 173 33 Wisconsin 4th
32. J.J. Baier 164 24 Michigan 29th
33. Ryan Halvorson 163 33 Arizona 18th
34. Dawn Krause 149 32 Arizona 23rd
35. Will Baier 147 23 Iowa State 34th
36. Sara Lockner 143 28 Florida DNP

Like I said, if you want in and have some extra pride to spare, you know where to find me.

Photo(s) of the Day 0007


Brandon with his Championship Trophy.
Brandon Kahler – 2014 Roundball Oracles Champion
I apologize for taking so long to reveal the champion of Year 10 of the Roundball Oracles. But I think my post college basketball season depression (or PCBSD as mental health professionals call it) was even greater this year than in years past. You know, something to do with having to play the “What If” game over and over and over again. Cyclone fans know what I’m talking about.

That being said, I’m proud that this is the first time in the storied 10 year history of the Roundball Oracles that somebody that shares my DNA has been able to hoist the unnamed championship trophy.

Past winners have included co-workers, high school locker partners, former roomies, father-in-laws, and once… even a woman!

So I’m excited this year that somebody with Bennett DNA coursing through their veins will be the reigning Roundball Oracles Champ! All is right in the world.

I know that there is a fair chance that you are wondering: “That is great, but I’d really like to know how some of my other favorite Oracles fared this year. I really root for Russell Kennerly. I like underdogs. He is like the Mid-Major of the Roundball Oracles.”*

So without further adieu, I present to you the final ranking of Year 10 of the Roundball Oracles!

Rank    Oracle Score    Correct    Champion Last Year
1. Brandon Kahler 255 40 Florida 18th
2. Michael Augustin 241 42 Florida 31st
3. Paul Golden 235 41 Michigan State DNP
4. Jordan Toot 228 39 Florida 9th
5. Jon DeWaard 224 39 Florida 5th
6. Mark Wolfram 222 38 Florida 8th
7. Lowell Davis 216 40 Florida DNP
8. Andree Jauhari 210 38 Iowa State 28th
9. Derrick Gorshe 208 38 Iowa State 14th
10. Carrie Baier 205 37 Michigan State 19th
11. Robert Henning 205 36 Florida 10th
12. Bill Wentworth 204 38 Florida 15th
13. Nate Miller 203 36 Iowa State DNP
14. Frank Meiners 201 38 Michigan State 11th
14. Jesse Howard 201 37 Kansas 3rd
16. Corey Faust 200 36 Iowa State 7th
17. Humble Narrator 196 36 Iowa State 33rd
18. William Mcalpine 196 38 Florida 1st
19. Angie DeWaard 191 35 Arizona 6th
20. Sean Clubine 189 36 Syracuse 13th
21. Carla Stensland 189 35 Iowa State DNP
22. Ben Baier 188 35 Arizona 32nd
23. Jackson Faust 185 36 Florida 16th
24. Michelle Haupt 181 35 Arizona 26th
25. Elizabeth Nordeen 181 35 Iowa State 21st
26. Russell Kennerly 180 34 Florida 24th
27. Olivia Baier 178 34 Arizona DNP
28. Jason Baier 175 35 Florida 24th
29. Tim Peterson 175 34 Iowa State 22nd
30. Becky Perkovich 175 35 Iowa State 27th
31. Shawn Lockner 173 33 Wisconsin 4th
32. J.J. Baier 164 24 Michigan 29th
33. Ryan Halvorson 163 33 Arizona 18th
34. Dawn Krause 149 32 Arizona 23rd
35. Will Baier 147 23 Iowa State 34th
36. Sara Lockner 143 28 Florida DNP

 

This year might have been the closest year ever. It literally came down to Wisconsin’s last second shot rimming in and out, giving Kentucky the victory in the Final Four. If that shot drops, Micky wins.

But the shot didn’t fall and Micky waits another year, while Brandon’s name is carved onto the List of Immortals!

Roundball Oracles Champions

2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

However, there is 1 more bit of business before I let you go about your merry business. In the pre-tournament post I indicated that I might create a travelling trophy. I am not doing that… at least not yet. I did award a trophy for last place this year. It is an experimental tradition. But I may in the future present a last place trophy to the lowest placing adult that gave full effort to win.

This year’s winner…


Sara with her last place trophy.
Sara Lockner… the Best Loser
I am already pumped for next season. I think the Cyclones will be even better next year and if they can make it through the tourney without an injury, I expect to see them in the Final Four next year. So I’ll be seeing you next year in Indianapolis!

*Inside joke that 3 people will get and 1 of them doesn’t even subscribe to this blog!

Roundball Oracles – Year 10

March Madness is once again upon us. That can mean only 1 thing! It is time for the Roundball Oracles to gather once again and make predictions about the outcome of the NCAA tournament.

I would actually like to start this by quoting the predictions I made about this year’s basketball season at the end of last year’s tournament:

I’m already excited for next years tournament. It is no secret that Iowa State is the rooting team of the grand majority of Oracles, with a few Hawkeye and Kansas fans sprinkled in to mix things up. Plus a few statistical anomalies, (like a UCLA fan) on top for garnish. I anticipate Iowa will actually join the tourney field again next year. Iowa State should have at least a fighting chance to get back to the dance as well. We lose a bunch, but some of the recruits coming in are heralded and I wouldn’t bet against Hoiberg going up against a Big 12 that I expect to be down next year. Plus don’t forget that Michigan will be getting a taste of Hilton Magic next year. 2013-14 should be another great season! Remember the name Monte Morris. I’m guessing you will know it very well next year.
Plus, Steve Alford will be choking at an entirely new school next year! What was UCLA thinking?

I will point out that at the time I wrote that, DeAndre Kane was not yet in the fold.

As always, basketball knowledge is not a prerequisite to participating. Every year when I look at the standings, I think basketball knowledge is actually a hindrance in this competition.

A few things to know that if you want to sign up this year and take a shot at putting your name on the list of the immortals:

1. You do not have to wager any money. The only thing you have to put on the line is pride. And as C.S. Lewis would tell you, pride is the greatest sin.
2. This competition is open to all ages (as long as they can make their own decisions), genders, and fan bases. Unfortunately more than a few of these titles have went home with Hawk fans.
3. There is a trophy for the winner. In fact, this year there might even be a traveling trophy that will go home with the winner for a calendar year. If said traveling trophy does come into existence, it will not be a bust of Kobe Bryant. The Roundball Oracles does not endorse ball-hoggery and low basketball IQs or mediocrity.

Here is a look at last year’s final standings:

Place Competitor Score Correct Champion Last Year
1. William McAlpine 266 39 Louisville 6th
2. Jason Stensland 253 39 Louisville 8th
3. Jesse Howard 251 40 Louisville 10th
4. Shawn Lockner 247 39 Michigan 21st
5. Jon DeWaard 242 38 Louisville 11th
6. Angie DeWaard 236 36 Louisville 4th
7. Corey Faust 234 38 Indiana 2nd
8. Mark Wolfram 231 36 Indiana 7th
9. Jordan Toot 218 36 Louisville 28th
10. Robert Henning 208 36 Indiana 5th
11. Frank Meiners 206 37 Gonzaga DNP
11. Logan Kahler 206 38 Kansas DNP
13. Sean Clubine 201 37 Miami DNP
14. Derrick Gorshe 200 32 Louisville 12th
15. William Wentworth 199 36 Kansas 15th
16. Jackson Faust 197 35 Gonzaga 14th
17. Toby Sebring 193 34 Kansas 26th
18. Brandon Kahler 189 34 Syracuse 27th
19. Carrie Baier 188 34 Michigan State 20th
20. Jen Ensley-Gorshe 178 34 Indiana 18th
21. Elizabeth Nordeen 176 32 Iowa State DNP
22. Tim Peterson 174 33 Miami 16th
23. Dawn Krause 173 33 Duke 9th
24. Jason Baier 171 33 Miami 3rd
24. Russell Kennerly 171 33 Indiana 22nd
26. Michelle Haupt 170 32 Ohio State DNP
27. Becky Perkovich 166 32 Ohio State 29th
28. Andree Jauhari 165 32 Kansas DNP
29. JJ Baier 163 30 Ohio State DNP
29. Nader Parsaei 163 32 UCLA 13th
31. Michael Augustin 157 32 Indiana 19th
32. Ben Baier 156 26 Butler DNP
33. Your Humble Narrator 139 28 Miami 25th
34. Will Baier 121 14 La Salle DNP


And of course, a look at the honor roll of immortals that have claimed the championship in years past:

Roundball Oracles Champions

  • 2013 – William McAlpine
  • 2012 – Lowell Davis
  • 2011 – Carrie Baier
  • 2010 – Mark Wolfram
  • 2009 – Mark Wolfram
  • 2008 – Mark Wolfram
  • 2007 – Tim Peterson
  • 2006 – William McAlpine
  • 2005 – William McAlpine

Sold yet?

You are? Just write me and let me know that you want in (I’m a fairly easy person to contact) and I’ll send you out all the information that you will need to participate with all due haste!

The deadline for entering your bracket is the tip-off of the first game on Thursday morning. So if you suffer from being a Hawkeye fan, you’ll will know whether or not your team made the real tournament by then. Not sure why you would care, but to each their own.

Good luck to all the oracles and GO STATE!!!

Holiday Card Photos

Once again, I did the holiday card portraits for the place that employs me.

Here are a few of those images:
































These aren’t the pictures that will necessarily end up in the actual holiday card. I don’t edit or pick the photos.

Not sure what next Wednesday’s randomness will be about. It might just involve a look at the past.


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Roundball Oracles Year 8

It is the time of the year known as March Madness. That, of course means it is also time for me to run my annual NCAA Tournament Pool.

It is open to all interested parties (I’ll take a few uninterested parties as well) regardless of their basketball knowledge. After all, this pool was won by a woman last year* and the 3 years before that is was won by a dude living in Taiwan. You couple that with the fact that somebody with my immense knowledge of the greatest sport ever invented has yet to bring the title home to Union Street means that there is a certain degree of luck involved, so you shouldn’t be too intimidated by my intimate knowledge of the pick and roll.

As always there is no entrance fee. The winner does get a trophy. The only thing one has to risk is pride.

Pride, it would be pointed out by C.S. Lewis is the greatest sin, so you are out of excuses for not getting in to the fray with the combatants from last year.

2011 Final Standings

1. Carrie Baier
2. Jesse Howard
3. Linda Toot
4. Dawn Krause
5. Jason Baier
6. Corey Faust
7. Your Humble Narrator
8. Robert Henning
9. Russell Kennerly
10. Andree Jauhari
11. Nate Buckingham
11. Tim Peterson
13. Lowell Davis
14. Nader Parsaei
15. Mark Wolfram
16. Shaun Kirsch
17. Frank Meiners

The pool of entrants atrophied last year slightly, so I hope to garner more participants this year so all you have to do to get in is email me at:

bennett@photography139.com

And I’ll email you instructions and in no time you’ll be on the road to having your name on the Plaque of Immortals:

Previous Champions

2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

*I hope that sounded at least half as sexist as I hoped it would, but already two members of the fairer sex have thrown their hat into the arena.

Roundball Oracles Year 7

“In the end, everything is a gag.”

– Charlie Chaplin

 

When it comes to college basketball prognostication, 2011 will be remembered as the Year of the Woman.

Not only did the Roundball Oracles crown our first ever champion from the fairer of the two sexes, three out of the top four finishers were also members of the female persuasion.

It was certainly a chaotic NCAA Tournament this year.  Consider these facts:

 

  • Before the Final Four was even played, our championship was already secured.
  • Only two people (Jesse and I) even got a single Final Four team right. We both got Connecticut right.
  • Our eventual champion’s national champion lost in the 1st Round.
  • 6 people picked Kansas as their champ, 4 picked Duke, 2 people picked Ohio State, 1 person picked Syracuse, 1 person picked UCLA, 1 person picked Michigan State, and 1 person picked BYU. None of those teams even made it to the Final Four.
  • Our eventual champion finished in last place last year.
  • Our 3 time defending champ finished in 2nd to last place this year.
  • Only Jesse got 1 of the teams in the championship game (Connecticut) right.

So who is the new Queen of College Basketball Divination?

 





It is Carrie Baier!

 

The Final Standings

Name – Bracket Name – Points – Correct Games – Last Year

  1. Carrie Baier – Izzo – 100 points -41/63 – 21st
  2. Jesse Howard – MeatThermometer – 94 points  – 39/63 – 13th
  3. Linda Toot – LittleSister – 74 points – 38/63 – 9th
  4. Dawn Krause – Duh Winning – 73 points – 34/63 – 3rd
  5. Jason Baier – Duke the Fifth – 72 points – 35/63 – 7th
  6. Corey Faust – Always Go Top Shelf – 69 points – 34/63 – 4th
  7. Christopher D. Bennett – They Call Me Mr. Bennett – 63 points – 31/63 – 18th
  8. Robert Henning – Losing Bracket – 59 points – 32/63 – 8th
  9. Russell Kennerly – StackinWinsLikeJustinBeiber – 59 points – 31/63 – 17th
  10. Andree Jauhari – Floccinaucinihilipilification- 58 points – 31/63 – DNP
  11. Nate Buckingham – White Magic – 57 points – 33/63 – 9th
  12. Tim Peterson – Dominate Monkey – 57 points – 32/63 – 9th
  13. Lowell Davis – Golden voiced hobo lover – 53 points – 34/63 – DNP
  14. Nader Parsaei – Oscar – 51 points – 29/63 – 2nd
  15. Mark Wolfram – Taiwan Hawkeye – 26/63 – 1st
  16. Shaun Kirsch – Lil_Dog – 45 points – 29/63 – DNP
  17. Frank Meiners – Master Picks – 0 points – 0/63 -4th

 

If I were giving an award for the best bracket name, it would clearly go to Andree, but I am not. Perhaps next year.

 

Carrie’s name now sits in the Hall of Champions with the past greats:

Past Champions

2011 – Carrie Baier

2010 – Mark Wolfram

2009 – Mark Wolfram

2008 – Mark Wolfram

2007 – Tim Peterson

2006 – William McAlpine

2005 – William McAlpine

I already can’t wait for the next college basketball season to start and not only because I expect the Cyclones to return to greatness next year. At least I have the Spring Game to look forward to in a couple of weeks. It is football, but it is something.

Proust No. Seven

Becky Perkovich correctly gave 1 of the 4 possible correct answers to the Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question:

Q: What is Christopher D. Bennett’s favorite movie?

A: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Proust Quote

“Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.”

Confessions Question

Your idea of happiness:

2009 Answer

Proust Questionnaire Number Ten

When Becky chose her question she said that she hoped to get a “real answer”. It is the kind of disrespect that would normally cause me to cancel her email subscription to this journal.  However, since it is the Christmas season, I will allow it to slide.  All of my answers are real and real is a stupid word.

Actually, it has nothing to do with the Christmas season.  I just sat through an Advent Study where there was frequent discussion about how we become “better people” and have more “peace” during the Christmas season.  I couldn’t really relate to the conversations and hardly ever contributed because I don’t feel that I have more peace or become a better person during Christmas.

I can’t figure out if that makes me an absolutely terrible person or a person of unsurpassed greatness. These are the only two options.

As this question relates to 2010, this question will need to be thought of as “what made you happiest in 2010?”

That is an easy question to answer: Evie.

To extend the answer to this question just a little bit, let me tell you a few tales.

I’ve known for quite some time that Jen and Derrick were trying to have a baby, but the thoughts of me seeing them as parents didn’t really start to materialize until early January.

I was at Derrick and Jill’s parent’s house for Marla’s birthday party.  Sort of.  I was kind of a late addition to the invite list.

Nothing earth-shattering happened while I was there. I would find out later that before my arrival Derrick and Jen had told his parents and Jill that they were pregnant on that night, but my arrival had extinguished all the conversation about the baby. They must have hated me for showing up, but this story is about me and my happiness.  It was the first time that I noticed that Jen was not smoking. I noted it, but didn’t jump to a conclusion.

Later in January Derrick, Jen, Sara, and I attended a Brandi Carlile concert. It was the time of year where we were starting to make plans for the big Iowa State-Kansas State game in Kansas City. We had attended the game the previous year.  Despite some awkwardness to the previous year’s trip (staying at the Bates Hotel, my cousin offering us drugs), I was looking forward to making the trip this year. Possibly with the addition of a couple of new people.

I was talking about how we would make this year’s trip better while we were parked in Sara’s driveway when Derrick utter the following cryptic line:

“I’m not sure if we will be able to make the trip to Kansas City this year.”

He would offer no explanation.

Before the Brandi Carlile concert we dined at the Gateway Market. I noted that Jen drank water.  Jen still was not smoking. In fact, Derrick had yet to have a cigarette.

During the Brandi Carlile concert, Jen went to the bathroom about 14 times.

I was certain now that Jen was pregnant. I waited for the rest of the night for the announcement. I was certain that this was the perfect night to make the announcement. I was certain that they wanted to tell Sara and I together.

The night ended without an announcement. I went to bed confused.

That week I met noted filmmaker H. Richard Stauffer.  He is Frank’s friend. He was working on a musical number in the area.  He invited Jesse and I to come watch him in action on his set. We agreed.

The next day, Sara announced that she would be in Ames for clinicals on the exact same day that Jesse and I were going to be watching the great H. Richard Stauffer in action.  I have had a goal of photographing him since I first met him, but that is a story for another day.

We set up a lunch meeting with Jen and Derrick. I resolved to shaft H. Richard Stauffer because I was pretty sure that at this meeting Jen and Derrick would announce a pregnancy.

I was right, as I sat down at the table, Derrick said: “Hey Chris, we won’t be able to go to the Kansas State game this year. Jen is pregnant.”

There was merriment.

We made an appointment to photograph the happy couple before they became a couple “plus one”.




The next happy moment came a few months later. I’m not sure of the exact month, but I know that it happened before Jen, Derrick, Sara, Cousin Amy and I ate at The Open Flame.

I plopped down on the chair in the Gorshe living room and for the first time I saw a blob on the television that would turn out to be Evie.

While we waited for Sara and Cousin Amy to arrive, we watched the video 3 times. Then we watched it twice with Sara in the room and Cousin Amy waiting for us in the car due to her cat allergies.

I would watch the video a few more times a few weeks later when Jill was back in town. It never really got old. Nor did the gnawing feeling that the video could use background music ever go away.

The next joyous moment came in late August. I have never been to a baby shower, but I got talked into co-hosting a shower with Sara.

My part of the shower was to make sure it was cool enough for guys to attend plus make whatever Sara wanted to happen magically happen. I believe I came through on both fronts.










We found time to cram in one last photo shoot of the Gorshes before the blessed day occurred.



Then there was nothing but waiting.

The Iowa State-Kansas State football game came. This was very close to the due date. I was worried that the baby would come while I went down to Kansas City to watch the game. Not really sure why I was worried. It is not like I had a job in this process, but I was antsy nonetheless.

Then my fears seemed to be coming true.

Derrick texted me: “Are you in Kansas City?”

I texted Jill that I was in Kansas City and never heard back.

These two incidents are seemingly innocuous, but in the mind of a…. well in my mind, they spelled “baby on the way”. Let me explain.

Derrick never texts. Derrick is the Chris Bennett of 2007. He hates texting. He can’t stand it when other people text him. It costs him money because he doesn’t have a text messaging plan.

Only once before this day had he text messaged me. That text consisted of scatological humor. In fairness, it was a parody of scatological humor. I believe Jen had to help him send this text.

It seemed very strange to me that out of the blue he would send me a text message. I responded back in the affirmative. He never wrote me back.

Why had he texted me?

I also make a habit of sending text updates about Iowa State games to Jill. She always texts back with appropriate responses: “Yay!!!” or “That’s terrible.”

Why had she not texted me back?

The answer seemed obvious to me. Somewhere in the Mary Greeley birthing center, Jen was bringing the newest Gorshe into the world. Somewhere on I-35, Jill was speeding down to Ames to see her niece or nephew for the first time.

I watched the entire game with this feeling in the back of my head that as soon as the game was over I needed to get back to Ames.

After the conclusion of the game I called Derrick. To my great surprise he answered his phone. He didn’t have any news. He was just genuinely interested in whether or not I had went to Kansas City.

The great rush back to Ames was called off. Jason and I went to Oklahoma Joe’s for supper and the best barbecue I’ve had in my entire life.

I had made plans with Jen and Derrick and Sara for the following Tuesday night. We were going to give them the baby advice book that Sara and I had put together with pictures from the Baby Shower.

Then Tuesday came along. I spent the morning at work texting Jill about the new Maroon 5 album.

Then Derrick called.

“We aren’t going to be able to do dinner tonight.”

“Why is that?”

“We’re at the hospital. Jen’s having the baby.”

I spent the rest of the day texting Jill, all the while dancing around the only topic that could possibly be on either of our minds.

A little after 4 Derrick called with the joyous news. Evie was born healthy (like a lot babies) and adorable (like very few babies).

I just kind of stared at the clock at work for the next couple of hours waiting for Sara to arrive.

Finally 6 o’clock came. Sara showed up. I sent 1 last text to Jill that I was leaving work and going to the hospital. I figured that was safe ground.

She texted back how excited she was to be an aunt and it was a relief to finally be able to talk about it.

Sara and I got to the hospital and got to see and hold Evie. This was my happiest moment of 2010.











Of course we also got to take this picture too:




This concludes the wordy portion of the Proust Questionnaire for 2010. Congratulations to Jen. She just became the 5th person to reach the 100 journal entries about her plateau.

3Peat

“This is the end,

Beautiful friend,

This is the end,

Of our elaborate plans, the end,

Of everything that stands, the end,

No safety or surprise, the end.”

– The Doors (The End)

Another college basketball season has come to an end. It is a sad, sad day. At least it is only 11 days to Iowa State’s Spring Football Game. 11 long days!

The end of another college basketball season means it is time to crown the champion of year 6 of the Roundball Oracles tournament pool.

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but a few years back Pat Riley was man enough to patent the word 3peat.  What he wasn’t man enough to do is actually 3peat. He came up woefully short in his attempt to win a 3rd straight championship.

Mark Wolfram is not Pat Riley. Mark Wolfram was man enough to be crowned the Roundball Oracles Champion for the 3rd straight year.  It was a little embarrassing when a guy living in Taiwan won the first time.  Even more embarrassing when he repeated last year. I’m not sure if there are words to express how embarrassing it is that he won for a third straight year.

Hopefully next year somebody will step up and snatch that crown off of his head.  Could be you! Could be me! Although I’ll have to rebound from an extremely pathetic performance this year. At least I finished third and won ten bucks in the pool at work.

The Final Standings

1. Mark Wolfram (Taiwan Hoops) – 81 points

2. Nader Parsaei (Charlie Chaplin) – 79 points

3. Dawn Krause (Dawn’s Dunkin’ Dribblers) – 75 points

4. Frank Meiners (Frank’s Picks) – 73 points

4. Corey Faust (Always Go Top Shelf) – 73 points

6. Dan Dill (dan) – 71 points

7. Jason Baier (JLB) – 70 points

8. Robert Henning (Shot In The Dark) – 67 points

9. Nate Buckingham (Wade Lookingbill Allstars) – 65 points

9. Tim Peterson (Dominate Monkey) – 65 points

9. Linda Toot (JWB) – 65 points

12 – Derrick Gorshe (Derrick) – 63 points

13 – Jesse Howard (ISU Yes McDermott No) – 62 points

14 – Becky Perkovich (A169032477) – 61 points

15 – Corey Schmidt (TakeIt2ThaHole) – 58 points

15. Toby Sebring (Lickliter Is Out!) – 58 points

17. Russell Kennerly (i’m also transferring greg) 57 points

18. Christopher D. Bennett (I See Things) – 56 points

19. Jon DeWaard (Lono’s bracket) – 54 points

20. Bill Wentworth (Bill’s Bracket) – 53 points

21. Carrie Baier (Couragers) – 52 points

21 competitors was a new Roundball Oracles record for participants.  4 female competitors was a record for female competitors!

I am hopeful that next year, both of those records will be broken.

You Probably Think this Song is About You

In anticipation of a weekend filled with numerous social engagements, I went to see Monica on Thursday for my quarterly shearing.

I brought along a camera and her intern (she really has an intern) snapped a couple of pictures.



I wanted there to be documented evidence that when Monica trims my facial hair, she does not wear safety glasses. There was a terrible internet rumor circulating that this was the case and I wanted to squash it.

On an unrelated, but semi-related note, I was challenged to a beard growing contest last week.

I have yet to accept the challenge because I don’t know if I can emotionally handle shaving off my facial hair and becoming a dirty nakedface. I know that I will only be a dirty nakedface for a day, but it will still be fairly traumatic.

If I decide to take on the nakedface demon, the contest will start on January 1, 2010 and last 1 month. Frank, the guy that challenged me, wanted to start on December 1, but there was no way that I was going to sport an untamed full beard for Christmas.

I think all of you know how I feel about people under the age of 40 sporting beards. I want to be a nice guy during the Christmas season.