Monday, December 29, 2008

The Holiday Season!

You never know what is going to happen when family gets together over the holidays. Wine, cards, 2am, inlaws......I think the photo says the rest.
I still don't know how Ryan got the deer to go up into my bedroom, but somewhere in the night I believe I was duped into a sour bet at the card table that ended with me sleeping with a nice buck. He was really friendly and the denim quilt on the bed was highly abrasion resistant to the deer's antlers. Unfortunately after what I felt was a lovely evening, the deer was gone when I woke up. I was really hoping for him to stay for waffles in the morning. Those Iowa deer are really friendly when your not hitting them with your car or hunting them with predatory rage. Maybe next year I can get a doe in the sack! Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Agony of Defeat and the Joy of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding class. More boobs than sniffers row at happy hour. The 2.5 hour class was approximately 10,500 heartbeats that I donated to father time (assuming 70 bpm over that time). While filled with lots of great information, I was disappointed at the end to be shown a video about how the baby naturally goes to the breast and feeds on it's own as an instinctual reaction they have in them. So......2.5 hour class could have been reduced to: A) have child B) wipe goo off child C) place child on your bare chest D) go home. After all, do we take classes on how to breathe? No, because we do it instinctually, I even googled it and found no classes.

Some highlights of the class for me, with my thoughts out loud for your enjoyment:
  • 7 minute video with 26 hooter shots....I don't know if pay per view would have that kind of action, but yes, I did tally them during the film when I should have been paying close attention to other information.
  • An advertisement for a breastpump with a lady with a pump on each boob, blouse open working on here computer at work.......does this really happen, because it seems a little over the top for me.
  • Props that included a stuffed baby with its tongue out and a stuffed boob so we could see what's happening...........I laughed out loud at this thinking if you could ever get a stuffed boob out of one of those claw machines at the arcade?
  • Fact of the day: A babys stomach is the size of a marble when born and the size of a ping pong ball on day 10. Our stomach is the size of a softball.......there is no way my lunch would fit into a softball.
  • If you need to relieve some of the pressure for your breast milk you can place a disposable diaper, moistened and warmed in the microwave on each breast and sit back and about a hot sure the diapers are new and moistened only with water......I am thinking about soothing myself by placing my underwear in the oven and soothing the areas that ail me like ankles, knees, head
  • Women can tell by feel which breast is most full. The concept here did not freak me out, but the Sunday school teacher (who is about 60) giving us the visual was too much for me.
Breast milk has many other uses, it's a freaking miracle! Please consider these handy uses for the milk you produce or possibly even bottle some up and give it as a holiday cure-all gift it makes a great stocking stuffer in these tough economic times. I promise I am not making this up!
  • Cure for ear and eye infections: Simply squirt or pour into orifice.
  • Cure for bug bites and sunburn: Apply to skin and rub in for relief. Won't this be handy at the lake this summer? "Wife, I just got stung by a bee, can you come over here?"
  • Immunity boost: Give your child or spouse a shot if they are sick. Bottoms up!
  • Rub on sore or cracked nipples: Great for marathon runners in your life, at mile 20, just find a prego lady.
  • Acne and warts: I am sure the teenagers love that when mom offers.
  • Sore throats: Just gargle a little breastmilk.
I will be heading home to clear out the medicine cabiniet as I need no other medications. If any of you need any miracle cures, just stop over come February and I will see if I can hook you up.

In other news of the week. The Panthers were defeated in the semi-finals of the FCS playoffs. An absolutely devastating loss for me. The photo below was the last happy moment. Pain, bitterness, anger, devastation would be great adjectives to describe the menal state I was/am in. Entering the fourth quarter with a 13 point lead (bad number for football) and losing with 14 seconds left hurts bad. I would much rather have lost by 40. Instead the energy and excitement was so high you could taste the win. I compare the feeling with seeing your wife for the first time in 5 years and when you go to hug her she kicks you in the balls with a pair of steel toe boots. Ouch. As a result I have put together a tentative plan for the first week topics for practice in the spring of 2009:
  • Day 1: "You can't win a football game with your thumb up your ass, or your hands around your neck." A look at the anatomy of choking.
  • Day 2: "Open tryouts for kicker." All students invited.
  • Day 3: "Math 101: 4 quarters to a football game, not 3." Abacuses will be provided by the University Book Store
  • Day 4: "Why selling pot will not work out for the greater good of the team." A micro-economic look at the risk/benefit model.
  • Day 5: "How pissing down your leg feels good, but does not win championships." A refresher course from last years seminar.
I still bleed purple and always will. I am just in the process of passing a purple an gold kidney stone right now. Go Panthers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Snow, Tailgates and Panthers

It was cold windy day on the plains of Northern Iowa on Saturday. Windchill in the single digits and beer freezing as you drank it (unless you were quick). A crew of 5 dedicated fans from Texas, Minnesota and Iowa bundled up in a stubborn act of support for the Northern Iowa football team. After enduring 4 hours of cold relentless tailgating, wind and adult beverages, the ritual paid off as the mighty panthers beat New Hampshire in a wild game to advance to the FCS college football semifinals. This means we will do it all again at the UNI Dome next weekend. You can tune in on ESPN at 3pm central.

Today we had snow in Minnesota. Good for the Nordic skiing prospects, bad for the afternoon commute. After a 10 mile, 70 minute commute (that normally takes 20 minutes) there was no doubt the inside of the car was not fit for a child's ears. At one point in the drive I passed a car going down a huge hill as the anti-lock brakes were trying to slow me down. Hindsight tells me I should not have gone down this hill, but the dude I was sliding past (on a residential road) had to think I was totally nuts. I believe the comment from Brandi halfway down the hill was "I am just going to close my eyes." This "scenic route" home allowed us only minutes to let the dog out and cram some food down before moving on to the childbirth class.....week 5. For those of you counting at home, that means we are done next week (I am counting). After some learning about forceps, nipple stimulation and how they sew shut a uterus after a Cesarean section while it sits on your lap, we were done with the evening.

All the snow and birth talk made me want to ski. I headed out to the local high school grounds for a quick lap at about 9:30pm for some fresh tracks and exercise. It's still snowing as I write this at 11pm which makes me really excited for the drive in to work tomorrow morning. If you smell the sarcasm in that, you have a good nose. Go Panthers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksclimbing 2008

This Sunday we'll celebrate, drink, climb and eat,
if you can't be there we'll assume your at home beating your meat.

The WSP climbing will be sick once again,
Luke's homemade grog will make us all grin.

There's a football game on starting at seven,
but the West Saint Paul funmeter will go to eleven.

The air is crisp and the bird has been shot,
missing Thanksclimbing is something you should not.

We all know the holiday season is upon us when it kicks off with the annual Thanksclimbing festival in my garage. This glorious 2nd annual event features food, climbing and fun. There were many sick routes climbed at the West Saint Paul International Climbing Facility and fun was had by all. We fired up the deep fryer and consumed more than one bottle of beer in an effort to properly offset the physical activity the climbing provided. Some highlights of the evening were as follows:
  • Best dressed: TJB for his throwback climbing tights tribute to the eighties.....their appearance was brief, and we all needed a shower afterward.
  • Rowdiest guest: The dog, who broke a bottle of beer on the floor in a drunken fit of rage....nice, who invited the deaf and blind dog, anyway? However there is some debate that Al actually dropped his beer and then blamed it on the senile dog.......
  • Best Food: Smorrissey's mini corn dogs gave the event a state fair like feel
  • Most Unique Beverage: Noll's 'Simpler Times' beer. Correct, we had not heard of it before either. Top shelf could be overstating it a bit.
  • Biggest camera: Once again, defending champion, Jevidon, edges out everyone else, combined, with his Canon Hubble XJ57R unit which provided superior images of the event.
  • Topless Climbing Contest is taken by Al who just edged out TJBs more "primitive" look. However, if there were a contest to clog the shower drain, TJB would top the podium.
  • Best Dead Animal Brought to the Party: Luke takes it with the beheaded and skinned unidentified fowl in a grocery sack. Nobody knows what happened to the fowl, but there are theories that Noll, in a maddened vegetarian relapse snuck out the back door and consumed it raw under the deck of the house. Reports have not been confirmed, but the fine taste of meat has.
By the end of the night all hands and arms were pumped, lungs were white from inhaling chalk dust and the recycling bin was markedly more full than when the night started. Thanksclimbing to all, and to all a good night. Click on the images for the Thanksclimbing gallery.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Continuing Education........cont'd

This week I was privileged to view a video of numerous individuals carrying out, in our instructor's words, "rituals of birth." Up to this point, I was pretty chill about my whole attitude of "take it as it comes down the pipe," because I really think that a lot of people have given birth, so we can probably handle this. This doesn't mean it will be easy, but doable. Well, after I see this video, it's like the shit hitting the fan that propels the engines of the space shuttle.

Quick summary of the contraction/birth rituals I saw:
1. Lady dancing and talking in tongues with her husband in the hallway of the hospital. The good news, my wife hates dancing, so this is not very likely, but if it does I will have some sweet tunes loaded up on my ipod.

2. Fat lady(not because she was prego, I do have a conscious) naked, except for a sports bra (funny term for her clothing) getting hosed off in the bathtub as she moans and rocks on her knees in the tub. This shifted me into second gear freakout thinking pregnancy could be more like some sort of weird cult. Do I bring a watering can or a wetsuit in my luggage?

3. A naked couple giving birth in a giant tub of water. Quick summary: naked, paranoid husband, who probably feels weird getting videotaped in the bath, is comforting his wife as she moans and gets coached by some old lady. My thoughts: I have a bathing suit I look pretty good in, do I bring it to the hospital? Wife doesn't let me bathe with her now, so it's doubtful on day baby is being born. I will bring swimcap and Boundary Waters Barbie to play with, just in case.

4. Lady moaning and rhythmically flogging her husband senseless during contractions. Now, this is what I expect from the experience. I can take this sort of physio emotional abuse for a day. I won't hold it against you, but I probably will never fully understand. This reaction is not much different than my personal views on putting down the toilet seat or invaders from space: it's not that I don't care, but I just don't understand.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Continuing Education

I attended the first day of birth classes in preparation for having a baby girl in February. My theory was that we could surely learn all of this on Youtube or Google but that is without doubt simply my blind faith in trying to not cut into my Monday Night Football schedule. My first impression: Sunday school with vaginas. Our sweet teacher is seriously the church lady with a bunch of weird, contrived and sometimes disturbing props, pictures and stories. Her thin frizzy hair, flower dress and lunch lady shoes will certainly not make anyone start humming the Van Halen tune 'hot for the teacher.' Upon entering the room there was a lovely sign on a tripod that we learned is our mantra for the course. The sign reads: Women are made to give birth, trust in yourself. Seems like a weird mantra for me, but I rolled with it, and will continue to do so for the next 5 weeks! This sign, seriously made me wonder if Michael Scott would come strolling in for some kind of intervention, but I was not so lucky.

Well, the two hours flew by like a root canal in a burning airplane; and after watching a riveting demonstration of a plastic doll shooting out of a knitted sweater sleeve I was really starting to learn. I believe the sweater was the uterus, the cuff was the cervix and doll was the baby. (If you need more detail on any of those terms, your probably not old enough to read this blog.) Of course, this came after she told us about how you don't need any drugs when you give birth and chased that act with a picture of here 9 pound grandson at birth!!! Seriously, I'm not the one giving birth here, but if you asked me to blow a bowling ball out my butthole it's likely going to be a tough sell with out a lot drugs, 128 beers or a louisville slugger to the melon to persuade me on the idea. I just kept reading the mantra......

We then laid on the ground to practice relaxation with the lights off and soft music in the background. We couldn't look at each other because we were going to die laughing which kind of reminded me of my first yoga experience. I was well behaved and didn't cut loose a giant fart, which would have been pretty sweet (see Ryan Broshar), and I could have easily said I was just relaxing my entire body. I restrained myself from raising my hand about 237 times over the course of the class as there were so many opportunities for lighthearted remarks and off color comments. As my wife says, I am just a 5 year old in a 32 year olds body. Good times.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lake Superior Launch

This weekend we traveled to the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota to celebrate the marriage of our friends Sean and Michelle. They had an awesome ceremony on the shoreline of lake as the sun set on and unbelievable gorgeous summer day. Weddings always have the potential for unpredictable fun and this celebration was certainly no different. After more than one refreshing adult beverage at the reception (aided by the speedy and timely service of our friends Eric and Eric behind the bar) we were ever so graciously carted to our hotel by my pregnant wife.

As the wife and baby headed to bed, the bar staff, Jesse and I hit the town. As we strolled into the nearest bar, after being vigorously carded and banded like an endangered raptor, we were rapidly reminded of our age at the raging Duluth club scene. While this was a nice establishment playing bumping tunes and filled with single underage drinkers, we graciously danced across the floor and out the door we came in. The rest of the night unfolded in a blur of beef sticks, wrestling in the street, the big Eric partially disrobing in a haste to acquire tickets to the New Kids on the Block concert and housing the bartenders on the very small porch of our hotel room.

The next morning we were all a little 'rusty' from the previous evening and Sean ever so graciously vowed to show us the true Duluth experience. So, we swam out into the depths of Lake Superior in Duluth Harbor to jump from the ruins of the ice house in settled in the harbor. The water is deep, and cold. The good news was that the water was warmer than the air temperature at 9 in the morning this particular day, but the bad news was that the water was st still only about 65 degrees at most. So as we got in the water it was strongly recommended by Sean's brother, to 'just go for it.' As myself and the Eric's tiptoed on gigantic, partially submerged slippery rocks we scampered to deep water and flopped graciously into the cold, cold water. As we swam frantically for the ice house it was difficult to catch my breath from the initial shock to the system. As I am shivering and hyperventilating I hand over hand the sketchy nylon strap that was likely tied to the ice house by Leif Erickson. Once on top, we sat shivering for about 5 minutes. Keep in mind, that one of the things I dislike most is jumping into unknown waters (regardless of how deep it is). I guess this is one of those personal phobias of the unknown that we all have about certain things. After a brief period of enjoying the sights and shivering enough to lose my balance on the 8 inch wide ledge, I rose to my feet. As my beautiful, bright white, middle aged, partially hair covered body towered above the harbor, I took my leap in to the icy waters as a good crowd of the wedding guest groggilly spectated our feat. After all, there was definitely no other way down off the ledge. I plunged in sync with the Eric's and we swam quickly to the shore.

It was an amazingly refreshing and exciting activity that I highly recommend. It certainly woke me up, and the company with which it was enjoyed made it all the better. Thanks for the memory Sean! Here is a video of some others jumping from the ice house that I found on youtube:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Of Table Tennis and Huffing

I was highly amused by the following article I came across today as I was attempting to find the end of the internet:
"Table Tennis Tempting Fate"
I will be the first to tell you that I get sucked up in the drama of the Olympics and find myself fascinated by all of the micro-stories that go along with the athletes and events, but this could be a bit much. From the title, table tennis is clearly the next extreme sport. You could easily die instantly from a number of dangerous twists of fate, one apparently being huffing too much glue. It was good that they got a quote from US player, Crystal Xi Huang, who I believe is a native Minnesotan or possibly Iowa, I can't quite tell from the name.

If you want to huff glue, maybe they should think about trying out for the US frisbee golf team or hacky sack squad. This rule could ruin professional table tennis as we know it, so please, be active and write your congressman today.......and be careful if your 'glueing' 10 times a day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Controversey and Drama in Quest for Tallest Man

It appears that with all of the Olympic drama and the debate over how old Chinese gymnasts are we have forgotten about the all important records of The Guiness Book of World Records. I found this news today: Tallest Man Controversy.

In a rift of high drama, the self-proclaimed world's tallest man refuses to be measured by the officials at Guiness. The giant Ukrainian has chosen to go back to hearding animals and raising vegetables to let Bao (pictured left) reclaim his title. Here are the top 5 things I thoroughly enjoyed about this newsflash:

1. The worlds tallest man saved a dophin with his 3.47 foot arm (my arm is about 2 feet long). Holy dolphin throat!

2. The Ukrainian doesn't want to be measured officially by Guiness. Probably because he is trying to tell people he's 8'.5.5"(likely blaming on the faulty and unreliable conversions from the metric system)!! We all know that there is no quality control on those Ukranian measuring sticks......this smells like a doping controversy to me. It's sad, there just aren't any clean sports anymore.

3. They officiallly measure you "6 times in one day, both standing and lying down." Who writes these rules? I thought you just had your mom measure you against the kitchen wall and send in a photo. So much for getting away with standing on your toes so you look 8 feet tall.

4. The Ukranian doesn't want the "glory" that comes with being the world's tallest man. I guess that pretty much puts the brakes on my planned vacation to the "remote village in central Ukraine" that I was planning next year. Disneyland will just have to do instead. One would think that the remote village in the Ukraine would not become a tourism hotspot just on his accord......give me a break.

5. I also heard from some undisclosed sources close to the incident that at $100 a month plus the mint he's making from selling cucumbers and tomatoes, he probably doesn't need the money. What we all can learn from this is that if you lie about your height, you'll be found no matter where you live.

Monday, August 18, 2008

........rhymes with Cletus?

There is big news in the world of Adventures of Mitch. The biggest adventure of them all, in fact. The Hoffman family has a fetus!

We are expecting our first child in February and are very excited about it all. I find it interesting that the term is used as "expecting" a child. I guess occasionally folks are "expecting" a child and then give birth to a goat, seahorse or antelope? So, we are taking our chances and hoping for a human being on this go around. It's pretty crazy to think about what all will change in February, but I guess that's just life, and the unknowns that make it so exciting. We are both looking forward to the future and are really excited about all things that will be baby around here soon.

It's always interesting to me how everything is good when you are pregnant. Brandi has been sicker than a freshman at a frat party, but everyone says how good and healthy it is to be sick. Of course, in the next sentence they let you know how they were not sick when they were pregok but continue to give you spirited, hang in there champ, advice. I have to be honest, being sick that much would suck and my response to those people would contain more than one expletive. For what it's worth, that's the big news from here.....this blog may soon become the "Adventures of Mitch's Baby." More updates, excitement and news from the nursery to come.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Need for Speed.........

Yesterday was a big day. I went for my first run since what is now known as "the incident." It was certainly weird getting on the treadmill and jogging the first few minutes, but it ended up feeling pretty good. I did manage to rocket along at a rapid 12:15 mile pace, at top speed. Don't be fooled though, I worked up to this speed slowly shifting through all the gears to get there. As the treadmill started to smoke at this high speed I was glanced over and chatted briefly with the sloth running on the treadmill next to me, he was going faster. From the quick math in my head I would be able to finish a marathon at that pace in about 4 days. I can't remember ever running so slow and feeling like I was going so fast. My friend, the Achilles, is a little sore today, but all in all I will call it a success. I have to do something to get this shrunken calf to grow. I am starting to feel like the kid that starts crying in gym class because he can't do a pull up. If nothing else, it sure feels good to start sweating out some of the invalidity that I have bestowed upon myself since surgery in February. If anyone is looking for a footrace to help boost your self esteem and confidence, you know where to find me. Or, if you great grandmother needs a pacer for her her next round of ultra marathon training, I can do that as well.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Solitude and Paddling

I spent last week in the immense solitude and quiet that can only be found in the over 1 million acres of wilderness known as Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA). My friend Justin and I paddled long, hard, fun days through the middle of the BWCA where few people ever paddle. For Justin, it was his first visit to this place I love, and after the trip we had, I highly doubt it will be long before he visits the BWCA again. Some of the amazing experiences that we had could never really be explained in words or photos, but maybe the combination of the two can leave a small impression of how awesome this wilderness area is. (since Justin is a photographer, the images will speak louder than my words) In just four days, we paddled our canoe and gear across 21 lakes, 2 rivers, 2 creeks, and 29 portages totaling 2,033 rods (a rod equals 16.5 feet, roughly the length of a canoe and 320 rods equal a mile) That is over 6.25 miles of carrying our 60 pound canoe and 60+ pound portage bag between lakes. (Editors note: I travel fairly light in the backcountry, unless my paddling partner is Ansel Adams. Two camera bodies, a carbon fiber tripod, 247 AA batteries, and one porn star of a lens made my palms sweat fearing tipping the canoe at any time.)

The BWCA is always a reminder of just how calm and amazing wilderness can still be. Many things change constantly and rapidly in our everyday lives, but places like this are always the same. Life slows to a primitive pace you enjoy everything on a whole different and heightened sensory level. The BWCA is a place that I am always disappointed to leave at the end of my trip. Tired shoulders from paddling, dirty clothes, rain and cold can all be bumps in the road, but the solitude and quiet is extremely hard to leave behind for the business of daily life in the city.

You don't get to wake up, on a normal day, early in the morning and paddle across an absolutely glass lake listeneing to the birds and hearing only the sound of the bow of your boat breaking the calm water. We called this "silent mode." Silent mode was not just for viewing wildlife, it was also for entering a trance like state of wilderness enjoyment. We saw almost no other people on this trip with the exception of the entry lakes on both ends of the trip. What we did get to see was virgin pine, a Bald Eagle snatching a lake trout from the water, moose grazing in the early morning silence and Loons diving, floating and calling in the evening hours. It's absolutely too much to process unless you have been there. Places like this are why I have the love for the wilderness that I do. It is also why you learn to cherish the moments that you have in these wild places each and every time you visit one. I highly recommend that you click on the photo below to view Justin's gallery from our trip.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Making it in photography is tough. You have to be willing to do anything to get the perfect shot. This guy, knows that high school javelin throwing is a high profile assignment and no doubt the ticket to the next level of journalism glory. In an effort to get the perfect shot of the spear rocketing through the air he failed to realize it was coming directly at him. The results are pretty clear from the picture. I will give him credit that at least he took the photo of his own gore. I think it would be really funny if the medic said "well, it's stuck in this far, we should just pull it all the way through, kind of like a fish hook.......this might sting." Next time dude, give a little space. I know why this guys boss doesn't send him to photograph hunting or skeet shooting..... Click on the photo for the story.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hunt.....or be hunted.

The past few days, our dog has been very keen on one particular spot in the garden behind our garage. Since she is mostly blind and totally deaf, her sense of smell is keen as the old pointing dog in her refuses to give into old age. (she is a hunting breed, but never actually hunted; she has lived her life on table scraps and sleeping on furniture) Upon closer inspection, the wife discovered a nest. Instantly, widespread panic and paranoia sets in. "What is this nest?," she shouts. Naturally, whatever lives in this nest has infested the entire house! This beast is likely eating our food, living in our walls and slowly chewing apart the rafters of the house. Soon the house will cave in, killing us all........

"Mice! It's a mouse," the wife exclaims! "We have mice in the garden! I know it's a mouse nest under one of my plants! I can see them in the nest right now!" She then states, "If you see one mouse, then there are 30,000 more you don't see." At least that's what says. We have to get rid of the mouse. Also, if there is a mouse in the garden, then they automatically get a key to the house, and shorly thereafter, move into the house and begin their path of total infestation and destruction. After several minutes of calming and counseling we devised a plan to "remove" the beasts. Now this story is funny, if you know Brandi, because she doesn't like to harm anything. Have you ever seen the person that almost runs the car into oncoming traffic to miss the squirrel crossing the road? Or the person that sighs and gets distressed when a rabbit or dear is dead on the side off the road? I live with this person. Pretty funny, because her father and brother kill enough deer to feed us all each year.

I quickly explained that killing the animals would not be a problem. Brandi needed a more humane way. After she called her dad under significant distress we devised our plan. Although we vowed never to speak of this deed, I felt it needed to be blogged. In an effort to be kind, humane and worldly I scooped up the entire nest into a 5 gallon bucket and then drove it to a local nature preserve where I could set the animals free. What a nice, happy ending to a potentially tragic and deadly story. I feel so good about myself right now for making the world a better place.

As Paul Harvey says: "Now, the rest of the story." So I actually headed out with a shovel to knock the mice off. Brandi walked away into the house and started on a bottle of wine to calm her conscience and nerves. So' I gave a few quick and stealthy WHACKS to the nest and shoveled the not so untraumatically killed animals into bucket to put in the trash. However, as I dug them from their nest, I discovered that they were quite large for baby mice. Upon closer inspection, they weren't baby mice. In fact, they were baby rabbits. After telling brandi that the animals she so feared invading our house were cute, cuddly, fuzzy bunnies that I had flogged to death with a shovel, the wine bottle basically became a funnel. It was actually pretty funny, but Brandi chooses not to speak of what we now just call "the deed that was done." I guess there probably will not be a very good easter egg hunt in this yard next year.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Tonight was an exciting night. WWW night is for wine, waffles and watching TV. After a long winter of no television we ushered in some of our favorite shows with this historic event. Our friend Jessie came over for the infamous "breakfast for supper" followed by some quality television of Grey's Anatomy, Lost and The Office. I chose the breakfast, Brandi chose to take the picture, and Jessie wanted we threw that in with the waffles. Since it was raining all day and is supposed to snow tomorrow, the wine was probably necessary.

In an effort to make this event a healthy one, we had turkey bacon at Brandi's request. A few comments on turkey bacon:

The pros: It's better for you. It's fully cooked, so you can rip open the package of 'bacon' and eat it raw for a dramatic visual effect.

The cons: It's not really bacon. I'm not sure it really comes from a turkey. I'm not sure it comes from an animal. It is creatively colored to resemble the tasty visual marriage of pork meat and pork fat intertwined into a pan fried delicious taste treat. This visual mirage, however, is about as believable as a hamburger made our of Legos. Cooking turkey bacon, if desired, does not provide much visual feedback. It takes between 4 seconds and 40 minutes to cook. I would like to know who the turkey bacon designer is that decides how much light colored turkey puree to mix with the darker, reddish colored, meat looking, turkey puree to best resemble regular bacon. This visual illusion can be very deceiving........from 100 yards, or farther, away. Gobble, Gobble health nuts and go get your turkey bacon. If you can't find any, just throw strips of an old baseball glove in the microwave for about thirty seconds and enjoy! Maybe tomorrow night I can rustle up some soy based, shrimp cocktail imitations! In other news, did you know that chicken McNuggets are not actually real chicken pieces? Wow, they are molded so realistically so. Who doesn't like chicken Mc Nuggets? Vote in the new poll.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Birthday #1......

This weekend was my nephew Conner's first birthday. We traveled back to Iowa to celebrate with him. Conner has lots of cousins, and a three year old brother. There were so many kids, eating so much sugar, that I never was actually able to confirm a count. There was a lot of yelling, some fighting and a lot of sugar consumed.

Opening packages was not really up to Conner. It was more like a pack of ravenous wolves attacking the wrapping paper after eating about two pounds of skittles each. Pretty intense stuff. I kind of lock up with all the action and cautiously step away like one would do when someone near your starts a chainsaw and is about to lay into and fell a tree. I think my sister enjoys watching me stand in amazement of the chaos as much as anybody.

The 1st birthday was not the only event that took place. After Conner opened his present, he had one more gift......a t-shirt from mom and dad. As you can see from the photo, he is going to be a big brother. Heather and Jeff are awesome parents with very fun, beautiful children. I am sure Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman are wondering how they will chase all three around when they babysit. They better start training! Lots of fun this weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Birthday, Sushi, Surprise

A few weeks ago a good friend took my wife and I out for a "Sushi Orientation." I had wanted to try sushi for a while but really know nothing about it.

It seemed that me wandering into some sushi joint alone would be about as wise as negotiating for a car in a foreign language. Basically, I would be confused, broke and have a sore ass in the morning. Thankfully, my experience with Brian was far better. Sushi was interesting and very foreign. However, I really enjoyed it. So, last week for my birthday, I decided to meet some friends at a great sushi place in St. Paul. Saji Ya has a great happy hour on drinks and several good sushi rolls. Upon my arrival and looking for the group I was meeting I surprised to find my in-laws drove up from Iowa for the event. Sushi was a bold step in their food horizon, I think they enjoyed the experience, but likely we won't find them with a stool named after them at the local sushi bar in Kanawha, IA. It was pleasantly surprising to find the the small get together blossomed into about 8-10 of my friends and family. We had a great time even though we were gazing out the window in mid April at at blizzard of slush. The sushi was even better than the first time and seems to evolving into a meal that could easily become one of my favorites.

Next time you are up for some tasy food, I strongly recommend the raw fish taste of sushi and the ever so tasty wasabi! mmmmm.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Break Up

This is never easy, but the Boot and I are going to have to part ways. It's so hard, because the Boot didn't do know the story: "it's not you, it's me, Boot." We have been together a while now, and it's been good mostly. It seems that my (physical) therapist , just thinks that the Boot is unhealthy for me at this point in my life. I just don't need the kind of support that the Boot gives me anymore. We've been going to (physical) therapy for a few weeks together, and now I am going to start going alone. I feel like maybe the Boot is a little too controlling, and holding me back. Maybe we are just at different places in our lives. After all, I'm getting along o.k. without the Boot now. The Boot, quite frankly, makes me uncomfortable around others, self conscious, and it kind of smells. Relationships that limit what you can do are never healthy or natural.

Maybe it's time for us to see other people? After all, we haven't even been sleeping together for about two weeks now. We are different people than we were a few months ago. The Boot was suffocating in a plastic bag somewhere in an emergency room supply closet. Now, it's come out of it shell and it's seeing the world, exercising more, helping others. I used to be happy, somewhat fit and generally active. Now, I'm a 1.5 legged, partially disabled inactive ball of over 30 fury, but I'm changing. I don't know if that good or not, but it just feels right.

It was different back when we got together. I was stoned on painkillers, and the Boot was there for me at a difficult physical and emotional crossroads in my life. We slept together every night for nearly 5 weeks! Some nights I didn't get much sleep (if you know what I mean), other nights we went to bed and just lay wrapped around one and other on a cold winter's night.

When I look back on our relationship now, there were some weird times. The Boot really didn't want me to go anywhere without it. It seemed no matter where I would go or what I would do it was there, strapped to my foot like a ball and chain. Then, it started to get jealous of my wife. I tried to explain that this could get complicated, but we stayed together. Eventually, I got off the pain killers, we stopped hanging out with our friends, the Cruthes, and we wouldn't even watch TV together anymore. Getting away from the Cruthes were a big step. They slowed us down, and always wanted to be with us. When we finally stopped hanging out with them, they were just literally rubbing me the wrong way.

I hope the Boot and I can still be friends. I hope it's not weird when we see each other in the house or at the club. I hope we can still hang out and text each other when we need someone to talk to. We had some good times, but times change. Boot, thanks for the memories and stay in touch.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


MOTM? What in tarnation is this acronym.......Mitch on the move! Today was the 6 week post op check up. The doc said to start moving out of the boot. This means more mobility, eventually. The facts right now are that when I took the boot off for my re-introduction to walking I wasn't moving too fast. But after a few 'hot laps' around the PT office and 5 minutes on the treadmill going exactly 1mph, I was pretty much tapped for the day. I believe my pulse surged to 86bpm and I burned 13 calories. I'll probably be sore tomorrow. At this pace I might as well start going to coffee at 4am with the old men at the gas station every day.

It was nice to dig out and dust off all of my right shoes that have been stacked away for some time. I will spend the next week or so weaning myself off of the boot as if it were the teet of the mother cow, as I slowly gain my balance and strength like young Bambi taking her first steps.

I needed a temporary cane for the next day or two as the stability of my foot builds so that I don't look like I have a peg leg and ten beers in me when I walk. Hopefully this only takes a day or two. Should I show up with bruises or a cast, I probably fell down the steps of the house (since I haven't gotten the handrail replaced yet). In the mean time I found that my 3 iron serves me well as a cane. I use the club head as a handle, and the grip makes for a lovely no-slip tip on the ground. It also is fun because while holding a golf club I can pretend that a) it's golf season, and b) that I am ready to play golf. I decided to put on TWO shoes and dance a celebratory jig with my cane.

Monday, March 31, 2008


The beauty of spring. Green grass, blue skies, sunshine All of these are wonderful and refreshing after a loooong winter. Then, just as you are about to button up a Hawaiian shirt and sip that first Corona on the deck, you remember that you live in Minnesota. On this glorious last day of March we all received a swift kick in the stomach from Mother Nature in the form of a snow storm. As I write this it's still dumping snow and there is already 7 inches on the ground!!

When times are rough, you have to keep the PMA: Positive Mental Attitude. So I went out in the yard for some early season golf. It didn't go all that well. I lost a lot of balls in the snow, my glove left one hand terribly cold, and the greens were insanely slow. Not to mention that the giant boot that is still attached to my right foot has no cleats in it and my bare toes were chilly after the first couple of holes. To continue the defiance I put on a speedo and decided to blog while listening to Jimmy Buffet tunes. Lucky for all of you there were no photos taken of that. It's called cabin fever, but when there is a half a foot of snow on the ground in April, it changes to cabin plague.

While the snow is crappy, the beach is not always perfect. Thanks to my friend Pat, I got this article about A)why wearing a speedo can be good, B)why the beach can be bad and C)why naked Europeans scare the bejeezus out of me.Hmmmmmmm....................a few observations in reflection of the adventures of our now favorite Croatian: 1) Exactly how f@$#ing cold is that water that your balls get so cold that they fit through the slats in a beach chair? Maybe the term "cool sea" was a bit of an understatement. C) How many times did the staff play paper/rock/scissors to have to go cut the old naked dude out of the chair? 4) Which is worse: Trying to walk to get your phone with your jewels dragging a beach chair.....OR Having the beach maintenance boy show up with the DeWalt sawzall to tell you to "relax" as he demos the chair.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Maddnes and Flattullence

What is it about this topic that just never gets old. Farting. You love it, it makes you laugh, and if you could, you would laugh and celebrate the joyous feeling you get turning one loose into the world. There are some classic and timeless terms in this video that we all should re-insert into the vocab: "pinching a loaf" and "dropping the kids off at the pool."

In other news, March Madness is upon us. Fill out your brackets and prepare the office for the ever popular under the table gambling at the workplace! I think it's important to remember just what March Madness is all about, because it's much, much more than college basketball. It's also about hockey. For some excellent info on how great hockey is, please visit the recent posts on the Monteith blog posted in the sidebar to the right.

This weekend is the WCHA college hockey tournament featuring your own Minnesota Gophers taking on St. Cloud State on Thursday at 7pm. We also have a heated race for the Minnesota Wild going on featuring games at San Jose, Vancouver and Calgary.

Back to basketball.....I have included a new poll for March Madness. Place your vote today!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tales of Peril and Torture

It was great to get back to work this week, but sitting trapped at my desk did bring about several problems.
  • In most cases, having a bouldering wall in my office is a pretty sweet setup. However, when one is rendered lame for several months, watching others climb all day isn't all it's cracked up to be. I find myself daydreaming and debating with myself the potentially positive climbing merit the boot could have. The answer is none. Heavy, rigid and over the calf actually have nothing in common with climbing shoes. I guess the only thing it has in common with climbing shoes is that is smells.
  • Retrieving coffee in the morning is basically impossible. I did contemplate attempting this magic trick, but decided otherwise. It set up like this in my small little mind: As I perilously crutched across the ice and snow covered campus tundra with a Starbucks cup latched between my legs thoughts of my office chair finish line are perched in my head. Then, unexpectedly, time slows and all hell breaks loose. The tenuous purchase of the crutches give way on the verglas ice beneath them and the battle of man vs. gravity begins. As I slowly fall, the plastic lid disengages from the steadfast cardboard lip of the cup and the liquid magma known as a grande cafe Estima dark roast spews from the confines of the crotch held coffee cup. As I crash to the ground making a sound similar to Will Ferrell on tranquilizers in 'Old School,' I lay helpless on the frozen, coffee saturated tundra around me. Then, as I attempt to rise from the mangled pile of java and ice, I realize my coffee has frozen and I am now trapped, frozen solid, and left for dead on the campus of the University of Minnesota. As I come to terms with my death and delirium sets in, I see in the distance, a polar bear approaching to enjoy a meal by slowly picking my cold, dying and caffeinated flesh from my half dead body as he dines on the herds weakest member. So, as a result, I decided to just stay at my desk and pass on coffee for the day.
  • Eating lunch: My wife so kindly packed a nice lunch of leftover stir fry for me to have at work. As my stomach began to growl, I decide to eat. I then realize I have no means of getting to the microwave on the other side of the building while carrying my food. So, now that I have had no coffee and it looks like lunch is probably getting cut, I begin to sob at my desk as I fear I will perish here inept, forgotten and starving.....maybe like this guy.
What we can all learn from these woeful tales is that each day in our daily lives we must constantly analyze out limitations and consider the impossible possibilities. Life is much better lived in a predictable, risk free and controlled manner. As a result, I am considering giving up my passion for climbing, wakeboarding, skiing, and of course, racquetball, to join the professional miniature golf tour and the international society of mall walkers. Currently these are hopes and dreams for me once I can walk again. Anything is possible if you put you mind to it. Click on the image below for my inspiration. I couldn't embed this video, so you will have to go to the blog and scroll down to the Mall Walkers post. It's great.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Recovery: 2 Week Check Up

Today I got to visit the doc again and the news was much more exciting than last week. Last week, I basically got a little iodine rubbed on a giant cut and then the doctor said, "looks good." The withered and mangled foot was then promptly re-mummified with gauze and bandages and shoved back into the foul smelling, heavy and cumbersome boot I have come to love and cherish.

At this weeks appointment there was news, big news like the ongoing saga of Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo. Although I find this to be nothing more than a ploy by Jerry Jones to use sex to try to re-sell America on the fact that The Cowboys are "America's Team." Why? Well, in Texas logic, they have a star on their helmet, and there is a star on the American flag. Good theory, but we all know Texans don't acknowledge the rest of the country, hence they celebrate Texas Independence Day in an effort to get an extra day off of work and also show they lack of unity with the other 49 states. If only Texas were in a position to break off into the ocean you would find the me down there with a pocketknife frantically stabbing the earth to hasten the process of detachment.

Back to the topic at hand. I can now remove my foot from it's entombment of the boot periodically to gently move it about. A small step, but oh so liberating. What is left of my leg, basically a bone with some skin and calf muscle remnants dangling from it, might make me want to leave the boot on. I can also now put 25% of my weight on it as well, however I am having trouble with the math and keep spraining my ankle trying to balance on a postage scale for accuracy.

In addition to this I have been cleared for washing. This is great news as the other day, as my loving spouse chauffeured me about, the vehicle promptly filled with an odor somewhere between butt crack at the state fair and a dead corpse in the trunk. Through some high level deductive reasoning skills I determined that it would be best for our health, and to get Brandi to stop gagging, if we did not have the heater blowing on my feet emanating foulness throughout the car.

I will start some form of physical therapy next week, all of which is forward progress and hopefully the golf course and climbing wall will be here before I know it. I thought of including a picture of me lounging in the bath, as this was a big highlight, but went with the scar photo instead.

Speaking of the Scar: There is a new Poll! Rock the vote!
Peace out, M-Dizzle

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back to Work

After two weeks at home, and near insanity (the podcasts speak for themselves), I returned to work on Monday. The good news is that I love my work and I would much rather be there than not. The bad news is that podcasting is a time consuming activity that will not be as frequent.

I do hope that the Adventures of Mitch Podcast will not die. With some help from fans and friends I am confident that there is some good material out there to put on the airwaves. I know there is some poetry out there waiting to be broadcast, and some philanthropic partners that have been left out. After all, with only one leg, my weekends are still pretty wide open. I am hoping to also get some musical guests and phone interviews in the near future as this has been a busy week of news.

On a more serious note, thanks so much to all of my friends that stopped by, questioned my insanity, and pried the painkillers from my cold intoxicated hands over the past few weeks. I am off the pain meds, with out getting all Brett Favre, and very motivated to get healthy so I can go outside and play with all of you again soon. It certainly sucks to be injured, but is awesome to have good friends and family that do whatever they can to make it better.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Todays News

The Friday posting is your news source for the week.  Click below for the podcast.  We will be taking the weekend off and will catch up next week.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Investigative Report

The week is getting looong, as I am sure is vividly clear from the fact that A) I am making podcasts and C) the content of the podcasts.  I tell myself it's better for me than TV, but I am not sure that is true.  I am hoping to beat Beck to the end of the internet before I go back to work on Monday.  

Today your favorite podcast investigates some of the lingering questions facing the nation today.  Check it out. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Poem

Here is todays podcast. Enjoy. I have added pictures to the podcast as well!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The End of Week 1

Well, I managed to get through 7 days at home. Actually got out of the house last night. The pain has subsided when I get up so it makes moving about the house much more enjoyable and leaving the house will be much more feesable now. The podcast worked out well and there are more ideas cooking. I am hoping to get some celebrity guests, sponsors and other gripping topics for discussion. I wanted to post this video that was pretty funny. I found this as I was doing my investigative reporting for the podcast....what an idiot.

Lets All Do The Sprain - Watch more free videos

Not much else today to bore you with.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day 6: Learning to Podcast

Today to remedy the boredom as the weather was getting nice I decided to elevate this blog to the next level.  Today I have added the first ever Adventures of Mitch Podcast.  I was playing with the new macbook that Brandi bought and happened upon the program called Garage Band.  It's a pretty amazing program and upon testing the musical waters, I rapidly reaffirmed how terrible of a singer I am.  These files have all been destroyed, so don't bother asking......

While surfing tutorials on the program I learned how to podcast.  Pretty fun.  So I present to you my podcast.....after all I do have a nose far better suited for radio than rock videos.  

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 5: The Oscars

Two things I hate: Being broken and awards shows. After an extremely busy day contemplating life, watching the Wild lose a hockey game and totally dominating my fantasy golf this weekend I have nothing to watch because the Ocsars are one for 7 hours........don't know, don't care, and am not concerned with who made the clothes you are wearing. Tiger Woods? Well, just be glad you weren't Stuart Cink today getting pimp slapped backwards and sideways for 29 holes today. The only good news for him was that he got beat so bad in match play that he could go to the bar 7 holes early.

In other news I am pretty excited about the week of blogging ahead. I think an entire week of house arrest should bring out some interesting thoughts and creative perspective. Saturday night I watched an awesome climbing video called Kinglines. Check out the clip. I know, that most of you don't care about climbing, but this is pretty killer even if your a fan of ball sports, or no sports at all. Thanks to Joe, Jevidon, Luke and Neumann for bringing the vids by for me to contemplate as my climbing abilities spiral into the darkness faster than a Dallas Cowboys playoff run.

Short and sweet today on the blog......I hear the sighs of relief.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 4: Well Wishers

Remember when you work all week, or go to school, how awesome the weekend is? Oddly enough, this phenomenon does not exist when you sit on the couch all day with your foot in the air. Everyday could be Saturday, or Tuesday for that matter. I'm not going to lie, passing the time is making me restless, frustrated, agitated and down. Thinking about the time I will be rehabbing totally freaks me out and also seems like forever away. I made it a long time without a major injury, considering all the things I've done. Unfortunately, I take that as no consolation.

The last couple of days have been made much more exciting by having a few visitors. Friday afternoon I had a group of 4 folks from work stop by to say hello and hang out for a while. I did my best to feed them some of the food I have stockpiled in my nest in the basement, but other than that I am a pretty crappy host right now. Not long after they left a group of climbing buddies stopped by and brought me about 10 climbing videos to watch. It was definitely a nice change of pace and a great gesture that is very much appreciated of all who stopped. Thanks again for the visitation.

Today I got two gifts from people. Brad, Steph and Kaysen sent me a care package filled with lots of sugar and a battery operated poker game that should help pass some time. The robin egg whoppers in the package are one of my favorite Easter candies. It's good I am getting a head start on the candy because my Easter egg hunting skills are probably going to be a step slow this year.

Not long after I got the box pried open from the postman and the doorbell rang. So what to my wondrous eyes should appear, but an edible bouquet of fruit, from Trent and Renee. This fruit bouquet was not a basket but actual fresh cut fruit into a bouquet of flowers etc. The fruit not only tastes great, but it's all absolutely perfect texture, ripeness and flavor. Pretty impressive for the middle of winter. Trent was likely very busy cutting up all that those fingers Super T. I have a feeling this gift won't be around too long. Highlights were certainly the giant strawberries and the chocolate dipped green apple slices, which were amazing. I also got a few cards from folks this week as well. I may be in the basement, but I am not forgotten!

Recovery Day 3: Naming Rights

After days of excitement and creativity, the name suggestions for the boot have been clogging the fan mail inbox. I had two suggestions, the other 8 round out the top 10 names for the boot. There is a survey to the right, so don't forget to vote!!
  • World's Most Cumbersome Bottle Opener
  • Burt - I believe he is still dating Ernie
  • Gladiator Instruo Pro Suus Tunc Pugna - A fan mail addition. I did some 'loose' translation and I believe it means: Warrior strudel, served with a spicy Bolognese sauce. Those Greeks, drink waaay too much wine, but they always make stuff sound really cool.
  • George W. Bush - It's small, agitating, doesn't speak well, and from the smell of my foot, is most definitely not good for the environment.
  • The Bastard Step Child - You try to pretend that it's not there, but it annoys the piss out of you.
  • Norbert- This name accentuates the European look of the boot while playing upon the slightly clumsy undertones and boyishly disabling charm that it has.
  • Dolemite - Dolemite is big, black, and if your not nice, he will be all up in you ass.
  • Cletus - Cletus is stupid, clumsy, smells and is usually covered with automotive oil. Cletus spends his free time drinking cheap, warm beer and trying to get a date with his cousin(the left foot). Appropriately named, you want nothing do with Cletus, or any member of his family tree, which actually looks more like a family wreath.
  • Batman and Throbbin' - Don't be confused here, The Black Knight (Batman) is my left foot, as it can do amazing things like balance, walk and move. The invalid right foot, is it's worthless adolescent teammate, Throbbin. Throbbin has a cool superhero exterior, but doesn't actually do anything except hinder the heroic efforts of Batman (left foot). "Batman and Throbbin" coming to an infirmary near you!
  • Cialis - Cialis is always upright and rigid. When you have Cialis you will experience an erect foot lasting 4-6 weeks. In clinical studies, Cialis made nobody happy. In some cases Cialis causes liver and/or kidney disease from the user drinking away their pain. Cialis will get you no action, not even from the hot 50 year old lady in the commercial. Cialis is not recommended for anyone wanting to walk in the near future. Cialis may cause shortness of breath or sharp bursts of pain as you crutch around the house. Cialis is not recommended for those using nitrates for chest pain. See your doctor if you think Cialis is right for you, after all, we could all be miserable together.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Recovery Day 2: Numbing of the Mind

Eventually all good things come to an end and reality smacks you in the face like a sock full of quarters. After being cared for and waited on hand and foot for two days, the wife headed back to work today. For me this means I am trapped in the basement with an assortment of sundries and toys. I kind of feel like I am in a pack 'n' play for adults. I have my guitar, television, cel phone, pain killers, muscle relaxants and that's about it.

After being trapped in the basement since Tuesday I geared up for a big adventure after Brandi left for work. I tackled the steps, against the wife's wishes, and my reward was brushing my teeth, shaving and watching a few birds at the feeder the morning. It was some sort of tribal act to regain my independence, I guess. Ryan and Molly brought some Chipotle for lunch, visitors and food. A few more lunch visits like that and I will be on my way to 300 pounds in no time.

Today I entered the mind numbing state of sitting on the couch with my mind slowly adrift from one monotonous and meaningless activity to another. There seems to be little that is actually mentally stimulating. Somewhere between daytime television, email and a few naps, the day ended and Brandi came home. That is my day. The good news is that I have this awesome boot on my right foot that is pretty cool. It's got straps and buckles and renders the foot so lucky to be inside of it totally uselss. I am still accepting fan mail with names for the boot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recovery Day 1: Name that Boot

After a decent nights sleep, I awoke this morning with more pain than I had all of yesterday. I can definitely feel the slice in the back of my leg. I have not been able to decrease pain meds or muscle relaxants thus far and today the road back feels looooong. After sitting on my ass for hours on end with my leg in the air I am bored out of my mind. I am only mildly entertained by the throbbing pain mixed with watching Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart on TV.

Last night a few friends stopped by and brought me a delicious quesadilla from the local bar, as they call it: The White Elephant. It was nice to see some folks and watch the hockey game, even thought the Wild lost in OT. My wife has me locked in the basement, as she doesn't want me going up and down the stairs, so I have no idea what's going on above grade in this place.

If anyone knows of anything entertaining to do on the couch, let me know. I am currently searching for the end of the internet and will keep you posted on my progress. I would also like to name the godforsaken boot that I am imprisoned with, so if you have any good ideas, throw them my way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Under the Knife

Bright and squirrelly this morning I headed in for my date with the scalpel. It seems that everything went really well. The Doc said that some tendons break pretty clean, but mine kind of looked like mop strings." I took it as a compliment, because I'm different and that makes me special. Being special is something to be proud of. A little tidbit I learned in Sunday school or somewhere on of the few times I didn't escape with my friend Kaiser and raise hell stealthily roaming the church under the aliases Fernando and Eugene.......but that's just a digressing story I will attribute to the Percosett.

One of the high points of the day was all the free stuff I scored at the infirmary. After arriving I got to strip my gimp ass naked to dawn the fashion savy robe. I just about bit it trying to get it tied so as not to give a free show to the nurse, but they didn't let me keep that. I did, however get to put on this really sweet stocking for my good leg. I think they probably felt pretty bad for all the attention that my right was getting so it was nice to have them throw a bone to the lefty as it has been the workhorse lately. This high quality textile is a tight white thigh hight that greatly resembles the shooting sleeve worn by your NBA favorites such as Allen Iverson, or Carmello Anthony. I will be calling mine a hobbling sleeve as that fits my mojo better and I'm kind of hoping it helps my already crazy white boy ups that I have.

One of the other fine items included some powder blue socks with space age polymer traction on the bottom. Watch out Five Ten, this stuff could be the next Stealth product. Actually, this is very doubtful. These are the type of item a homeless person gets for their great grandmother for Christmas, but I figure I can roll in the for a few day to test the fashion waters. I'm not sure if I got the mate, so I might not be able to wear them upon regaining my bipedal status.

After surgery I was treated to cuisine of saltine crackers, graham crackers and Sprite. They went with the mini cans of Sprite, of course, just in case I had morphed into a 5 year old during the anesthesia. As for the crackers, well I was about to chew off the other leg in hunger so I hit those pretty hard, I think a Belgian waffle and some bacon would have been a nice gesture after slicing into the back of my leg, but who am I to judge. First the airlines, now the hospitals. We will be lucky if we get food at restaurants soon the way this is going. I was pretty hungry and was starting to wonder if I got a contact hight from the Panama Red the doc was rockin' in the OR, but they assured me this was not the case.

In all fairness, I did have a very good experience. The doctors were good and assured me everything went very well. Thanks to the "candy" they gave me I have been totally pain free the whole time. The only bad news of the day was that they said it would be 6 months until I am 100% from this operation. Even an outdoor rec major can't count those months on one hand, but I will see if I can beat that time line. I'm fairly certain that I will be an extremely motivated PT patient. Peace and love, The Hobbler.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Achilles Tendon

It seems that this blogger has taken a fall from all that is fun in recent days. My Valentine's gift: Rupturing my achilles tendon while teaching racquetball class. So, in the past 5 days I have visited urgent care, ER, foot and ankle specialist, had an MRI, hosted a climbing competiton and will have surgery tomorrow. Do you know what this means? It means that about everything I find fun and exciting will be off the table for months. The final judgment came down this morning when I got the MRI results. "A high grade tear, but not complete. " There are "a few fibers" holding it together right now.

Tomorrow at 7am I am heading in for surgery. Sounds crappy, and it is. Maybe I can make some blog posts while I am rocking some strong painkillers. It sounds like Vicatin is the pill of choice for the pain so that should be interesting. Hopefully I don't Favre on the painkillers. While I am in a pretty foul mood, my wife surely is the biggest loser in this deal. Anyone who has to spend large amounts of time around me, when I can't be active, I certainly do not envy. If you see her, please buy her a drink, I'll pay ya back later. (make sure she doesn't have to drive me anywhere, because without a right foot I am pretty much screwed on the transportation front)

I feasted on Chipotle for my last supper tonight and nothing goes better with eating than some video footage of surgery. Here is a video of the surgery, compliments of Beck. I figure if I eat Chipotle for two meals a day while I'm and invalid I will probably fit in the whale sling that Andy so graciously has offered to buy for me. My friends are always looking out for me.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Boulder II

Sunday marked the 2nd annual Super Boulder. A super bowl party with bouldering as it's sidecar......pure genius. This year the fun factor was greatly elevated as it was the inaugural use of the propane deep fryer I received as a Christmas gift from my brother in law. So mixed in with the climbing we managed to consume a lot of fried cheese, a lot of jalapeno poppers, a few fried dill pickles, and 15 pounds of chicken wings. There were only 8 of us, but we ate for 16. The bouldering was hard and we left plenty of routes unfinished. Through extensive research we did learn that eating chicken wings and drinking beer does not increase climbing ability. Consider that information 'the tip of the day!' In the end, a great game and for a bunch of ball sport hating climbers, there was quite a bit of cheering as the Giants ruined the perfect season. Cheers to underdog! Click on the photo for more Super Boulder II images. Photos courtesy of Eneu Photography.

Another benchmark of Super Boulder II is that it marks one year of this blog. Before you go posting your comments, I am well aware that there were several gaps in time. Maybe I'll get them next year......maybe.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Getting My Curl On

Events like I experienced today are exactly what this blog is about. We were given the opportunity to 'learn to curl' by our friends Vinh and Megan. Curling is that unique Winter Olympic sport that we all watch in amazement and wonder, "who in the hell does this stuff, and how did get into the Olympics?" I can't even explain how excited I was to curl. So I will give you what my small brain absorbed and deemed relevant from the day.

First, basically you push off of a rubber block, called the 'hack' and slide down the ice as you release a 40 pound granite 'stone' down the ice aimed at a giant bullseye about 140 feet away. The object is to get as many of your 8 stones close to the center of the bullseye, which is called 'the house' and the center is called 'the button.' You can only score if the stone is within the outermost circle, and only the team closest to the button scores as many points as they have stones inside of their opponents nearest stone. Each round is called an 'end,' similar to an inning in baseball, except far more exciting. It's kind of a shuffleboard meets bocce and putting on ice. As the stone slides down the ice you can 'sweep' it with a broom like device that basically creates friction and heat to help the stone slide more easily down the ice and stop where your team desires. Before I ramble on further, just go to Wikipedia if you really care about the details any more.

Some other interesting curling info to note:
  • It is considered polite and 'necessary' to have a drink with the opponent after each game.
  • The sport gets it's name because you put a slight amount of rotation on the stone as you throw it so it will curl left or right to hit other stones or curve around blocking stones to get to the center of the house. Sort of like a draw or fade in golf.
  • A curling event, or tournament is called a Bonspiel, which I am pretty sure means tournament in Scottish.
  • The ice is 'pebbled' to give it a slightly bumpy texture which aides in the ability of the stones to curl.
  • Curling all day is far more tiring than I expected.
  • Curling is far more about drinking than I expected.
  • Stretching out in the crazy throwing position will likely render my leg extremely sore or unusable tomorrow.
I have to put this on the list of one of the most entertaining things I have ever done. It's an awesome sport that combines coordination, strategy, teamwork and gamesmanship all into one. I would highly recommend it to anyone. If I could just learn to luge. Click here to view more curling photos from the day.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's colder than ________________!!!

When the windchill is -41, it's time for a weather related post. The average 'celebrate winter' activity is pretty much out, since you would freeze your face to a can of beer if you were to drink in your yard or something. As a result I came up with a few funtivities for extreme winter cold:

1. Wear dress pants to work and you will be able to simulate what it feels like to walk down the street with no pants on. As a disclaimer, actually walking around without pants may get you arrested and the staff at Adventures of Mitch can assume no liability for this.

2. Fill a container with very hot water and tell your friend you will go outside and throw it in the air over your head. Fun trick. The water will turn to snow when it hits the cold and what doesn't will freeze into a block of ice and hit you in the head. At least you are not wet. Again, no liability assumed.

3. Work on your fake cry and see how fast the tears freeze to your cheeks and eylashes. Option 2 would have you do something that actually makes you cry, but is usually far less fun.

4. Exercise your vocabulary to fill in the blank for this posting title, so as you see people throughout the day your are not the complete frozen brained idiot stating the obvious when you say, "golly, it's a cold one out there today, eh?" Some suggestions: It's colder than..........a) trading Johan Santana for a bunch of guys nobody has ever heard of, 2) the packer fans after Bret Favre threw and interception in overtime, 4) the tears that fall from Terrell Owens' eyes after he loses.........I could go on, but likely nobody will be entertained.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy New Year, 27 days late. Adventures of Mitch has been a neglected tale of late, and many of my avid readers (approx. 1-4 people) have begun to get restless in the absence of the riveting tales of Adventures of Mitch. So I will start with an update, and hopefully by the time I finish typing that I will have come up with something else to ponder.

Here's what's happening: UNI lost in the playoffs, it snowed this winter, my dog is still alive (at 12 years old she's mostly blind and 90% deaf), and I have stopped drinking coffee that was once part of a marsupial's excrement. Quick update, year in review, now onto the new story.

This has been the winter of skiing. Nordic skiing. Skate skiing. I got into it last year and have become obsessed. How obsessed? I usually consider myself obsessed with ice climbing. I haven't even gotten my gear out of the closet this winter. I haven't taken one swing at the ice. Instead, I hover over a bench in my garage waxing my skis for the next days weather and dream of Norwegian men in lycra suits. I'm not racing or anything, but just seem to be addicted to being out there. It's a great workout and a great way to cruise around the parks in the winter. I have been slowly building up the endurance with hopes of doing a race at some point this year, which brings me to the story of the day. Given this story, a race should be entertaining.

I went out on Friday morning with my friend Sean for about a 10k ski. ('skiers' measure their distance in kilometers because it's European, and therefore worldly and cool) It was somewhere new and hilly and fun. So, I decide at some point Friday night that this was going to be the "Weekend of Skiing." I was going to push my limit......go farther than I've gone before and basically totally dominate. So I head out to a state park about 40 minutes from my house for a long ski. I have never skied here before so don't really know what I'm getting into. The trail description is "wooded with some decent hills." Well apparently if these hills are "decent" they must normally ski in the Himalaya. I feel good after leaving the house full from no breakfast and 3 cups of strong coffee. After all, I find there is nothing better than a false confidence to get you through something difficult. I hit the trails cruising and feeling great. The trails are super hilly and the loop is about 12k in length, but I am skiing hard and fast. My goal was to ski 20-25k. After one lap, I feel pretty good and head out again into the woods. After about 3k into the second loop I start hurting. My water is almost gone, I really wish I would have eaten breakfast (or supper the night before), and my legs are screaming. Basically, I skied way too hard the first lap and now I am paying the price (See 'The Tortoise and the Hare' for further clarification). As I look at a map I decide I can trim about 5k off the loop, which puts me about 5k from the car. Not too bad except I felt like I was pulling log behind me and all the muscles had been surgically removed from my legs. I was shot.....wasted......dead. So the rest of the ski pretty much went like this: ski about 1-200 meters, rest for five minutes and drink imaginary water from my empty bottle, and repeat. I did make to the car eventually and can't remember the last time I was that exhausted. Once I got to the car I drove to a small general store about 5 miles away to 'refuel.' Here I purchased 32 ounces of Gatorade, a Kit Kat Bar, bag of potato chips, some peanut M & Ms and a root beer. I proceeded to consume all items in approximately 5 minutes, while driving, and drove home with a well deserved gut ache. Good times. Went out and skied 15k today and my legs reminded me of how they were treated yesterday. The good news is I didn't do the convenience store binge at the end and I lived to tell the story.