Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthday Boy!

Yesterday, April 28th, was my 26th birthday.

Many thanks to the many warm wishes, phone calls, and emails.

The guys at camp took me out to Milwaukee for my very first Pittsburgh Pirates game, as they were in town battling the Brewers. More details to come, but again, thanks gentlemen for a terrific evening.

This was all well and good, but the best part of the day? It had to be Andrew insisting that he wear his new OSU Cowboys jersey in honor of the big day...

Peace be da journey.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The ECM160


Happy 21st of April!

After 70 degree weather last Thursday and Friday, I awoke this morning to temperatures in the 30s and a light snowy drizzle.  Being disgusted all day because of the inclement weather (I don't mind Wisconsin winters, but don't tease me with 70 degree days in the middle of it..), made this evening that much sweeter as Jenna busted out her newest toy:  The Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso & Cappuccino Maker - ECM160.  Thankfully, Sean has nearly a decade experience as a Barnes & Noble Barista, so he jumped in the drivers seat and whipped up lattes and macchiatos for all.

The ECM160 boasts that its 4 cup espresso maker makes it easy to enjoy 1 to 4 cups of delicious espressos, cappuccinos, or lattes.  Additionally, the powerful milk frothing nozzle and frothing aid helps steam milk to perfection, and for only $35.oo, you'd be foolish not to invest in an ECM160.  

While learning from Sean how to make a caramel macchiato ("It's a layered drink, Chris.  You start by filling the cup with a splash of vanilla, followed by steamed milk and a dash of foam.  Topping the foam with the espresso is vital to give the drink it's kick, and it's finished off by a nice pattern of caramel on top." - Sean), I also learned that Starbucks is making an approximate 800% profit when you purchase a $4.00 caramel macchio from their store.   

The moral of the story is:  I will be buying an ECM160 very soon, and I recommend you do the same.  Some photos of the fun evening:  

The ECM160 is ready to roll
Caramel Macchiato: by Sean
I think you'll have trouble finding even a hint of difference.

This was the best homemade macchiato I've ever had.

Even Andrew was impressed by the ECM160

Pittsburgh Pirates Update:  Since choosing the Pirates as my favorite MLB team of all time, they've gone 4-2 and have pulled within a game of first place in the NL Central Division.  The Bucs go for the sweep of the Marlins tomorrow afternoon.  

Birthday Wishes:  It's my good friend Jason's birthday on Wednesday the 22nd.  If you've got a free minute or two, I'm sure he'd love to hear from you (even (especially) if you don't know him):  Maybe in the subject line you could just put that you know me, that would be great.  

I need your traveling advice:  If you had 7-10 days to travel anywhere in the U.S., where would you go, and why?

Peace be da journey. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Go Pirates!

In the nearly 7 months of 'a blog', sports have been the topic of posts strangely few times.  I love sports with all of my heart, but there are plenty of excellent sports writers out there (Bill Simmons, Rick ReillyPat Andera).  Plus, why limit my audience to only sports loving folks?  I have found great enjoyment writing about everyday adventures and comical situations I find myself in, however, I realized something the other day as I was driving to get coffee.  Sports occupy my mind approximately 74% of the day (43% of statistics are made up on the spot).  I'm constantly thinking about upcoming sporting events, last nights big games, my dream to one day play a professional sport (95% of guys still have this dream btw, and the other 5% are lying), the next time I'll play pick-up basketball (I played the other night with Tim, Pat, Jenna, and Sean - it was quite delightful), and if the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team will have enough of a defense this year to match the fire power of their offense.  Oh, and daily I think about the $100 bet my brother Matt and I made 2 years ago:  I bet him that OSU would win a national championship in football or basketball in the next decade (I've got a good feeling about this years football team...).  Yes, I think about sports often.  TGIF?  Nope, TGIW.  Hump day to some means the work week is half over.  In my world, hump day means it's Sports Illustrated day.  This is the one day a week I wish mail wasn't sorted until 5pm.  It's torture focusing on work on Wednesday's from 2pm-5pm as my SI rests in my mail slot a mere 3 steps from my desk (unless someone from NASCAR is on the cover).  

You may be thinking to yourself, "Well, Chris, why after a thrilling college football season, an exciting slew of bowl games, a phenomenal Super Bowl, and an extremely memorable college basketball season and March Madness, would you wait to write about sports until now?"  That's a tremendous question.  April-August has long been considered a dead time in the world of Chris Aderhold sports.  Sure, there is the occasional enjoyable Masters Tournament (as there was this past weekend), World Cup Soccer (See ya in S. Africa in 2010), the Summer Olympics, the NBA Playoffs (unfortunately it lasts 3 months) and so forth.  For the most part, however, summers have always been slow in my world of sports, because the main sport played is baseball.  

There it is folks, I have never been very fond of baseball.  I've actually been to several MLB stadiums (Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Old Yankee Stadium, Miller Park, County Stadium, The Ballpark in Arlington, Kaufman Stadium, Old Busch Stadium, The Coliseum, Minute Maid Park, Camden Yards, Shea Stadium, The Cassidy AF, and U.S. Cellular Field), not having seen a game in each, but a few.  I love the history of baseball, and I think it's amazing that baseball has been played in our country for well over a century.  Yes, there are aspects of the game that I find intriguing, I just can't stand to watch the sport (especially on TV!).  

A friend of mine, Pat, has been encouraging me for a few years to give the sport another chance.  "If you'll invest time in following the sport, or even just a team, you'll start to really enjoy baseball," he's told me more times than I count.  

It would be fun to have a favorite baseball team.  Sure, in the past I've always bashed the sport because of the absurd number of games each MLB team plays, but if I enjoyed the sport and had a favorite team, wouldn't I want them to play tons of games?  As I was flying home from Oklahoma yesterday morning after a lovely Easter, I decided I would do as Pat said.  I will pick a favorite team, and I will be the best dang fan in the country.  I'll give baseball another chance, but if they mess it up, I'm through with baseball forever.  At least this way, if I still end up disliking the sport, I can honestly say, "I really tried to like baseball.  I mean, I really, really tried.  I just hate it."

So who do I root for?  The Rangers are the closest team to my hometown in OK, but the Cardinals are also fairly close, and I've been to one of their games (even caught a baseball).  I saw the Red Sox play in Fenway, but I'd fit in as a Yankee fan because their fan base is full of bandwagon fans.  It would be easy to root for a team with a recent championship and a huge pay roll.  But you know what, that's not how I roll.  I root for the Dallas Cowboys, even after their 1-15 season in 1989, and I cheer for the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team despite a 0-10-1 record in 1991 (I cried when OSU lost to OU that year - a tradition that has sadly occurred many times since).  Supporting a terrible team sure makes it that much sweeter when they finally turn things around (3 Super Bowls in the '90s for Dallas; 38-28).  

After much deliberation and discussion, I have decided to pick a team with some tradition, although most is long forgotten.  Similarly, any past success is hard to remember since they haven't had a winning season in 16 years.  This is a team with a mascot with an intimidation factor that is polar opposite of their pitching staff (see, I actually have no clue if their pitchers are bad, so that'll be my first lesson).  

Without further adieu (drum roll please), my favorite baseball team is:  The Pittsburgh Pirates!

This 2009 MLB season will be one to remember, as I will now follow this team with the same gusto and enthusiasm as I do following Oklahoma State's football team.  Don't worry, "a blog" hasn't turned into a baseball column.  I will only update you on life as a Pirates fan as I see fit, but I'm excited to occasionally document my journey following one of the worst teams in MLB.  (As of right now they are tied for 3rd in the NL Central with a 4-4 record and they play Houston tomorrow at 12:35pm...  GO BUCS (I just visited their website and learned this is a common nickname for the boys in Pittsburgh)).  

Thanks for reading, friends!  Go Pirates! 

Peace be da journey. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There are still Pirates?

Pirates have been in the news often in the past couple weeks!
Tune back in on Thursday to hear about Pirates. 

Peace be da journey. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Camp Gray Retreat Team

Do you have a spare 10 minutes?  

You ought to check out what goes on out at Camp Gray 53959 from September to May...  

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!  

Peace be da journey.