Monday, September 27, 2010

Blast From the Past

If you've ever looked over my shoulder while I was piddling on my laptop or work computer (There is cultural discrepancy regarding this word, as midwestern folks will tell you that 'to piddle' means to urinate, while my father, a born and bred Floridian, uses the word 'piddle' when describing a period of time in which one dawdles. Don't worry, I didn't urinate on my computers, as I use the word piddle in the same way as my father, and if you have the time, please read Richard Tionary's thoughts on the word 'piddle,' by clicking here), you've probably noticed that I save nearly all of my documents and pictures to the desktop. A la Michelle Brock in Tommy Boy, I don't put things into files on my computer because I have to open them.

If you're thinking that this must make my desktop an extreme cluster, then you'd be right. That being said, I've been trying lately to organize documents into files, because it has become quite overwhelming.

Occasionally though, I forget which file I save certain things, as was the case a few days ago as I was frantically searching for where the heck I saved my latest paper for class, which, turns out, I had in fact saved to the desktop. But, I was rewarded, because as I was searching, I stumbled across an artifact of priceless value...

I used to frequent an Oklahoma State athletics message board (back when OSU sports were my only passion in life - man, those were the days). Anywho, this particular message board, in addition to being a message board, also had articles about the current affairs of Okie St athletics which were written by random followers of the message board. I always thought the articles were pretty shoddy, and though I didn't have any journalism experience, I felt I could do a better job. Opportunity knocked one spring afternoon when the message board put out a plea for a new writer because the guy that had been writing for the message board died in a freak bowel laceration accident (okay, I'm just kidding, the dude didn't die, nor did he have a bowel laceration incident. Basically, the only true part of that last sentence was that a new writer was needed for the message board), so I answered. (Oh, and by the way, this dude actually did have a laceration of the bowel incident, but he didn't die - physically anyways; I'm certain his pride couldn't be living after a situation like that...). I decided to write an article breaking down the Cowboy Basketball Team, because it was the week leading up to the Big XII Tournament.

Anyway, because it's been a busy last couple weeks, and I haven't had the time necessary to dedicate to my next post (spoiler alert! Will my mighty mustache be making a marvelous return?!), we at 'a blog' thought that our loyal readers would enjoy checking out my first published work. (sure, it was merely published on a crappy, now-defunct OSU message board - and my buddy, Caleb, is probably the only person that will enjoy this - but it's something, so enjoy!)

Published to on March 5, 2007


By: Chris Aderhold

This Cowboy basketball season may be the most painful era of my OSU fandom.

A fellow OSU Grad buddy of mine is getting married on Saturday, March 31 at 7:00pm. Yes, that just happens to be smack dab in the middle of the Final Four. The Groom informed me of the date of the wedding while OSU was sitting at 15-1 and ranked 9th in the country. I distinctly remember talking to a few of my friends just those two short months ago, and we were sincerely concerned that we would have to skip his wedding for the road trip to Atlanta - host of this year's Final Four. He even asked me to be in his wedding. I told him I would be, but I reminded him that I have been a fan of OSU basketball much longer than I have been friends with him.

Crazy how much can change in two months.

I even had the arrogance to tell some friends of mine in Wisconsin that OSU was going to win the National Championship this year. I thought I knew the secret why OSU would win it all:

“Well”, I explained, “OSU must be the only team in the country that has two players motivated by the fact that they should have won the National Championship with another team.”

JamesOn Curry should have been a University of North Carolina freshman two years ago when the Tar Heels won the National Championship. And the Florida Gators won the Championship last year, which is the team Mario Boggan was a part of his freshman year.

I wonder if Curry and Boggan ever talk about those missed opportunities.

In any event, here we sit, two short months later. OSU is heading into the Big XII Tournament with a 6-10 Conference mark. There is no magic formula to get the Pokes to the NCAA Tournament. They have to go 4-0 in the next 4 games. At least it isn't difficult for the casual fan to follow. Win 4 and the Pokes are in. I know many fans that aren't even giving the Pokes a chance anymore. Heck, I consider myself to be pretty dang optimistic, and even I am wavering. Being down by 29 to Nebraska on Monday night will do that to ya.

Before you totally give up hope though, sit back and imagine for a second OSU being the first team in the history of the Conference to win 4 games in route to the Championship. That would be something, huh? And since OSU will be the first team to do the 4-0 sweep, the 4-0 sweep would have to be named after the Pokes. That’s just the rule with sports. If you do something that has never been done, you get your name on it (i.e. The Tiger Slam; The Shawn Kemp; Lou Gehrig's Disease, etc., etc.). I submit that the Cowboys 4-0 sweep be called the “Poke Sweep”. I am definitely open for suggestions though.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking; “how the heck are Sean and the ‘boys going to win 4 in 4 days, when they have not even won 4 in the past 4 weeks?”

Well friends, I have everything figured out. So sit back, and enjoy. And if any of you Cowboy fans are friends with Coach Sutton, make sure he gets a copy of this before Thursday.

So without further adieu, here is a breakdown of the Cowboys, and what it is going to take from each player for OSU to have a chance at the Poke Sweep.

Kenny Cooper – So much potential it makes me want to do a little dance. The guy played really well against Baylor, and that little jump hook he did a few times took my breath away. I’m excited to have him around a couple more years. I pick him as the smartest player on the team. Why? One situation comes to mind: When OSU was playing A&M in College Station in January, OSU got dominated for 40 minutes, but there was one silver lining. With several minutes left, and the Pokes losing by 20 points or so, Cooper fouled out. His foul put an A&M player on the foul line. As Cooper was walking to the bench the crowd was chanting along with his every step:


All the way to the bench they chanted. Then, how it is supposed to work, is the fouled-out player takes a seat and the whole crowd cheers. Well my friends, Cooper was not born yesterday, and he knew exactly what was coming. He waited until the guy at the line started shooting the free throw before he sat down. So he sits down and the crowd goes wild and the foul shooter probably wet himself, because come on, who is prepared to shoot a free throw at home with a raucous crowd? The guy missed the free throw and I believe my quote was, “Brilliant Kenny, Brilliant!”

Byron Eaton – Some friends of mine have a beautiful black and tan Coon Hound. Maggie is her name. Sometimes, we will make her sit and stay, and then we will get one of her dog treats and set it on the floor across the room from her. She is so excited for that treat that saliva will literally drip from the corners of her mouth. My question is this: How is Jai Lucas not sitting at home watching the OSU point guard situation with saliva running down his neck? Eaton has definitely played better and more consistently this season compared to last, but with no depth at point guard, I will be quite perplexed if Lucas actually ends up going elsewhere. As for the Big XII tourney, Eaton needs to continue to drive and do that sweet little pull-up jumper he’s been doing pretty well lately. Also, a little better defense would go a long, long way.

Mario Boggan – Is it just me, or does it seem like anytime something goes wrong for the Pokes, Mario can be seen griping at his teammates. No wonder the Pokes have seemed down lately. Attitude Reflects Leadership. Like it or not, Boggan is a leader. This is his last chance for a little glory. I thought after sitting out against Baylor, Boggan would explode against Nebraska on Monday night. We can only hope he is saving everything for this weekend. 20 and 10 per game is not too much to ask.

JamesOn Curry – Any chance this guy can score 40 a couple more times? It’s wonderful to finally see Curry with so much confidence. Drive it a little more from time to time, and I think Curry would be considered hands down the second best guard in the conference, behind Acie Law IV of course.

Terrell Harris – Who doesn’t love this guy (when he’s consistent)? Harris is another guy that I am pumped about being around for two more years. My friend Caleb has the secret recipe for this guy: He needs to make a few easy jumpers or lay-ups early on in games, and his confidence will soar. And trust me, Caleb knows a thing or two about confidence. He was once chosen to do the “Halftime Trifecta Contest” done at every OSU home game. You know the one I am talking about? The fan has to make a lay-up, a free throw, and a 3-pointer in 24 seconds. Well, Caleb made that first lay-up in one try, and because of the confidence gained from that lay-up; it resulted in a clean sweep of the Trifecta and a prize in the form of a $100 gift card to McDonalds. He took us to McDonalds after the game to treat us to some food and he told us we could each spend $3. When he wasn’t looking I ordered $8 worth of food. Oh man, how I miss college.

David Monds – I never thought I would say this, but Monds makes me miss Jason Miller.

Tyler Hatch – My vote for Big XII Newcomer of the Year. Okay, not really, but I’m extremely thankful for this guy. His hair is even growing on me, and the fact that he’s knocked down a few treys in the past few games puts a smile on my face.

Obi Muonelo – I spent literally 45 minutes trying to think of an original and witty Star Wars reference for Mr. Muonelo. I came up with nothing, which is probably for the best. However, I think Obi proved against Nebraska that he will be good to go for the Big XII Tourney. It is pretty nice having another scoring threat running the floor.

Any output that exceeds the nightly Tyler Hatch numbers is a huge contribution in my eyes. Anything more than that will be gravy. Remember, do or do not, there is no try.

Marcus Dove – Which nonexistent offensive player would you rather have: Dove; at the level defensively he was at last year against Adam Morrison (because let’s face it, we haven’t seen that “Melvin Sanders Defensive Specialist – Dove” in a while), but is lost on offense; OR Doug Gottlieb, who was the greatest assists man in OSU history, but couldn’t hit Earth if he fell out of a plane? My vote goes to Gottlieb, but since we have Dove, I guess I would be content watching him have one more crack at Acie Law IV in the quarterfinals. Do a good enough job on Law IV, and they may even relegate Law to the V. Plus the “IV” on his jersey looks like an “N” anyways, and I always get confused watching A&M play... Who’s this LAWN guy?

So, there it is. Seems easy enough, eh? One week from today, will Cowboy fans worldwide be celebrating the first ever 4-0 sweep of the Big XII tournament, or will we be looking ahead to baseball and spring football? I'm not going to hold my breath, but crazier things have happened:

The Red Sox did the impossible, by winning 4 in a row against the Yankees a couple years ago en route to the American League Championship.

Sylvester Stallone made another Rocky movie.

France sold the United States 530,000 acres at roughly 3 cents per.

And Boise State beat the University of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl with the statue of liberty play. THE FREAKIN' STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAY! I am still in amazement.

Oh yes my friends, crazier things have happened indeed.



Whew! Who knew I was so long winded? You're probably wondering, "Well, did they pull off the Poke Sweep?"

That's a negative. The Pokes battled valiantly, but fell 69-64 to a solid Texas team - led by tournament MVP, Kevin Durant (How good was KD? He was given the MVP award even though Texas lost in the Championship game to Kansas) - in the semi-finals. A few buddies and I were able to finagle tickets to every Oklahoma State game, as the tourney was being played in Oklahoma City, and man oh man, was that a blast! They did beat Texas A&M in the quarterfinals, which was awesome, and as I had hoped, Marcus Dove was able to shut down "LAWN," which played a huge role in the outcome.

Well friends, as you know, we at 'a blog' don't dabble in sports often, so we hope that you enjoyed this journey down Athletics Memory Ln.

Thanks for tuning in.

-Peace be da journey.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"To see the rainbow, you must first endure some rain."

It has been well chronicled in the nearly two-year life span of 'a blog' that road trips and I are quite fond of each other. I've been on many different road trips with many different people, and have experienced many road trip highs and many road trip lows. One of the lowest of lows, and toughest challenges one can encounter while on a road trip is navigating through a torrential downpour. Driving through torrential rain ranks 3rd on the AP Top 5 Toughest Road Trip Challenges List.

The AP Top 5 Toughest Road Trip Challenges List
5. Perpetual Sleepers (I would guess even the novice road tripper has experienced this challenge - when road trip companions decide to sleep for the bulk of an adventure. Road trips aren't for sleeping, regardless of the time of day (or night) you're traveling, and it's especially bad when it happens all the way from Stillwater, OK to Chicago)
4. Instigating Road Rage Among Fellow Travelers - New Yorkers are the worst, and have been known to get so angry at innocent road trippers from Oklahoma that they will cut off said road trippers, approach the drivers side window of the aforementioned road trippers, threaten to bash out the driver's side window of the scared-to-death road trippers, and then when the panic-stricken road trippers attempt to floor it around the stereotypical crazy New Yorker, he will attempt to rip the side mirror off your road trip vehicle - which isn't the personal vehicle of anyone on the trip, rather, it's the van of a mom of one of your buddies, who was admittedly guilt tripped and pressured into letting us take her van.
3. Torrential Rain - Included in this category, but not as commonly encountered, are all unfortunate weather conditions (ie: snow, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, dense fog, and gassy friends).
2. Offroad Traveling Mishaps - Occasionally, you may encounter a situation where someone in your crew decides to travel off road in order to save time, or just to get a better look at the deep woods of a near-deserted national forest in northern Arizona, getting your road trip chariot stuck in the mud for so long that you have to throw up a tent to spend the night because there is no one within a 20 mile radius to come help pull your vehicle out of the mud.
1. Cooler Nazis - Hypothetically, if you were traveling with limited funds to a far off destination (ie: Alaska), it just makes good economical sense to stock a cooler with cheap food purchased before your departure. A Cooler Nazi is the buddy that goes a little overboard rationing food, to the point that he makes a rule that to conserve food, there is a two pieces of meat limit per sandwich - hunger pangs ensue...

These stories, of course, are completely hypothetical.

An extended weekend around the 4th of July generously awaits our summer staff each summer, because it gives our staff a 91-hour weekend (From 7:30 on Friday evening until Tuesday at 12:30pm), rather than the abbreviated 43-hours. Those standard 43-hour weekends don't allow for many adventure options, but when you add a full 48-hours, adventure options are countless.

Three friends and I decided to take full advantage of the extended weekend by traveling south to the great state of Oklahoma to take in the 33rd annual Aderhold Family 4th of July Festival. My initial intention of this post was to share all the details and funny stories from the trip, (Like how, since our departure was to be Friday night, we decided that regardless, the start to our journey would be late, so we delayed it even further by stopping at Subway in the Dells to eat dinner with pals, Pat & Tim (and how there were two soccer-loving employees from Ghana that happily talked World Cup soccer with us); or how we decided to drive through St. Louis on the way to Oklahoma - even though, yes, it is the longer route, but when 50% of your road trip crew has never been to St. Louis, that's the route you take (and yes, they got to see St. Louis, but it was at roughly 3:00 in the morning, and evidently the lights that beautifully illuminate the St. Louis Arch at night were conveniently forgotten to be turned on - that, or city officials came to the conclusion that anyone who was traveling to St. Louis to see the arch would arrive well before 3:00am); or how we decided an hour past St. Louis that it would probably be in our best interest to get at least a few hours of rest, so we found a cheap Motel 6 to stay at (and apparently an ant colony had the same idea, because they shacked up in our room with us); or how quality sleep wasn't quite achieved because our bodies had been hopped-up with an abundance of caffeine, which made at least one of us take out our frustration with an early morning full-body flailing session (though the frustration for this particular road trip participant was eased a scosh when we stopped for breakfast at The St. Louis Bread Company, which is a close relative to Panera Bread); or how later on that day, our lack of sleep began to negatively effect all of us, so we agreed to a pact to each take part in our first ever shots of 5 hour energy; or how we didn't finally roll into my parents driveway until around 7:00pm (yes friends, that's 22 hours after we departed...); or how after taking in the celebration of Mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond the next morning, my mom and sister took us out for breakfast at their traditional post-Mass restaurant, Jimmy's Egg; or how we 'kids' were humbled by the old guys during the the traditional "Old Guys vs. Kids Volleyball Game" at the 4th of July party, but how the bitterness quickly faded when, after nearly 6 hours and approximately 357 attempts later, one in our crew finally successfully accomplished the elusive front flip off the diving board into the pool; or how we had the privilege of holding the 4-day old baby of one of my old high school buddies, Blaine; or how difficult it was to say goodbye to my family just minutes, it seemed, after we had said hello; or how I had the great honor of showing off the beautiful campus of my old collegiate stomping ground, The Oklahoma State University; or how fate brought us to a memorial of Knute Rockne; or how my football was lost forever when there was an unsuccessful attempt at chunking it over the roof at a gas station), but that would take much too long, and would probably be somewhat boring. So instead, I'll simply leave you with a moment on our journey that definitely makes the AP Top 10 Greatest Road Trip Experiences List (I'll save the rest of the list for another post).

This story takes place as we were journeying back to camp, driving north on Interstate 35, roughly an hour south of Des Moines. Through the windshield up ahead, along the horizon and above the never ending plains of Iowa farm land, we could see the sky begin to turn black. It wasn't long before the dark sky could be seen to the east and west as well, almost as if we were being engulfed by an over-sized, black, rain-filled horseshoe. Within minutes, the horseshoe closed in above us and the heavens opened, blessing the expanse of farm land with an abundance of much needed mid-summer rain, and giving the many drivers traveling on this day-after-holiday an extra obstacle. Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, someone from the backseat exclaimed, "oh hail," which seemed at first to be a statement of frustration, but turned out to be more a warning of the tiny ice chunks that had begun to fall from the sky. Oh hail, indeed. We endured this pounding for what seemed like an hour. However, before we could wallow in our sorrows for too long, the sky suddenly began to brighten, and before we knew it, the sun appeared to the west. The stubborn rain and hail remained, which at the time seemed like an anomaly, but looking back now, it's obvious they didn't want to miss what was to come... Suddenly, out of nowhere, as if it were a nod to the fact that we hadn't been able to clearly see the arch in St. Louis, an arch of magnificent colors appeared straight ahead, stretching from the horizon to the west all the way to the horizon to the east. It was the most bold and beautiful rainbow I had ever seen, and we were heading right toward it. As we approached the rainbow, we quickly realized that we would soon be driving underneath! Without a word being said, all four windows were rolled down in unison. As we barreled toward the moment when we would drive underneath the rainbow, the song that was being played on the radio was being sung at the top of each of our lungs, and we each had an arm stretched out of a window in an effort, it seemed, to touch the rainbow - despite the fact that the pelting rain and hail were giving our arms quite a beating. It was a sight to behold. It was something amazing. It was something incredible. It was without a doubt, something beautiful ( <-- you should probably click that link. It might change your life (probably not, but maybe...)).

It was a great reminder that in life, to see the rainbow, you must first endure some rain.

Thanks for a great adventure, gang.

Peace be da journey.

Oh, by the way... Congratulations! You just endured the longest post in the history of 'a blog,' 1,657 words!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2010 Week 10


Week 10 of summer camp at Camp Gray is akin to the 19th hole at a golf course (unless H1N1 ravages our camp staff like a destructive rebel force, forcing us to offer a 10th week of summer camp because two session earlier in the summer had to be closed, a la summer 2009 - thankfully, summer 2010 came and went without any major pork disasters (or any real major disasters in general, which is good, because major disasters are frowned upon 'round these parts)). Summer camp wrapped up about three weeks ago, and since that time, I've had the opportunity to: take in some R&R; partake in some travel; watch my lifelong for two years favorite baseball team play; get talked into subscribing to NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV (come on over, we'll watch some football); play a round or three of golf; finally paint over the purple paint that used to be the paint color of choice in 2/3 of my humble home - making it look more like a dorm room than an actual residence; and get rolling with Grad School once again.

There has been a lot going on, with many stories to share, but rather than drone on for roughly 15,000 words, I thought I would instead post approximately 15 photos with brief captions under each, because as many of you know, I am quite fond of adages, and there happens to be one that fits perfectly:

Per wikipedia: The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the idea that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image.

Let's start with my brief adventure to the city of bridges, Pittsburgh, PA!

The Pittsburgh skyline. To enjoy this view, you must brave the Duquesne Incline, which I did, and which I recommend!

The point in which the Allegheny and Monogahela Rivers come together to start the Ohio River.

Evidently, back at the start of the last century, the Pirates ownership group actually held on to talented baseball players. The second best baseball player of all time, J.P. Honus Wagner was a Pirate from 1900-1917.

My good buddy, Jason Hedger (who I co-starred with in the box office hit, "Alaska or Bust") is a grad student at West Virginia University, which is conveniently only a short hour drive south of Pittsburgh. He was able to join me and spend the day with me in Pittsburgh, and was extremely excited to take in some pre-game BP.

There are certainly benefits to rooting for the worst team in baseball: 12th row tickets will run you a mere $27 (which is 1/10th of what the New York Yankees charge for 12th row seats).

Pirates legend Roberto Clemente brought superhuman skills (not to mention superhuman size) to the Pirates organization for 18 years.

PNC Park at night. Simply gorgeous.

There is nothing quite like an 11:59pm departure on an Amtrak train out of Pittsburgh. Nothing. (There is also nothing quite like sleeping on the floor of the dining cart and being woken up at 6:00am by a bitter-sweet combination of a disgruntled train employee and a picturesque sunrise over a beautiful midwestern landscape.)
After 12 hours on the train, I returned to camp just in time to join Tom, Camp's hardworking Maintenance Chief, on the calm waters of nearby Devil's Lake for some quality fishing.

TDT. He's dynamite.

The model train looking size of the train rolling by on the shores of Devil's Lake puts into proper perspective the overwhelmingly gargantuan size of the surrounding bluffs. (You should really come and visit, and I'll take you there).

Too small to keep, not too small to put a smile on my face.

Devil's Lake at Dusk. Wonderful.

To wrap up a great week 10, I rolled out west to the beautiful river side town of La Crosse, where I spent some time with my good buddies Pat and Tim. In addition to taking in a draft for fantasy football (Tom Brady!), and eating lots of meat, we took a swing (or 100) at some golf.

If ever there was a 3-man scramble tournament, I am confident we would finish dead last.

Pat's golf swing and putting form may be a bit unorthodox, but no more than Tim's unique way of tending the pin.
Oh! He got all of that one!

Well, thanks for tuning in, friends! It was certainly an adventurous week 10, and I am now excited to get into the swing of my year-round responsibilities at camp, as well as get rolling on year two of Grad School.

Peace be da journey.