29 November 2012

Volleyball Headshot

Iowa high school volleyball.  This girl from Holy Trinity Catholic drops the hammer of Thor on this girl who has no chance of escape.  She drops like a rock and the trainer comes on to take care of the bloody nose.  That's some power.
As a bonus, if you watch the ricochet the ball gets under the feet of a fan making a trip to the concession stand and they hit the deck too. 

27 November 2012

Thanksgiving Update

So much going on lately, I can barely keep up! 
Thanksgiving break was wonderful.  I started it off with some shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's on my way out of town on Wednesday.  As everyone made their way down to the farmhouse, the gathering just got more and more fun.  Homebase had a geat meal of French dips and a big stack of magazines waiting for everyone to enjoy. 
stoppable and I had a great four mile turkey trot the next morning.  We saw the sun come up, spied a turkey, a pheasant and two hawks and covered a lot of varied terrain including gravel road, dirt road, farm path, and corn field. LOTS of hills.  It definitely helped work up an appetite.  And the meal was fantastic.  So many delicious dishes and chocolate cheesecake to cap it off! 
We continued the tradition we started last year with our Change for Change bucket.  This year we were able to purchase bees and a "farmer pack" which is a cow and two sheep from Oxfam International.
Black Friday was a blast, as always.  This year we skipped Target and just went straight to the mall.  Lots of good deals, lots of fun.  I always enjoy our Starbucks break.  This year I picked up the "Holidays Rule" cd while we were there. (Only fair so far) and homebase treated me to a fun wintery travel cup!  While we were resting, homebase pulls out one of the Gap candles (the same one we get each year) and says, "Here's your candle!" To which I replied by pulling out one of the ones I'd purchased and said "Here's yours!"  We had each bought a pair and now had four candles!  After some laughs we returned two of them and got back to shopping. 
We made a couple quick stops at Dick's Sporting Goods and Rockbrook Camera and then headed to stoppable's house to watch the Iowa vs Nebraska game.  While I obviously wished the Hawks could've pulled out a win, I was happy with the level they played at and that they kept it respectable.  It was a season to forget and look towards next season.  Luckily the meatballs subs stoppable provided were delicious.
Saturday, homebase and I did a little crafting and had a little photography/iPhoto training session and a fun Skype session with Iowa Guru in India.  I heading back to DSM in the afternoon and was able to get lots done and made some delicious Gameday nachoes (using leftover turkey sauted with taco seasoning and pintos) for the big Notre Dame / USC game.  It was a solid performance by the Irish.  I loved their ground game and I'm still pinching myself that they are undefeated, #1, and headed to the national championship game! 
Sunday was pretty much consumed by purchasing, delivering, assembling and enjoying a new ping-pong table in minovia's basement.  There have already been some "lively" matches and it makes me happy to think how many more are in our future. 

21 November 2012

Notre Dame SI Cover

While I do think it is BEAUTIFUL, I am not thrilled about the timing.  The SI cover jinx is no joke and I'm already nervous for the USC game. 

16 November 2012

Ibra Outdoes Even Himself

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a ridiculously incredible goal on Thursday as his Sweden team took down England.  Ibra scored all four goals in their 4-2 win, including this insanely optimistic 30-yard bicycle kick in stoppage time.  
His previous "best" goal, while he was with Ajax, is equally incredible, yet entirely different.

15 November 2012

Fall Mix 2012

1* The Scientist : Willie Nelson (Coldplay cover)
2* How to Know : Ulrich Forman
3* Woodwork : Marley Carroll
4* How to Love : School of Seven Bells (Lil Wayne cover)
5* Ho Hey : The Lumineers
6* Cherry Wine : Nas & Amy Winehouse
7* Heart Like Mine : Miranda Lambert
8* Bad Example : Pistol Annies
9* The Wind : Zac Brown Band
10* Radioactive : Imagine Dragons
11* Feel the Love : Hoodie Allen
12* Lady Killers : G-Eazy & Hoodie Allen
13* Sobredosis : Kat DeLuna & El Cata
14* Killin' It : Krewella
15* Clique : Jay-Z, Big Sean, Kanye
16* Hello : Karmin
17* Look at Me Now : Karmin (Chris Brown/Busta cover)
18* Closer : Tegan & Sara
19* Go Hard : Kreayshawn

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0865)Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0866)Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0867)Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0868)Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0869)Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0870)
Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0871)Mr. Popper's Penguins (#0872)

Mr. Popper's Penguins, a set on Flickr.
On one of our after-school stops at the public library, I recently scored a 25 cent copy of Mr. Popper's Penguins in the used book sale section.  What a treasure hidden amongst all the trash! How I did not already have a copy of this classic, I'm not really sure. But this one was so much better than a fresh new one. Hardback, library dust-cover, and old (I forgot to check the printing!), the paper is thick and slightly yellow instead of bright white. And best of all, the illustrations are sublime. I had to snap a few pix to share. I didn't take any of the ending so you don't have to worry about spoiler alerts. Such great fun with penguins, it has been a delight to read and enjoy!

Pumpkin Attack! (#0863)

Pumpkin Attack! (#0863) by regan76
Pumpkin Attack! (#0863), a photo by regan76 on Flickr.
The pumpkin has been compromised!
These pumpkins on the front step had suffered a couple small spots of gnawing as (I'm guessing) squirrels sampled their flavor. Then, last weekend, I saw that a full-fledged attack has been waged and they had broken through and pillaged the pumpkin insides. Isa & I were both pretty impressed.

12 November 2012

Darrell Royal Honored

The Longhorns honored coaching legend Darrell Royal (coach at Texas 1957-1976, 11 conference titles, 3 national championships) with flags at the stadium (named after him) at half-mast, a DKR inside the mid-field logo, and the same on their helmet logos (which they will wear for the rest of the season), but perhaps most fittingly, they team lined up in the wishbone formation for their first play.  Royal is responsible for introducing that formation to major college football in 1968.  Check out the video here. (and they ran a throw-back pass for 50 yards, sorry Iowa State!)  Most amazing fact after reading his Wikipedia page..he never had a losing season as a coach...anywhere, ever.

09 November 2012

"I'm Really Proud of You All"

I am very happy that our President will have another four years to work on helping our country move forward.  I'll save the rest of my political thoughts for a later, more personal discussion.
Here's a little behind-the-scenes video of Pres. Obama talking to his Chicago campaign team after the victory.  "Under the surface we all have common hopes, common dreams."  It's great to see and hear the emotion from him. Check out the video here.

08 November 2012

Celtic 2-1 Barcelona

Yep, that says Barcelona.  Arguably the best club in the world.
After getting a tie stolen away from them in the 94th minute last week in the previous meeting, Celtic rode their home field advantage to a historic victory.  They are now sitting second in their group and should fancy their chances on progressing through to the knockout stages.
It was magical enough stuff to make Rod Stewart cry.
(this article "Celtic's big win a reminder of the Euro Gap" is a great look at how the  landscape of European soccer has changed and the differences between the domestic league strength, as well as financial ramification)

06 November 2012

NTC: 1000 minutes

I hit the 1000 minute mark on my Nike Training Club app recently.  This is best app around and one that I am ALWAYS telling people about.  It is incredible that such a slick, well-design app is free.  So many different workouts and all you need is a medicine ball and a set of dumbbells.  It has definitely changed how I use my time at the YMCA and helped me shed some pounds. 
On top of that, the bonus workout for reaching "Believer" status was a 15-minute workout with Lea Michele!  Add that to the 15-minute stretch routine with Shawn Johnson and I've got all the motivation I need.  As the weather decends into winter, I will be spending more time at the Y with my NTC app. 
Got a favorite workout (NTC or otherwise), lemme know!

05 November 2012

"Special Team"

"Special Team" by Rick Reilly.
It's unfortunate that the multi-million dollar "earning" players (holding out over who knows what, who don't really try until the 4th quarter,...I could go on) are the ones that too often get termed "hero." 
The high-school student-athletes in this story out of Queen Creek, Arizona are heroes in my mind.

04 November 2012

Nature Smileys

How did you spend your Thursday afternoon? 
I spent mine helping (but mostly watching & photographing) make smiley faces out of some found nature objects in the middle of downtown.  Each one just unique enough to make the smile on my face match these. 
We followed this up with a little milk & popcorn at Starbucks, checking out some books & movies at the library, some fun on the playground and finished it up with a Spanish mass for All Saints Day at St. Anthony's. (the two acapella singers were fantastic).  A pretty great afternoon.  
And I capped the day off with catching the Flobots concert at Wooly's with caboose!  I was happy that the next day was Friday for sure!

01 November 2012

Politics by Brand

Since I shared the beer chart previously, I thought I'd better share these two charts as well.  One is a breakdown of fast-food chains and the other is food brands.  Worthly of note is that the data came from analysis of "likes" of their facebook page.  I'm not certain how they came up with voter turnout using facebook though.
And I'm guessing you can probably throw out Chick-Fil-A because a lot of those likes probably have very little to do with their amazing Spicy Chicken Deluxe sandwich with a side of tasty cole slaw. 
On the fast food chart, I couldn't believe how high the voter turnout was for Cracker Barrel!!!  Besides that, there was little that I found interesting.  The food brand chart however had a few things that caught my eye.  The spread of Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar energy drinks.  Fage Greek yogurt is right on the fence, which was not where I would've pegged it.  The biggest shocker to me was Ferrero Rocher, on the extreme left.  I would've guessed in completely opposite.  I also wondered about the super high turnout numbers for fans of Frosted Flakes, Florida Natural and Campbell's Soup.