Tuesday, April 19, 2011

File #:16 Subject: Dog Park and Yard Update

Another beautiful afternoon today motivated me to go to the dog park again.  I probably should have gone to the gym, but I know at least Bruno was happy about my decision.  Bruno loves getting to go meet other dogs and smelling all the new smells.  I love watching him try to play with the other dogs.  Especially when the other dogs are chasing a ball.  The action of the ball being thrown usually startles Bruno, then he follows the other dogs when he sees them running.  The other dogs usually pass him on their way back.  When Bruno finally makes it out to where the ball landed, he sniffs the spot, then runs back behind everyone else.  It's really funny to watch, I'll try to get video sometime soon.  After about an hour running around the dog park we decided it was time to head home and get some dinner.

Leaving the park. Don't worry I wasn't driving yet.

I haven't updated everyone on my yard prject recently.  It's been a couple weeks since Brandon and I finished up my fron yard.  I've been diligently watering the new grass seeds and this is what has popped up.  A couple more weeks and I will have to start mowing it. 
I hope that it lasts through the summer.  I have had a hard time keeping grass through the hot, dry summers.  The seed that I bought this time seems like it works well though, so I know what to get next time.  Hopefully I'll have a healthy looking lawn in the next couple of years.

Below are some pictures of our knockout roses, those are doing well this year also.  I can't wait until they're HUGE!

Friday, April 15, 2011

File #:15 Subject: Tim Hawkins and Tax Day

Tonight, Angelina and I met up with our small group friends and went to watch Tim Hawkins.  He is a christian comedian, known mostly for his love of Chic-Fil-A.  It's is always refreshing to have good clean fun.  I haven't laughed as hard as I did tonight for awhile.  In honor of tax day today, here is his song about the government.  Enjoy, and make sure you watch more of his videos!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

File #:14 Subject: First Round Predictions

Sabres in six!

Boom! Right to the point! How about that?

The first game is going to be key.  We will see if Miller is really healthy or not.  Watch the first goal that Columbus scored during the regular season finale.  That is not Miller at 100%.  I'm sure that Miller will start in game one, but the Sabres need to realize that they have a very capable back up in Enroth.

Once we're past that first game, we have plenty of players with playoff experience that can help lead our talented newbies.  According to the Sabres website, the Sabres are combined for almost 700 playoff games. Rob Niedermayer being the only one to hold the cup, and a couple players who have played in a game seven of the finals.  With that experience also comes the desire to hoist the cup.  Especially from Hecht, Pominville, Connolly, Gaustad, Vanek, Miller, and Roy.  They have gone to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Sabres twice.

The Sabres are going in the right direction to the top.  We have one of the best coaches in history, and I feel like the team chemistry has always been strong.  If we can get a #1 scorer that will be another huge step.

Keep your playoff beards growing, and I hope to be doing a second round prediction post here soon!

All the statistics in this post are from http://www.sabres.nhl.com/.

Monday, April 11, 2011

File #:13 Subject: Playoff Beards and Butterfly Goals

Once the Sabres moved into 8th place I started my playoff beard.  Now that they are in the playoffs, here's my playoff beard!  I know it's not much, but it's the thought that matters right?  I came up with a chart of where my playoff beard ranks.  I feel that it is fuller than Crosby's, but I don't come anywhere near Hartnell's. 
 I'll post my predictions for the Sabres before the 14th.

Now for my butterfly goals. 

Flexibility is my fitness goal for hockey this year.  The two stats I want to focus on are my butterfly width, and my splits.  Right now my butterfly width is 35 inches from big toe to big toe (Picture below).  I want to be able to widen that to between 40-45 inches by this time next year.  The way to measure the splits is to measure from the floor to your groin.  I am at 18.75 inches now.  By this time next year I want to be under 12 inches.  By following some flexibility trainings by Maria Mountain I think these are both reachable goals.  I just need to make sure that I stay motivated and spend time stretching every day.  To help stay motivated I will keep everyone updated on a monthly basis.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

File #:12 Subject: The Mental Game of Hockey

Driving home from playing hockey, I like to reflect on how I played.  On my way home tonight I realized that I need to start working on the mental part of my game as much as I work on my technique and stamina.  Without sounding too bigheaded, I know I have improved my game tremendously.  I feel like I have reached the point where my mind is starting to hinder my game.  I can make hard saves fairly consistently now, but I also still let soft goals in.  Tonight for example, I had a save where I had to dive across the crease to glove the puck off the goal line, and then I had a nice glove save off a screened shot.  The next play after the glove save, I froze on a head fake, and he put the puck right through my five hole.  Needless to say I had a few choice words with myself for letting that through.  Now worrying that I'll let another like the last one by, I wasn't able to fully focus on the play behind my net, a very well placed pass across the slot to an open man went top shelf.  That goal would have been a hard for save for a veteran goalie, but I feel like if I was more focused I might have been able to cheat over a little, maybe get lucky and get the shaft of my stick on it.  I need to learn to stay in the moment, not in the future, not in the past.  The time to reflect on plays is after the game.  Looking back on the five hole goal, more practice will fix that.  The top shelf goal, recognizing the play, and communicating with the D will help that.  Once I learn to focus on the present instead of the past or future, I think my game will take another good step up.  Hopefully I can remember this tomorrow when I play again.  Videos to come soon!

Friday, April 1, 2011

File #:10 Subject: April Fools!!!

I love April Fool’s day.  It’s a day that pranks, stories and jokes can occur, and everyone enjoys being involved.  The keys to pulling off an April Fool’s joke are know the prank ahead of time, research, believability, playing into your own limits, practice, and knowing current situations.  Here’s a breakdown of this year’s prank:
Knowing the prank:
Driving to work this morning I decided to tell a story about how I’ll be leaving the credit union soon because Angelina has accepted a job out of state.  We’ll be leaving after she graduates next month.  What’s her new job?  The “Teenage Therapist” at Hartford County Psychiatric Hospital about twenty to thirty minutes away from my family in Connecticut.
There is no such place called “Hartford County Psychiatric Hospital” that I could find.  (Not much research required for this prank)
Angelina is starting to look for a job, and is graduating in about a month.  So that’s easy to believe.  Choosing the spot to say we’re moving to had to be a place that made sense.  I chose Connecticut because my co-workers know that I have family up there, and know that I like to talk about them.   There had also been talk about Angelina going to grad school out of state a few years ago, so it is known that we are willing to move if the opportunity is better somewhere else.
Playing into your own limits:
I can’t tell an April Fool’s story with a straight face to save my life.  Knowing this, I chose to make up an exciting story so I could be smiling through the whole thing without anybody suspecting a thing.  Trust me; I was on the verge of busting out laughing the whole time I was telling my co-workers.
I was going to tell the story to my department all at once in our staff meeting today.  Before the meeting I told a select few people outside of my department to test if it was even a good prank, and to make sure I could keep the story straight.  I tweaked the story a little each time until it sounded just right.  Three of the four people believed me, and they all said that it would be a good prank.
Current situation:
Another auditor is being hired to partner with me.  I thought it would be fun to play off the fact that this is a good time to leave because applications have been turned in for the same position as mine.
Pulling off the prank:
I had planned the whole morning to telling this story at our biweekly department meeting so I only had to tell it once, and make sure no one overheard the “April Fool’s” part too early.   When I walked into the meeting room and not only saw all my co-workers and supervisor, but my manager was there also!  This was perfect!  When my supervisor started the meeting, I politely asked if I could make a quick exciting announcement.  She said okay, and I started my story, HUGE smile on my face.  Here’s what I remember of how it went. 
“Angelina has accepted a job at Hartford County Psychiatric Hospital.  It is about 20 minutes from my family in Connecticut, and she starts right after she graduates next month!” 
Everybody responded with surprised/confused, but happy “Congratulations!” 
My manager then questions, “So, is this your notice?” 
Trying not to answer the question, I tried to explain my excitement, “This is so awesome because we were starting to get nervous about where she was going to work this summer!” 
My manager now asks. “When does she graduate?” 
Time to let everyone know it’s my April Fool’s day prank, “She graduates around April Fools.”
I know it was kind of a corny prank, but I got a kick out of it.  During reports time at work, a good laugh helps get me through the day. Especially if it’s a Friday.

April fool, n.  The March fool with another month added to his folly.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary