October 31, 2006

Scaring up some fun.

Halloween is here. Iím just taking a break from getting the house ready for the kids. Every year I decorate the house and entertain the local kids with a haunted house. The yard is done up as a graveyard, there are smoke machines, and numerous static displays. We actually have people that drive into the neighborhood just to see what we do each year. Every year I try to take pictures at night, unfortunately they never turn out very well. This year I took pictures during the day just so you can get an idea of some of the stuff we do.

Hang around bob.jpg

Bob is hanging around the yard to welcome the youngsters as they approach.

Hanging death.jpg

A specter is active in his coffin. (Gentle movement and a strobe light)

Hanging Ghost.jpg

Even the upstairs ghost came out to take a peak. (When it gets dark, she moves violently and glows.)

I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe Halloween. Oh, and before I forget. If you scare anyone, I want stories.

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October 28, 2006

A season cut short.

Itís been almost a week since my last re-enactment I should get a post started on it. I was going to wait for some photos, but there is a slight problem with that. Thus Iím going to go ahead with out any. Sorry, as soon as I get the pictures Iíll post them.

Ktreva and I headed out early Thursday morning to Trail of History. We wanted to get out there and get set up early so we could spend some extra time with our friends. Our camp was set up completely by 1:30. We spent the next couple of hours walking around, talking to other re-enactors and helping others set up. Fortunately for us we did get there early, it helped offset what was going to come. Thursday we went to dinner with some friends of ours at the Grand Old Mill, LTD in Wonder Lake. Ktreva and I love this place, good food and itís located just off site from the re-enactment. Their chicken liver p‚tť is excellent!

Friday was kidís day. They bus in children to learn about history. I didnít sign up to demonstrate for kidís day based on past experience. I wouldnít mind doing it, but being a distiller is not the most child friendly of demonstrations. The concern is that some uppity parent will get upset that we are ďpromoting the use of alcoholĒ which is not what I do. We cleaned some cast iron, and Ktreva cooked. Periodically a group of kids would come to our camp and Iíd have to direct them on saying, ďWe arenít putting on a demonstration today.Ē What I really wanted to say was, ďThey have bright orange signs for camps putting on kidís day demonstrations. Take a look around; do you see any in camp? Dumb arses!Ē One time I had a group come up and I advised no demonstration, they just stood there. So I advised them again, No Demonstration. The teacher said okay and just stared at me. Then she asks, ďSo what do you do?Ē That pushed my button just right and Seamus the surly Scotsman shot back with, ďI stand around telling people Iím not putting on a demonstration today.Ē During the lunch break I decided to go visit my friends that where demonstrating. When I returned to camp 20 minutes later I was drunk.

Ktreva just looked at me and asked, ďAre you drunk?Ē Which I responded with, ďNo?Ē (Yes, I was questioning the no, I wasnít sure that was the right answer.) When I went on my walk about I had guys coming up to me saying, ďHey, youíre the distiller. Youíve got to try this stuff I madeĒ I drank 2 apple brandies, cherry brandy, apricot brandy, 2 blueberry brandies, A Chocolate liquor, mead, ale, and hot buttered rum all in about ten minutes. I was fine until I was walking back to my camp. Then about ten steps from camp it hit me. Thank jebus I wasnít demonstrating.

Friday night a group of us went into Richmond to dinner at Doyleís an Irish pub there. They have good food and good beer. Top it off with the great company and we had a wonderful time. However, after drinking as much as I did my little stomach problem kicked in and poor Graumagus had to worry about me redecorating the interior of his van with gastric juices on the ride back. Fortunately my ďNo horking in the carĒ policy kept my stomach in check.

Saturday was beautiful. It wasnít too cold and the wind wasnít bad. I spent the whole day demonstrating. Before we left for the event I decided I wasnít going to participate in the battle. It was too difficult for me to do my demonstration and all the prep battle work. I did take an hour break to go to the indentured servant sale. Ktreva and I needed someone to help gather firewood and water, turn the oats, and tend to the mash. We donít actually buy a servant, but it was part of the demonstration. I ended up getting me a servant for a barrel of ďWhiskeyĒ two years in the cask. Through out the day I had a steady stream of people coming through my camp and at numerous times I had groups up to 20 people listen to me give my spiel. I did have a couple of incidents. At one point I had an older gentleman stick his finger into the drippings. I saw him lean towards it and I told him repeatedly, ďSir, donít do that.Ē The whole time he was looking at me as I said it. Finally I had to grab his arm and advised him ďYou can NOT touch the still or anything coming out of it for numerous reasons.Ē He was a little indignant, but not as much as I was annoyed over the whole incident. Fortunately the event backed me up on my actions.

There was also a guy that decided he wanted to see what was inside the still. While my back was turned to get some more wood for the fire, he decided he was going to remove the copper cooling tower on the still so he could see inside. The still had been on the fire for over 5 hours. For those of you that may not understand, the cooling tower is where the vapor just starts to cool, but itís very hot, very very hot. I use leather gloves to remove it when Iím finished at the end of the day. I turned around just as the guy was pulled his burnt hand back from the still. All I could say is, ďYou might not understand this, but thatís going to be hot.Ē

Saturday night at the camp meeting Ktreva and I won an award for Best Public Interaction. This completely floored me. As weíve only done this demonstration for two years, I never figured to win any thing. So when they called my name I wasnít sure how to react. Since Iím so shy, I didnít know how to act. When I accepted the award the only thing I could say was, ďThatís what happens when you bribe the Booshway with whiskey.Ē Shortly after the camp meeting the temperature dropped and the rain came in. Ktreva, Wes and I sat under our fly where it was warm and dry. Then Graumagus and Maeldun from Clan Chattan came over wanting the three of us to leave the dry warmth of our camp to walk to the cold soggy wetness of their camp. They went to see if they could get some others to come visit them and I told them to stop back by and tell us what the plan is. They never came back so I wandered over to the swamp their camp to see what was going on. There was Maeldun and Grau huddled under a fly lamenting the fact that Clan Chattan had a poor turn out and no one wanted to sit in a swamp with them.

Being the nice guy that I am, I went back to my camp to rally the troops. Grabbing up as much alcohol, chairs and furs as we could carry; we headed over to Clan Chattan. Others started straggling in from other camps and we had a good time. The only real issues with their camp, besides the fact the fire was half a mile away from the fly, is that the ground was getting swampier as the night went on. They had to have had the lowest ground in the entire camp. Of course the typical passing of the bottle took place. At one point late in the evening I had to wrestle a bottle of vile swill made by an evil man away from Graumagus. Iím not kidding, I physically had to force the bottle away from him. This is the same rotgut that no one else in camp with a right mind will touch. You have to understand that re-enactors are die hard drinkers; this is the only crap Iíve seen that they wonít touch. Grau and I almost came to blows with my forcing the bottle out of his hand after he drank about half of it! I swear the man was trying to kill his liver.

Sunday morning they had an emergency camp meeting. Apparently the incessant rain over night mixed with the weeks worth of rain they received prior to the event had turned the floor of the camp into a marsh. In order to protect the land they canceled the event. They did not want the public coming in and tearing up the ground and then worry about us trying to get out. The conservation district brought in tractors and hay wagons to get everyone out since we couldnít bring our vehicles into camp. I would like to thank the McHenry County Conservation district for everything; they did a good job helping everyone. Ktreva and I were home and unpacked by 3:00 PM on Sunday. Which was kind of nice because I was able to watch one of the football games on Sunday.

So for those of you counting, that is two events that were canceled this year. Now, both of these events have one thing in commonÖ other than rain. Graumagus only made two events this year. Both of them were canceled on Sunday. Iím thinking Grau is going to take my title as event jinx. However, so far 17 out of 21 events weíve set up canvas at over the last three years have been rained on.

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Everything is sexy.

Halloween is right around the coroner, and for you ladies out there Iíve found a store to buy your costume at, Girls's Costume Warehouse.

Click box to start. It's not NSFW but you might want to turn down the volume. The language is a little harsh.

They can even make Abe Lincoln Sexy.

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October 27, 2006

There is nothing they won't sell

Weíve all seen athletes that do endorsements for various products. Every time you turn on the TV you see someone hocking anything from aspirin to Zima (Nasty as it is). Inevitably some athletes are more popular then others. Every Sunday as I watch the Football games I see multiple adds that have Peyton Manning in them, some are even hilarious, but heís not the worst out there. Some friends of mine are huge NASCAR fans. Personally, I find it boring and donít count it as a sportÖ but that is an argument for another post, again. Occasionally Iíve gone over to watch races with them, mainly to drink beer, socialize and cheer for crashes (where no one gets hurt).

It was during these little parties that I noticed one driver in particular had the lionís share of commercials. The guy was on at least one out of every three commercials. I started dubbing the guy ďMedia WhoreĒ. Of course Iím referring to Dale Earnhardt Jr. From what I can tell there is nothing this guy will not put his name or likeness to. I canít count the numerous products Iíve seen him endorse. Iím just waiting for him to cross the final boundary and start selling feminine hygiene products.

I can just see the commercial now.

Dale: ďNot all tampons are the same. When you are being active or sitting in a car for a long time, the last thing you want is leakage. During the race I hug the walls and so do these NASCAR Tampons. Nothing gets past them, just like me! With the easy applicator you can insert them faster then my car coming out of turn number three in Daytona. The handy braided string with the number 8 logo gives you easier extraction then pulling Tony Stewart out of a car after a crash. There is even an indicator on it to tell you if you need to change, just like a crew chief. So remember, NASCAR Tampons for life in the fast lane!Ē

YeaÖ Sadly Iím thinking Iím actually going to see this commercial in a couple of years.

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October 25, 2006


As you all know political blogging is not something I generally do. Yet there is something about the up coming elections that really has me irritated. Itís nothing new, you see it every election, but as I pay more and more attention to the candidates the more annoyed I become. Mud Slinging. To me this is the absolute worse form of campaigning a candidate can do.

Instead of trying to sell me on why a candidate is the best person for the job, they are trying to convince me that their opponent isnít worthy of the position. Mud slinging gives me the impression that the candidate has no good qualities and must hide their inadequacies by making their opponent look worse. Lets take the Gubernatorial race in Illinois. The two leading candidates are the incumbent Rod Blagojevich and the challenger Judy Baar Topinka. I have yet to see an add to tell me what each candidate offers or stands for, all Iíve seen is how the opponent is corrupt or incompetent. Now to be honest, the Governor race is looking like Iím going to write myself in. Neither of the candidates appears to be anything worth voting for. I donít trust either one to run the state any better then Clone could.

Now today in the mail I receive a flyer for a challenger in the State representative race. It tells me how the incumbent is a bad man because he wanted to allow concealed carry. Meanwhile, all the ads and literature Iíve seen for the incumbent tell me what heís done for the state and what he wants to do. Since Iím obviously pro-gun and anti-mudslinging, this little ad backfired for the challenger. Iím going to be voting for the incumbent. Which up until this point I was still up in the air about.

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October 24, 2006

I can see again.

Iím sorry itís taken me so long to update, Iíve had an interesting time over the last couple of days. Right now Iím not going to go into detail about the re-enactment, but I will regale with a tale that started out at the event. Saturday night while trying to avoid hypothermia from the bone chilling cold rain and wind my eyeglasses broke. That wasnít that big of a deal as Iím far-sighted and only really need the glasses to see anything closer than arms length to my face. In other words with out my glasses if I canít old the print out far enough, then I just canít read it.

This only presented a problem when trying to do things like read the gages on my truck, or anything on a computer. My old glasses wouldnít even hold a lens and stay on my face come Monday morning. Fortunately I had Monday off. I took Boopie to school, hit the bank to make a deposit. As a side note I think the tellers had a lot of fun watching me try to fill out a deposit slip. With out my glasses Iím writing it at arms-length. Ever try to fill out a deposit slip at arms length? Fortunately the teller took pity on my and offered to do it for me. Which I was grateful for and annoyed about at the same time, I hate it when I canít do things for myself. Since I had given myself a headache trying to fill it out, I let myself be dotted on like a senile old man.

After the bank I went to the mall. It had the only Lens Crafters near me that could do glasses in an hour. I couldnít go a week with out my glasses. When I get to the mall, I realize Iím about 40 minutes early. All the stores are closed and the only people there are mall walkers, you know the people that do laps around the mall for exercise. Not wanting to sit around like some kind of store stalker, I decided to be the youngest old person there. I started doing laps around the mall. Hell, I was partially blind anyway.

When the store opened, they wouldnít just get me new glasses. Since itís been three years since my last eye exam, they wanted to do a new one to make sure nothing had changed. Eh, it needed to be done anyway. They did a quick repair of my old glasses just so I could take the tests. This is what we learned during the exam. A) Iím still partially colorblind. 2) I have 60/20 vision at distances. I can see at 60 feet what most normal people can see at 20. C) Iím damn near legally blind at less then 2.5 feet from my face. I completely failed the up close reading test. I only got the first line right, E, and thatís because I guessed. It was blurry and could have been an E, 8, H, 6, 9, 5, 2, or R. But since most eye charts start with an E, thatís what I said. Then I admitted I could just barely make it out.

Then to make things worse they had to check the inside of my eye, so they gave me these drops that made my eyes dilate. That was fun; they warned me my vision was going to be blurry for a while after. While the drops took affect, they sent me out to pick out frames. As my vision quickly deteriorated I had to pick out frames. Do you know how hard it is to pick out frames when you canít see? Fortunately they have a 30-day money back guarantee, because I think I picked out frames I like, but I really couldnít see to tell you the truth.

With frames picked out they told me that since I wanted the UV protection, glare resistant lenses it would take a week to get them. Apparently the glasses in an hour thing only apply if you get cheap frames and the minimalist of lenses. Again I explained I couldnít wait a week for my new glasses, as I needed them right away. The girl helping me said she would have my old frames repaired for free as a temporary fix. She told me that if they didnít last until I received my new glasses, they would even set me up with a temporary pair using my old lenses.

The whole time Iím going through this, my eyesight is worsening. Finally they call me back in for the final part of the exam. Alls well, my prescription hasnít changed that much and other than my myopia, my eyes are fine. Then I ask how long before my vision comes back. The doctor tells me ďthree hours.Ē WHAT?!?!?!?! I drove myself here; I canít wait around the mall for three hours until my vision returns to normal. Iíll go insane! The doctor offers to give me some drops that will help restore the vision quicker, but she warns me that it stings pretty badly. Hey, I donít care. Iíll take the physical pain over the mental pain of being in the Mall longer than I need to be.

Well the doctor wasnít laying the restoration drops stung worse than campfire smoke in the eyes, but it was worth it. I only had to wait around the mall for an additional 30 minutes. By the time I returned home, I had a headache that wouldnít go away. By the time everything returned to normal and the headache went completely away it was late in the day.

Anyway, thatís why I havenít posted until now.

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October 18, 2006

End of days?

Tonight I get a call from an automated message service from my doctorís office. The results of my biopsy are in. I needed to call the message service and find out the results. When the procedure was done, they told me this is how they get the information to the patients faster. They gave me my unique identification number and had me set up a PIN.

I called the service and this is the message I received, ďThe results of your biopsy are inconsistent with your condition. You need to contact your doctor during the next business day.Ē SON OF A BEAOTCH! Yea, that was helpful. Know what that tells me? NOTHING! It actually has me worried that they found something horrible and the doctor has to break the news to me personally. All I can think right now is that I have some kind of horrible disease that is killing me slowly.

The kicker of this whole thing is that Iím getting ready to leave town for the weekend, and the next day Iím going to be able to call the doctor when he has office hours is Monday. That means all weekend Iím going to be sitting around wondering if Iím slowly dying. Which, I know Iím not, if that was the case the doctorís office would have called right away, but my mind canít get off the worse case scenario.

I think Iíve finally hit the stage where Iím honestly worried. Up to now I figured it was nothing, weíd treat it and all would be right in the world again. Now Iím thinking that maybe this is something serious and maybe Iím looking at the beginning of a long down fall.

Now excuse me while I go have a long conversation with my therapist, Jack Danielís.

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Nothing is safe.

Is there anything people wonít steel? For three years Iíve had candy at my desk. I set it out to show my appreciation to everyone that works hard. It started Christmas of 2002. Boopie was in Cub Scouts. They had a fundraiser selling popcorn. The Pack ordered some extra items to sell at various events besides what orders the boys took. At the end of the sale they had this tin that was 6 by 10 inches that had popcorn coated in chocolate. Instead of letting the troop take the hit, I shelled out the money and bought it.

Since I hate chocolate covered popcorn, I took it to work and let everyone help themselves to it the week between Christmas and New Years. Thatís when I discovered that Chocolate made for a much nicer work environment for me. After the popcorn was gone (about 2 days) I started buying various candies to put in the tin. Hershey miniatures and kisses, Halloween candy, ETC. Itís kind of like a trademark of mine to have chocolate at my desk.

Yesterday at work, one of my employees asked my why I hadnít put out the candy. I looked around and it wasnít where I left it. Since Iíve been known to forget to set it out, I checked my desk drawer where I store it at night. (The cleaning crew likes to clean out the tin as well.) It wasnít in my drawer. What the hell? I looked around to see if it was moved or if something was set on top of it. It wasnít anywhere!

A couple of years ago the same thing happened, but some people took it as a prank. They returned it a couple of hours later when I noticed it was missing. Figuring the same thing happened, I was pretty sure it would turn up. Today it was still gone. So I started canvassing the usual suspects to see if they where playing a joke. No one had any idea where it went.

Since it now counts as a legitimate theft, I had to make a report with security. I laughed the whole time, because I felt stupid reporting a stolen tin. It was a ratty old tin, and the lid to it is still in my desk drawer, so I have no idea why anyone would want it. The missing candy doesnít bother me too much because I bought it to give away, but I am a bit annoyed that someone felt the need to take the tin. Itís just a senseless theft of an item that really has no value what so ever.

Well whoever has it, I hope they enjoy it. But if they are thinking the candy in there magically reappears they are going to be disappointed.

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October 17, 2006

Weekend in review.

Sorry, I havenít been around. Itís been a busy weekend for me. Friday night I went to an Ice Hogís game. They are a local minor league hockey team. Iím not a fan of hockey, I just wanted to go hang with some friends and drink beer. Which we did, we ended up leaving the boring game early and went to a bar to harass a co-worker that bartends there. Ahh, good times!

Saturday the family and I day tripped it to Fort Obie, a re-enactment in Colona Illinois. IT was a nice little event. All week I had my doubts about going, I wasnít feeling the best and all. Ktreva kept being adamant about our going. Come to find out that she custom ordered a knife for me in August with the agreement sheíd pick it up at Fort Obie. Then the River Scum finally convinced me to attempt to join the ONW (Old Northwest Company). Itís a loosely organized group of re-enactors. Iím actually pretty honored they wanted me. Iím not a member yet, there are steps one has to follow in order to become a member, but Iím on my way.

Sunday we went and visited Tammi for some Football and conversation. True to her nature, she refused to just let us munch on chips and frozen pizza while watching the game. She made her legendary Mexican Manicotti, had some appetizers and then she even made a pie from scratch, a peanut butter pie. People, that had to be one of, if not the best pies Iíve had. It was absolutely delicious! If you ever get a chance to try it, youíd be a fool not to.

Sunday night I ended up going over to a friendís house to watch the Oakland Vs Denver game. Monday night I was back over there for the Bears Vs. Cardinals game. If any of you turned off that game before the end, you missed one hell of a game. It started out boring, but it turned real good in the fourth quarter. The Bears squeaked out a win due to the grace of their defense.

Monday was Bossí day as well. My unit actually went out of their way to get me a card and a gift certificate for a nice restaurant in town. I donít take gift getting too well, so they really loved watching me turn beet red in embarrassment. They were still talking about it today.

Tonight I have to pack for Trail of History. Itís our last re-enactment of the season. Both Ktreva and I love this event and look forward to it every year. The thing we donít like about this event is that it is the last event of our season. That means it will be six months before we are able to see some of our friends again. Due to my health this year, Iím not going to participate in the battle. Iím even thinking of not bringing my musket.

Itís supposed to be cold and rainy with a chance of snow. We kind of figured that was going to happen, this event is taking place later in the year than normal. It always takes place the third full weekend of October. That usually means itís usually around Oct 16-18. Since October first fell on a Sunday, itís happening the 21 and 22. Iím really glad my demonstration is distilling. Itís hard to get too cold keeping a fire going under a large copper still.

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October 12, 2006

It was delightful.

Theyíve been calling for it all week long. Many people didnít think it would happen, but it did. Today, we had snow. Not just a flurry, but actually accumulation. Of course not long after it stopped snowing it started to melt right away, but it was there. On the rooftops and in some yards there is still about an eighth inch of snow.

At one point it looked like a full-blown blizzard. I looked out the windows at work, and you couldnít see across the parking lot. I half expected there to be news reports of school closings. My employees where lamenting the snow. Of course following all first snows of the year, there were plenty of accidents. It seems like it takes a couple of good snows before the majority of idiots remember how to drive in the white stuff.

And while some people were lamenting the snow, I was rejoicing in it. Snow is fun; it means itís cold, but not too cold. Itís a nice comfortable feeling that allows you to wear the flannels with out sweating your nards off. In celebration of the glorious weather, I was singing ďLet it SnowĒ all day at work.

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Boobie beer

Well as we all know two weeks ago I had a birthday. One of my blog fathers, Graumagus of Frizzensparks (Whom is getting put into a low rent old folks home for old bloggers where they will use him for geriatric gay pr0n when he gets older) gave me a six-pack of beer for my birthday (bastard!). He said, ďI saw this and instantly thought of youĒ when he handed it to me. Itís Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock by the Tommyknocker brewery & pub. After trying to ignore it, I finally decided to try it. He also told me he wanted me to review it. I thought long and hard about just drinking it and not writing a review, but I couldnít do that.

Butthead 001.jpg

It comes in a standard brown bottle with a front label that has two Tommyknockers riding rams; the rams are butting heads. On the back label it has the following, ďTommyknockers were mischievous elves who slipped into mining camps with the Cornish miners in the 1800ís.Ē (I always though Tommyknockers were boobs) a brief description of the beer and then ďWhy Butt Head? Try one. Youíll enjoy ďbig brewĒ flavor with the intensity of a `head buttingí bighorn ram ď On the back label there is also a date system telling me that this beer was bottled July 28, 2006. It recommends that you drink the beer with in 4 months of it being bottled.

The color is of a dark tea and is slightly cloudy. It pours a sand colored head that dissolves quickly leaving a ring around the edge. There is some lacing, but it also disappears rather quickly.

To the nose it has a very week scent of malts and molasses. I could barely smell it and it took a couple of tries to get a good whiff in order to describe it. It tastes of caramel malts with a hint of plums and a very slight taste of alcohol. The aftertaste is very mild and not at all distracting.

This medium body lager is smooth and easy to drink. There is just the right amount of carbonation. At 7.9% alcohol by volume this beer is surprisingly easy to drink.

Iíve seen this beer in the stores a couple of times, but you can only but it in a six-pack or in a large sample pack of other beers this company makes. I was going to buy a sample pack later on, but Grauís gift sped up the review. At first sight I thought this was just a novelty beer, but itís actually pretty good. Iíd have to give this a 6.5 out of 10.

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Sorry I didnít get back with everyone yesterday. Boopie's game went much better then planned. They won 38 to 0. Boopie even made two huge plays. He recovered an onside kicked and made two tackles that would have allowed the other team to score. After the game the whole team was ecstatic over their win.

That was until they found out that they werenít going to be in the playoffs. The school district changed how many teams were going to be in the playoffs and Boopieís team would have had to score two more points in order to take the last spot. Fortunately that didnít take away from the win. The boys were just happy they won a second game and that they blew out the other team.

Boopie is already planning on trying out for the football team next year when he goes to High School.

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October 11, 2006

...And let him get a touchdown too!

Iím off to Boopieís last regular season game of the year. Please, pray for a win. His team is 1-6 and going up against the only team that has a worse record then they do. For some goofy mathematical reason, this game is actually important. If his team wins they will be the 7th place team (out of 8), if they lose they will be the 8th place, ie last, in the conference.

If they win, they actually get into the playoffs. If they lose, they donít. Heís been taking the loses rather hard, and I would at least like to see him make the playoffs. Plus he has more fun when he wins and Iíd like to see him actually enjoy two of their games.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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October 10, 2006

There's a Challenge on the field.

I picked up a new ďtoyĒ over the weekend. While in Green Bay at one of the Packer memorabilia shops, they had a red coachís ďChallenge flagĒ. Itís the red flag that a coach throws out on the field if they disagree with a ruling of the officials. I just had to get one! It was only a couple of dollars and I figured Iíd have a lot of fun with it. Sure enough, I was right!

This morning while getting ready for work, I spotted my flag and tucked it into my pocket. I just couldnít wait to get a chance to throw it. It didnít take long for that to happen. While talking about my weekend with some of my football loving friends at work, one of them made the comment that their winless team was going to make it to the Super Bowl. Before they were finished with their sentence that flag was flying through the air. Of course all of the football fans found this hilarious. The non-football spectators had no idea what was going on.

All day I kept whipping out the flag every time I wanted to challenge anything anyone said. Then I used it at the wrong timeÖ the middle of a meeting. We were having a meeting going over new policies and procedures. One of my peers felt that a new procedure would hurt the department. The look on their faces when that red flag landed on the table was priceless. However, the humor was lost when I had to explain to everyone what it was. Of course the obligatory ďThis really isnít the place for those kind of anticsĒ talks followed. Eh, I explained it was meant to be fun and liven things up a little. No one was mad, and I didnít get in any real trouble.

All I can think about is the next time Iím at a football party and I get to start flinging it around when the officials make calls I donít like. Iím going to have way too much fun with it.

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Scots and pumpkins.

On Saturday night Ktreva and I went to the Fox River Brewing Company in Appleton, WI for dinner. Actually it was Ktrevaís idea. Since it was our anniversary, and I had pretty planned every place else we had gone, I figured I could at least let her pick where we went to dinner. Surprisingly enough she chose a brewery.

The food was pretty good, but lets just get down to it. How was the beer? I only sampled two beers, mainly because of my stomach, but I made sure to get some descriptions on each of them.

The first Beer I had was Caber Tossing Scottish Ale. It was a dark amber color with a thin, but persistent head. The ale was clear, no cloudiness what so ever. There was a decent amount of lacing on the pint glass. Yea, I know, I shouldnít have ordered the sample size.

This Scotch Ale had a very hoppy scent to it. It was bitter to the nose with a slight sweetness. Upon first taste there is a good sweet and caramel malt flavor. That was quickly replaced with the bitterness of hops. This had to be the bitterest Scotch Ale Iíve ever had. I was rather disappointed in the flavor. The more you drank, the bitterer it became. It had a bitter aftertaste, which left me not wanting to drink it.

The brewery describes this as full-bodied ale. I thought it was more of a medium body. It was a little heavy on the carbonation that bit the tongue.

I like Scotch Ales, and was really looking forward to trying this one. After tasting it, I wasnít impressed at all. It rates 3 out of 10.

After dinner and I tried one of their seasonal beers, a pumpkin ale. Normally Iím not fond of fruit beers, but this was good.

It poured a light amber with a hint of orange. There was a slight cloudiness to it that you get with a lot of microbrews. The head was almost non-existent, but there was a ring around the end of the glass. What lacing, if any, was minimal and quickly disappeared.

The scent reminded me of those pumpkin spice scented candles or fresh pumpkin pie. There was a slight alcohol scent that enhanced the malt undertones. The flavor was that of sweet malts and I kid you not, pumpkin pie. It wasnít too sweet, just sweet enough. I found myself enjoying the uniqueness of this beer immensely. What aftertaste there was, was a pleasant combination of pumpkins and malts.

It was a medium bodied beer that left a pleasant coating in the mouth. It had a pleasant texture on the tongue and was very easy to drink. Sipping or gulping this beer went down easily. I could see myself actually craving this beer.

Since I donít normally like fruit beers I was surprised at just how much I really enjoyed this creation. The only problem is that itís seasonal, so the next time I head up to Green Bay, they may not have it. I rate this beer 7 out of 10.

Since I robbed you all of a review last week I thought I would surprise you with two this week.

Posted by Contagion at 05:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

Anniversery over.

We finally arrived back in town. We had a good weekend, it would have been better if the Packers either A) Rayner hadnít missed a field goal or the Pack hadnít fumbled on that last drive costing them the game. It was still a good game and we had a lot of fun.

I just couldnít believe how upset North Korea was over the loss. Who would have thought that the N. Koreans would detonate a Nuclear Weapon upon receiving word that the Packers lost. Thatís just some crazy stuff there.

Posted by Contagion at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 06, 2006

This is going to be great!

It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend. Temps in the 70's during the day, no rain, gentle breeze, it's almost too good to be true. If I were going re-enacting I would say it's a lie, but I'm taking Ktreva to Green Bay for the St. Louis Rams/Green Bay Packer game. Remember, I have tickets!

To make it even better, I'm making a weekend out of it. It's our 7-year anniversary on Monday. We're heading Saturday morning and not returning until late on Monday. I've got reservations at a nice Hotel minutes from the stadium, and the whole weekend planned.

First we hit all the Packer memorabilia shops, and then we hit the Packer Pro Shop. Then we take another tour of the stadium and the Packer Hall of Fame. For Dinner on Saturday I'm going to take her to the Brett Favre Steak House. Then we're going to hit Fuzzy Thurston's pub for drinks afterwards.

Sunday we get up early and tailgate before the game. Of course we watch the game. After the game we go to Curly's Pub (Part of Lambeau Field) to watch the 3:00 PM games and the Sunday night game. Monday we hit all the Packer Antique shops in the area. Making sure to look for those hard to find Packer items. Then we head home so we can get there in time for Monday Night Football.

Yea, it's going to be romantic.

Posted by Contagion at 04:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I've figured it out!

Okay, just follow my madness for a second. My stomach is producing more concentrated stomach acid then the average human. It's also producing it in 4 times the quantities. Then they found some kind of tissue that goes from inside my stomach out into the esophagus.

I'm mutating! My wife has been skeeved out by the fact that with a simple contraction of some muscles in my mouth I can squeeze my salivary glands and cause them to shoot saliva out like a squirt gun. What's happening to me is just the next step! The tissue is actually tubes growing from my stomach up into my mouth. I'm going to be able to spit concentrated acid on people that piss me off and dissolve them! I'm the next step in human evolution. Or if you read comics, I'm going to be a super villain. (I have to be a villain, A) good guys don't dissolve people in acid. B) I'm me!)

We'll just have to wait and see. I just need to come up with a cool super-villain name. Something like Disolvitron or something.

In all seriousness, why am I not surprised that more people thought the fact that I could start spitting stomach acid up with out control was cool then were concerned about the strange tissue that has doctors stumped.

Posted by Contagion at 04:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 04, 2006

The good, the bad and my stomach.

I actually had my procedure today. Things went much better then last time. IE, they did NOT try to stick a camera up my butt! The procedure wasn’t too bad and even though I’m still feeling the side effects, I’m doing well.

Good: They actually found something.

Bad: They have no clue as to what the hell it is. They did a biopsy to see if they could get more information.

Bad: My esophageal ring is damaged and weakened. IE it doesn’t close all the way and any stomach irritation could cause it to open and release the contents of my stomach into my esophagus. IE the vomiting. They can’t fix this… but it could heal on its own in time.

Bad: I have an extremely nasty case of GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease). I swear the doctor said that if it keeps up like this I’m going to be able to spit stomach acid like a spitting cobra shoots venom. The only thing to do with this is treat it with medication.

Bad: My stomach is producing ungodly amounts of stomach acid for no reason what so ever. After not eating for 12 hours or drinking anything for 6, my stomach should have been relatively calm. From the photo’s I saw it looked like some violent tumultuous pool of acid seen only in Super Hero comic books and Movies. Again, this is treatable with medication… a lot of it.

At least I know what‚Äôs going in, if not the ‚Äúwhy‚ÄĚ behind it.

Oh, and during the procedure they made a mistake and were able to see my black shriveled heart. I’m kidding; we all know I have no heart.

Posted by Contagion at 04:19 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

October 03, 2006

buh-bye now.

The Packers finally got around to releasing Ahmad Carroll. He was our first round draft pick in 2004. It seems that for every play he made, he either blew another or caused a penalty that was costly.

I haven’t liked his performance since he’s been on the team, and he always seemed to be able to drag our team down faster then a cinder block tied to a bag full of kittens thrown into a river. Which is why I’m not sad to see him leave.

Posted by Contagion at 06:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Beer, denied.

It doesn’t look like there is going to be a beer review this week. Tomorrow I go in for my next procedure; I highly doubt I will be in the mood to drink a beer for the next couple of days. I was going to sneak one in tonight. According to the sheet I’m not supposed to eat anything for 12 hours and not supposed to drink anything but clear liquids. Well, certain beers are clear! I could just get one of those!

Then Ktreva started guarding the fridge with a marble rolling pin. I figured that maybe she’s not wanting me to drink a beer tonight. Sorry to disappoint everyone.

However, in the meantime, I have a question for everyone. While driving around the last couple of weeks I’ve actually started paying attention to the people driving the vehicles around me. Normally I just pay attention to the vehicle itself. In that time I’ve noticed that small females drive at least 66% of the large SUVs on the road. Is this something unique to my area or is this happening all over the place?

Posted by Contagion at 05:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 02, 2006

Illegal roughness?

What the hell is up with Tennessee’s defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth? This shmuck stomped on Andre Gurode’s helmetless face in yesterdays Titans Vs Cowboys game. During the halftime show of the Bears VS Seahawks debacle (That was almost as bad as the Bears Vs Packers game week 1), Chris Collinsworth stated that Gurode received 30 stitches; nothing I can find confirms it.

People, football is a game. It’s meant to be fun, sure tempers flare and the overpaid children get out of hand sometime. But it’s only a game. This goes above and beyond getting out of hand. This is just down right criminal. This is straight up aggravated battery. Gurode should call the police and file charges. Then he should get a lawyer and sue Haynesworth for damages. According to some of the articles I’ve read, Gurode is damn lucky not to have lost an eye. How the hell could any reasonably intelligent person think stomping on another persons face with spiked shoes was a good idea? Obviously he wasn’t thinking… or maybe he was, I did say reasonably intelligent, maybe Haynesworth isn’t… What would make someone do that? From all accounts, Gurode and Haynesworth never had any words or altercations. Why would anyone just randomly stomp on someone’s head?

What really gets me is that the NFL feels that the punishment for Haynesworth should be a 5 game suspension. True, that is unprecedented.

‚ÄúThat length of suspension represents the biggest on-field disciplinary action in league history. Charles Martin (Green Bay Packers) held the previous high for a suspension, sitting two games for his bodyslam of Bears (‚Äúpunky‚ÄĚ) quarterback Jim McMahon (It still makes me sick he got a Super Bowl ring with the Packers) on Nov. 23, 1986.‚ÄĚ

Items in parenthesis added by me

I’m sorry, but that’s not enough. Yes, he’s going to lose $38,014 a game, but he was slated to make $646,251 this year. Well that’s $190,070 that he wont earn, so he’s still going to make $456,181 this year. Excuse me while I don’t feel sorry for him. Now if they said his suspension was going to be in part because he’s serving a 6-month sentence at lock-up, I might feel better. Personally, I think his arse should be banned from the NFL. Blackball him, sure maybe it was a one time incident, but what if the next time he actually takes some guy’s eye out? Plus if the Titans cut him, from history we know that some other team will pick him up.

Some of you may think I’m over reacting. That I’m asking for too much. Let me put it this way, if it was you that just got stomped on in the middle of a game, wouldn’t you want more then to inconvenience the perpetrator? What if someone at your place of business battered you and you needed stitches, would you want more then them getting a 5-day suspension? You’d probably want to see them arrested and fired.

There is no place for this type of action in the NFL. I’m curious what the Dallas head coach Bill Parcels. During the halftime show one of the commentators stated that Parcels told Titan’s Head Coach, Jeff Fisher that if the NFL and Titans didn’t take what he felt was appropriate action, he was going to take the law into his own hands. Now, I haven’t seen anything that confirms that he actually said that. If it’s true, I’d like to see if and what he’s going to do.

As for now Haynesworth joins the list of players for which I have no respect.

Posted by Contagion at 03:32 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack