Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cabin Fever

Taking a page from tasteskindaminty.blogspot.com*, I have decided to write about a childhood memory. Well, on the fringe of my childhood. The Winter of 2000. When I was either 17 0r 18 my friend Henry and I had an opportunity to house and dog sit for my grandma who unfortunately was getting heart surgery. We had now idea what we were in for.

My Grandma lives in the southwest corner of Wyoming in Evanston. For all of you that do not know what Evanston is like.....well your not missing much. Its right on the edge of the prairie so you have a little bigger hills than the majority of what you would see driving across the state. It is pretty in its barren, desolate way i guess, but it is an aquired beauty.

To give one an idea of the economy and what its like there seems to be about three things the city thrives off:
1. Truck Stops and Gas Stations.
2. Fireworks and Liquor Stores (usually connected for optimal safety! and usually thriving with Utards. That way one can get their 'real' booze and explosives all in one stop. I actualy think that there is an 'adult' store some where in the mix of all this too.... )
3. Wal-Mart (yes the evil empire has it strangle hold on this small community. Sad.)

But I digress...

My Grandmas house is in a nice neighborhood on the edge of town, on top of a hill, that overlooks the entire valley the town in nestled in. I'm pretty sure that we arrived at fairly late at night to the usual cold temperatures that engulf Evanston in the winter. We went to sleep fairly quickly and woke up to a blizzard. This was an actual blizzard. White out, windy, drifts and one of the first symptoms of cabin fever.

Henry and I did what any other kids would do in this situation. We raided Grandmas kitchen. Well, actually more of her freezer. The first day we successfully ate pretty much all of the frozen delicatecs that my Grandma had amassed. We instantaneously moved on to scrounging. Looking back we could have cooked something pretty good, but come on, who wants to cook! We also had a cooler full of soda and other random snacks that we devoured in the first day.

You might ask why we didn't just leave the house to venture to one of the gas stations, truck stops, or even to the wal-mart to restock our supplies. But like I said before there was a blizzard and so much snow that we were literally snowed in.

Not knowing anyone in town we were at the mercy of the elements. It did not help that our vehicle selection was as good as a boat in the middle of the Sahara. I was driving a little 2-wheel drive Ford Ranger, my Grandma actually had a boat, an old Mercury, and last but not least we had my Dads BMW. We were there till the snow stopped, whether we liked it or not. Or at least till they plowed the roads, which they never ended up doing...we were stuck for the duration.

As the cabin fever started to set in we started did what any normal teenagers would do. We ate more, watched more TV, ate some more, harassed the dogs. Then repeated. We had brought a couple of movies with us (these were actually VHS, not DVD's which is still better than film strips like my dad had) and as we would finish a movie, because of sheer boredom, we would simply rewind and watch the exact movie over. I'm sure that over the course of this entrapment we watched the same movie easily six or seven times. Isn't the definition of crazy; to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?

That night the dogs would not go out. We looked and decided that it was most likely because the snow was so deep. How deep we didn't know, we our selves hadn't been out for hours. This made it an easy decision to use the dogs for an experiment to see just how deep it actually was. We tossed the dogs down in to the snow and they immediately disappeared in to the snowy abyss. The most entertaining part of this however was not the throwing, but rather watching the dogs jump out of the snow. They looked like a mix of a dolphin swimming next to a ship, and a gazelle darting from a cheetah! It was amazing how high and fast the dogs made it back inside.

Being the dogs only protectors, we decided that we should make a proper place for the dogs to poop. In retrospect we had so much built up energy from not doing anything that we need to burn off some juice. We ended up making a fortress that would have rivaled anything Calvin and Hobbes could have built. We had seven flying buttresses, three guard towers, a moat, and three snow alligators to keep other dogs out, and our dogs from escaping, unless it was racing over our working draw bridge to attack intruders.

Unfortunately the dogs figured out that the alligators had more bark (or is it hiss?) than bite. As they walked through the moat we could hear them snicker at the gators who ironically were crying big alligator tears. Who knew they actually did that! After exchanging un-plesentaries they quickly spent the rest of their time in unsafe, deep, snow. But dogs will be dogs.

With the dogs enjoying there own place to plop a squat Henry and I, in full snow gear were not ready to go in. We spotted a sizable drift and quickly decided that we needed to to make a snow cave. In matter of minutes we had a nice small cave constructed that was big enough for one person comfortably, or two very uncomfortably. We quickly got bored with taking turns laying in the cave so we decided to make things interesting. We stripped down to our shorts and took turns laying in the snow cave. Did i mention that it was a whopping 20 below zero. Laying around in the snow got very cold quickly, obviously, so we decided to run across the street to hit up the the ginormous hill to try our hand at some late night blizzard sledding.

It was amazing. Gliding down the hill it was exilherating. Especially the snow in my face, and my body screaming protest as the first stages of hypothermia and frostbite set. But non of this mattered. We were being manly men! Who else, other than a man, would strip down to their skivvies, climb into snow caves and go sledding in minus 20 degree weather?

As we stumbled back inside to get warm we realized that having a little cabin fever would make you do some crazy things. I was glad what when I looked over at the dogs and, Henry for that matter, I didn't see two little Cornish Game Hens running around and a large drumstick looking back at me. I am from Colorado after all, I learned about the Donner party. To the dogs, as well as Henry's luck after a good night of rest the sun came out and started to melt the snow as well as well as breaking my fever.

The next day we decided to venture into town for supplies. By supplies, I am referring of course to Wendy's! After feasting on a greasy smorgasboard of fast food goodness, we stopped and got some other necessities such as mountain dew, chips, and corn nuts and headed back up the hill to re-enter our temporary stockade. There was one problem however. My tiny truck could not make it up the 'little hill' to Grandmas house. Snow+bad tires+plus a 2 wheel drive truck=going no where with any sort of incline. Luckily a friendly neighbor was coming home from the corner liquor store and offered us a ride just as we started our trek up the hill.

After one more night of overcoming the symptoms of cabin fever we were able to escape to the highway to spend a day skiing in Park City. This turned out to be the proper therapy that we needed and we overcame the fever and both of us have been in remision for the past 8 years.

I suggest to any one who has a chance of catching the fever to be prepared. Bring a few small house dogs, lots of junk food, movies, and a 4 wheel drive. It keeps this deadly itis from infecting you, as well as helping you beat any symptoms you may get from full blown Cabin Fever.

*thats dinner, right Dad?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Frenchies part Deux

After showing my roommate my last post about the inteligence of the French, my roommate Dan, gave me a quote of a fellow American who has the same sentiment as I do about our French comrades.

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in french, I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.
-Mark Twain

If anyone else has come across any other quotes I would love to hear them!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Proof That Frenchies are the Dumbest People Alive

I, like my brother-in-law, (author of theotherdrummer.com as well as livsimpl.com)* share a strong distaste for Frenchies. I could write a list to why I don't like them, but I don't have enough time as well as space on this blog to do so. I thought instead that I would but a video that pretty much says it all!

This is a video from the French version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The best part about this video is that it shows the collective stupidity of all the audience, who when polled answered the question the wrong.

So with out further delay I present a stupid French guy!

*David that plug just cost you buying me dinner!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Been Awhile...

So it has been a couple of days since my last post so I thought that I would write something realy quick!

First off, The NY Giant are the Super Bowl Champs! They beat the highly favored New England Patriots who were, up to the super bowl, undefeated. Eli Manning showed his resiliency and brought home the championship! One of the best parts about Eli wining is that it comes just one year after his brother won the Super Bowl for the Colts....I love Football!!

Secondly, The commercials were sub-par. I was very disappointed I have to say. I think that this was one of the the worst years for ads that I can remember! Which is to bad for all the companies that had ads since this was the biggset crowd ever to watch a Super Bowl.

Third, although I should have learned from past experiences, if you eat something that burns going in, its gonna burn coming out. Especially if you eat it on an empty stomach....'nugh said!

Fourth, Girls are like a rubiks cube. Only a few people can actually figure them out. A lot of times you might have one side figured out, but it usually gets messed up when you work on another side.

Fifth, Frank Sintra is still the man and the new Foo Fighters CD is good.

I think that is about it for now. I have a few other ideas knocking around that I will hopefully get on paper soon enough!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Turn into your skid......Or be really lucky!

As I was meandering through digg.com tonight I came across this video of a high speed chase. I have to say this is some pretty amazing driving. Makes me kinda want to try my hand at eluding officers! OK, not really....but you can imagine right? Anywho, I thought that this would be even better with the Benny Hill song playing over it....but I don't know how to do that, so imagine!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Running Makes You Not Fat

I have recently decided to not be fat anymore and to take up running. I ran three days this week and was planning on taking Friday off, and then running again today (Saturday). I was busy for the better part of the morning and early afternoon and thought around 3:00 pm would be a good time to go. Apparently I was wrong.

I have been running at the School because the facilities are nice, free, and are usually not full of meatheads looking for a mate, or plastic girls showing off there recently augmented plastic parts ( this is, by the way, an exaggerated stereotype, although David may fit in the meathead department! :) ). I arrived at the school to find that all the doors to work out rooms are locked up tight. With no one in sight to let me sneak in I settle for plan B: The tiny work out room in our apartment complex. As I walk in, I am meet first with a blast of 85 degree air that smells like a mix of an old bowling ally, my left foot, and the bathroom after my Dad has had a large meal. There were two other guys working out that I assume were the main contributers of this robust aroma.

Reminding myself that not being fat is the ultimate goal, I put my shoes on and settled unto a treadmill to start my warm up. As I walked, getting lose to prepare for my long journey to no where, I looked in the mirror that covers the entire wall in front of me and see that my head is coming a little to close to the celling. If you happened to read my last post you will learn that I am not tall at all, or as my Dad says, I'm 'above average'. I decide to switch to the next treadmill over to warm up and run. After a brisk 5 minute, 3 mph warm up walk I bump the speed up to a whooping 6.5 mph. Feeling confident with the speed I take about 3 strides when the machine shuts off. Apparently this treadmill doesn't like to have people run on it. I try again hoping that it was just being irascible. Turns out that it is really just a big piece of rubbish that has does not work properly worked. (did I just say rubbish?)

I promptly switch back to the original treadmill, get it up to speed, and find that it makes a horrible creaking....or breaking...or just one of those bad sounds that you know isn't right. But I push on knowing that running will make me not fat. After the first couple minutes my mind finally is puts at ease that I will not hit my head on the celling. Then something exciting happens. I know you are wonder what possibly could be exciting on a treadmill in and room that is 85 degrees and smells like an old bowling ally, my left foot, and the bathroom after my Dad has had a large meal. Well I will tell you! The tread decided to stop spinning randomly until it felt the pressure of my foot hitting it. I don't know if any of you have actually experienced it but I have found it similar (in a very loose way) to slipping on ice when you try to run on it catching patches of snow that kinda act like traction. It actually doesn't give justice to what it is really like but that is the only thing that comes to mind.

I am known to be clumsy. Especially when I am trying to impress a girl, or need to do something important. I have never had a real problem being clumsy before on a treadmill before, so I was caught completely off guard when I tripped. Luckily I caught my self on the nifty safety bars. (This is another time when my lower center of gravity has come into handy.) I at least wanted to run a mile and was little over half way done when the first trip occurred. I stuck it out and actually ran a pretty good mile time of about 12:00 minutes. Which is fairly good considering I haven't ran that much in the past year.

I contemplated running for another 20 minutes or so outside but quickly put that thought out of my mind because the second I stepped out side I saw steam rise from my face and shirt. On my way home my hair started to freeze so I am sure I made the right decision. Anywho that was my late afternoon. Pretty lame, but you are reading this, so I guess that its not that bad!