Thursday, July 29, 2004
A Week's Recap
Yeah, so my last post was over a week ago talking about Dan's marathon mud run. I hadn't felt I had anything really worthy of posting on here. Nothing's worse than posting a bunch of garbage about nothing that has happened. Well, ok there are worse things. But I dont want it to get dull here, ya know?!
So last weekend Brotha James from the big metropolis of Wichita Falls comes for a visit. It had been fairly cool and rainy outside, so the good old jetski had to stay in its parking place this time. Bummer. James brought his Xbox with him. Id never played an Xbox, so I thought... sure, why not. He also brought a football game called ESPN NFL 2K5. I'll have to admit, it was a pretty fun game. High in detail and lots of plays to pick from. We loaded it up and within a couple minutes, my Chicago Bears were ready to rumble. He beat me the first game, 27-14. Four turn-overs cost me. But, I now had learned the controls and was ready for a rematch. Second game... I killed him. haha I think the score was like 39-7. He wasnt happy, so we played again. Once again, Thorpe wins. By this time, James is getting upset. So we switch to Tiger Woods golf. This was a closer matchup. I only beat him once out of like 3 skins games. James was all smiles again. This went on for most of Saturday night. He was scheduled to stay until Monday morning. But then Sunday night came along. We decided to go out and rent Major League Baseball 2004 for the Xbox. First game, my Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox. James loses, but its close... 13-9. He demands a rematch but "tells me" I cant use the Cubbies. I see where this is going already. So I choose the Chicago White Sox. He, goes with the Texas Rangers. This is where things got ugly. In the seventh inning, down 4-3, with the bases loaded, James decided to sub out his pitcher. The new pitcher comes onto the field. James looks at me and says, "I hope you're ready for this guys fast ball!". Here's the pitch.... BOOM! I hit a Grand Slam so far out of the park, its probably still going. haha James finishes the game and decides he wants to go home that night. So, at 10:30pm, he packs his bags and drives the 2 hours back to Wichita Falls. James, if you're reading this.... don't be a sore loser and bring your Xbox over unless you're prepared to take a beating. You got that!!? :)
Tuesday night arrives and its another big game in my soccer league. We played another new, young team of players called "Team Ram-Rod". They were in 3rd place but we knew they'd put up a good fight. And they did. The entire first game was a defensive battle, ending in a 0-0 score. Both teams had good scoring chances, but just couldn't put it away. Second half starts and I'm on the first rotation in. During a scramble infront of our goal one of our defenders clears the ball deep past half field. Me and one of their defenders race for the ball, which is now traveling down the wall. Since he was a bit closer, he beats me there by a step. But, my shoulder charge knocks him off balance. He spins his body around to shield me off the ball and I begin trying to steal it away fast before he has full control. I quickly see he is going to use his right foot and pull the ball back and around me. I reach around with my right leg and sweep the ball away from him as he turns. He falls the to turf with a heavy thud and screams to the ref for the foul. I push the ball past him expecting to hear the whistle at any second. But... no whistle! Its now a break away with just me and the goalie. I pour on the speed knowing that defender is going to be on his feet, angery and wanting to stop me at all costs. I get within about 10 yards of the goalie and he starts to come off his line towards me. I push the ball to my left foot and quickly flick it to the near corner as the goalie was starting to approach. He falls to his left, expecting me to shoot to the far corner, while the ball rolls into the back of the net! Goal! After that, the scoring opened up. It was a back and forth game, they matched each of our goals with their own. Finally, we pulled away and won it 5-3. A very exciting game and a big win keeping my team in 2nd place and on course for the championship game at seasons end.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
FUNNY MOMENT IN HISTORY #2453 - Dan runs a military style endurance race through grueling mud, water and hills. But for some reason, out of 5000 runners in the event, Dan is the only one who chose to wear full military fatigues! This unfortunatly resulted in Dan having to carry an extra 45 pounds of mud and water in his pants for the entire 6 mile event and finishing mid-pack. Ah, he had so much potential... if only he too had worn his bikini.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Big Game, Big Win!
Tonight my soccer team was scheduled to play a new team to our division. Although we had not played them before, they already had a reputation as a tough team to beat. They had already defeated our divisions league champions from last season. This... was no easy feat. The team was the varsity players from a local high school. It was said they had all played together for 3 years and were in top physical shape.
Well the game starts and in the first 2 minutes of play, I score 2 goals! Both well placed shots found the back of the net and gave us an early surprise lead. Our advantage didnt last long. Late in the first half, they tied it up, 2-2. But my team continued to fight, scoring 2 more goals just before half time giving us a small cusion. The second half was much tighter. They went into an all out attack to even the score, but with each attack, we defended well. Actually this is the best defense Ive ever seen my team play. Passing lanes clogged, two defenders infront of them anytime they had the ball and Steve our goalie all over the place making saves! The night was ours with the game ending 5-3! At the end of the game, the other team seemed a bit shocked. Walking around with looks on their faces saying, "what just happened?". I'll tell you what happend... you got out played. To give them credit though, it was an extremely tough game.
Sunday, July 18, 2004
Recenly, Emily loans me several issues of a magazine called "National Geographic Adventure". It's a magazine for the outdoors hiker, camper, canoe'r, rock climber and general explorer type of person. The issues are filled with "how to's", "how to get there's" and "when to go's". They are also filled with beautiful pictures of what you will see once at these destinations. After reading almost all of the magazines in one weekend, I have come up with a list of places in the U.S. that are on my Must See list in the coming years.
First Stop: The Appalachain Trail. This 2,174 mile "walking" trail winds from Northern Maine down into Georgia. Now, I have no intensions to walk freakin two-thousand miles. For those who accomplish this, it can take up to a year! Id be happy to conquor 200 miles of this challanging trail. For me, this is the most do'able quest. Im an experienced camper and hiker, familiar with woodland survival skills and have most the equipment already. After a quick call to my buddy Dan in Cali, he was on board with the idea too. Plans for a March 2005 trip are slowly begining. Stay tuned over the coming months as I update how planning progress'. Odd's are, we'll pick up a third hiker to our party. You know... someone to use as a human shield for the bears. hahahaha
Second Stop: Alaska. This place is a photographers dream! Where else can you see glaciers, forrests and wild rivers? Definatly not Texas. No plans in the mix for this one, but it definatly wont be forgotten.
Third Stop: Hawaii. How can I hit Alaska without going South to see the other remote US state? For those that don't know, Hawaii was where most of Jurassic Park were filmed. The mountains and giant waterfalls, lava fields and miles of beaches should make for another great photog location. When I go there, it probably wont be in for form of wearing a backpack, boots and carrying a canteen. Most likely I'll be in a colorful shirt, shorts with no shoe's laying on a beach with my shades. Ha! So much to see there. Dan went there this past summer. His pic's were really great. Im sure I could talk him into going again.
Forth Stop: The Grand Canyon. Not only do I want to drive up to the edge of this little "creek" and take pictures... I want to go down into it and ride one of those boats down the river. Every picture I've seen of this place is incredible! A mile across, thousands of feet deep... what an adventure!!
Who know's how long it will take me to make it to all these places. But they are on my check list and on my radar now. It would be awesome to make it to all of them in the next 10 years. We can only wait and see.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Stupid rice cake!!!
While at work I try to stay somewhat healthy and fight off the late afternoon hunger monster by snacking on those flavored rice cakes. You know the ones that come in chocolate, carmel... etc. They really are bland but keep me from starving. Anyhow, so I bite into one today and the thing explodes. Well, shatters is more like it. As I brush all the crumbs off my shirt and pants Im thinking to myself, "I know one big piece broke off and fell on me". I look on the floor... nothing. I look on my clothes... nothing. I get up and look in my chair.... nothing. Hhhmm. Then a couple coworkers come in and we chat about some work issues. Nothing odd. I decided to walk down the hall and see what good buddy Craig is up to. He's not at his desk but my other buddy Sylvia is. I say, "whats up?" She looks at me and then gets a strange look on her face. "Whats that on your shoulder?!", she says. I look over on my right shoulder, just out of my periphial vision to see a one inch chunk of the rice cake just sitting on my shoulder... like some kind of dried parrot. I say, "oh! There you are!". Then I pick if off and pop it in my mouth. Sylvia about fell over laughing. She asks how long thats been there!? I say, about 15 minutes. After the explosion I couldn't find it! LOL I am amazed my coworkers didn't say anything about it...... WHILE I WAS TALKING TO THEM!! That was about the funniest highlight of my day.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
I did it... finally. Allow me to rewind the story. Four years ago I walked into a Best Buy store with the urge to expand my interest in photography. Thorpeland.com had just started and I needed a way to put pictures up on my site. I wanted a high end camera but couldnt afford the professional cameras, starting at $2000! What I found that day was a good little digital camera called a Sony Cybershot DSC-50. It was a 2.1 megapixel camera witha 6X zoom and a number of manual features that allowed me to takes some pretty sharp and creative pictures. At that time, 2.1MP camera's were near the top of the consumer choice tree. I paid $600 for that camera and believe me, I got my milage out of it.
Well as my photography skills grew, so did my desire for a better camera. After exahaustive research I found what I wanted... a Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel. This is the first sub-$1000 high end Digital SLR camera to hit the market. So, after a few months of saving up, I cashed in and bought one! For one "resonable" price I got the Digital Rebel, a 18mm-55mm lens, a 75mm-300mm lens, a cleaning kit, a camera bag and a 512MB CF memory card. Im all set! Photography taken to the next level. After just a few test snapshots outdoors, I can honestly say... WOW. The creative options with this camera are endless. Expect some really great photo's on thorpeland to come in the future!
Monday, July 12, 2004
After a busy busy weekend, I sit here early Monday morning at work with finally the chance to update things with a weekend wrap-up. Friday night Emily and I met up with our good friends Mike and Cheryl and went to see the new movie "Anchorman". This movie, along with "Dodgeball", has to be 2 of the funniest movies Ive seen in months. I laughed so hard in Anchorman, that I was in tears at one point. Maybe it was the campy jokes, maybe it was just Will Farrel... dont know. But anyone who doesnt find that movie funny needs to be checked for a pulse.
I slept in pretty late on Saturday. I was awoken by the phone ringing and my buddy Jimmy saying "are you ready to ride?!" One hour later, we're on the lake doing some wave jumping. This time, we brought Mike and Cheryl with us. I took turns giving everyone a ride on my SeaDoo. Everyone seemed to have fun.
Sunday started out very similar. I was out on the lake again by 2pm, this time with just Emily. By the time I got there, Jimmy was already out on the water. It was a perfect day. Not too hot, only about 90 degrees with a mild breeze. Apparently Im not the only one who thought it would be a good day for jetskiing. I must have seen 30 others out on the lake with personal watercraft (waverunners, seadoos, polaris, ect.). Including the type of rider I HATE. The idiots that make the game wardens, sheriffs and boaters in general dislike jetski'ers. If there is a "Slow- NO WAKE" zone, they fly right thru it full throttle. If there is a boat anchored, with people just relaxing and sunbathing, they ride right up to it to "check out" who's on the boat. I even saw one jetski with one kid driving and the other sitting on the front end of the bike, stradling the handlebars, facing the driver!! They drove around in circles, in the NO JETSKIING area for a while before falling over and off the watercraft. Where was the lake patrol when you needed them!? Geeze, and people wonder why jetskii'es get a bad image?
Overall it was a great weekend though. Im actually a bit worn out. I need a weekend from my weekend! :)
Friday, July 09, 2004
A Loaner Thorpe
Last night I was called up by my buddy Gregg to play on his Thursday night team. Im not an official player on his team but he put me on the roster as a reserve. His team plays in the B division. Well, despite not having a bad group of guys, we were beat 5-1 by a team of scrubs. It was 1-0 at half time, we were winning. Im not sure what happend. Funny thing though. There is a guy on the team named Colin who has his head shaved, similar to mine is now. He's a good player, but likes to hold on to the ball a bit long sometimes. If in trouble, he'll try to dribble his way out of it. Its just the way he plays. I on the other hand prefer to pass than to wear myself out. I think I held on to the ball maybe twice the entire game. So, after the game the hispanic goalie comes up to me and in extremely broken english, starts yelling at me for not passing the ball. He says "have you ever played soccer before!?", "why didnt you ever pass the ball?!". At first, I looked at him... then looked behind me thinking he must be talking to someone else. Then he says "no... you, im talking to you!!". Well, my instant reaction, knowing that in no way did I dribble too much said, "have you ever played goalie before because I didnt see you making a lot of saves?!". I had really made me angery that he said that. Because I couldnt understand why he thought thats how I had played. Then on the way home it hit me. He had to be confusing me and Colin for eachother. Both white boys... both shaved heads. I hope he gets halfway home also and thinks, wait, maybe it was the other one? Oh well, Im not letting it bother me anymore. I do blame DMAC for bringing over pizza and making me eat it before my game. I felt like I was running with a bag of lead in my gutt. No more pizza on game nights!!
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Wednesday, my coworker Paul invited me to go with him to 6 Flags Over Texas since he had an extra ticket. I thought, sure. I hadnt been in over a year and Emily had a season pass anyhow, so why not. I did my normal ritual of not eating anything heavy in the hours leading up to the trip. We left after work and arrived at the park around 6:30pm. The first ride everyone wanted to hit was The Titan. For those who have never rode on The Titan, its one bad boy of a roller coaster. It has one of the steepest, highest opening drop-offs of any modern roller coaster. The ride ends in a downward spiraling cork-screw, where the G-forces almost reach a black out level for me. The lines were short, so we were getting our seats on the coaster in no time. The ride went as expected, lasting all of about 2.5 minutes. But when we got off the roller coaster and started to walk.... Uh-Oh. I could feel it. Nausea in the head and stomach had me on the verge of a full blown projectile vomit. But I focused and avoided a technicolor yawn. The only down side to that was that I was unable to go on any other rides the rest of the night. I did manage to get aboard the Mine Train, a rollercoaster for those who cant handle or dont like real roller coasters. But that even almost made me sick again. We left the park and I hit the sack immediatly. I was asleep in 30 seconds flat. No joke. This morning, I felt better but not 100%. I can still feel the remnants of the extreme motion. Even as I type this and think about the roller coaster I get a little nauseated. Blah! I guess this tells me something. I am not cut out to be a astronaut or a jet fighter pilot. I can live with that.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
I just read this article on CNET. http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3513-5142439.html?tag=cnetfd.plug
Its talking about how badly and easily Microsofts Internet Explorer is being cracked and used to steal banking and other log in info! Normally im not one to give much concern. But the way its being done, can bye-pass any safe measures currently being used! The article suggests trying a new browser. One they reccomended is called Firefox by Mozilla. Im using it now, and I have to say, im impressed. Check it out.
This is what CNET had to say in their article.
"Bail on Internet Explorer--now
The crisis with Internet Explorer is so bad that the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) now recommends that you move away from Microsoft Internet Explorer. You have Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.7, and Opera 7.5 to choose from. However, there is much excitement surrounding Mozilla's new Firefox browser, currently in beta, if only because Firefox reunites several original Netscape developers."
The Kings New Clothes
If you are a frequent visiter to the Thorpeblog you should be noticing right about now that things look different. Ive redesigned the blog's look. Pretty sharp if you ask me! And to top it off, ive added the ability for you, the reader, to add a comment to a posting. So, if you look in the bottom right of each post, you will see the word "Comment". Click it and say what you want back to me. Of course, if I dont like it or I dont like you... i'll just delete it anyhow. :) I wasnt going to enable the ability to post comments but my good friend Therese, who is an avid Thorpeblog reader, really wanted to leave me comments. So, here it is. New look, comments enabled!
My Music, My Way
I was recently reading an article on the various "Legal" music download sources and how they are all battling now over which should be the standard music format. Companies such as Apple, Music Match, Roxio and Napster have each opened online music stores and each have tied each of them closely to a music playing device. For example, Apples "iTunes" has a slick download interface and a great choice of music to purchase. But, all the music is in their proprietary format with the extension ".aa". I guess it stands for Apple Audio, or something similar. In this article I was reading, Apple was so proud to announce that the only way to take the music you buy from them on the road was to purchase an Apple iPod. Because that is all their music would play on. Besides the PC itself of course. Ha! If I buy the music, I'll play it on whatever I want. So despite the millions ($$$) Apple spent on perfecting their iTunes times iPod equals big sales equation, it took me 5 minutes to circumvent it and play the music how I wanted. Basically here's all I did. Within iTunes, I created my play list of songs I had purchased and clicked on "Burn to CD". iTunes automatically converts the songs to the ".cda" format. This format, along with ".wav", is used by all home and car CD players. Once my CD was burned, I simply fired up a program called "FreeRIP". As the name declares, its free and it also rip's the ".cda and .wav" files from the CD and converts them into the music industries dreaded ".mp3". Once the file is on my hard drive as an MP3, I can burn it to CD's, make copies to other PC's... whatever I want. And since I have an MP3/CD player in my car, I just load up my music to go on a CD. Take that Apple. As slick as they are, I now have no need for your $400 iPod.
Meanwhile, On the Recieving End...
If you read back a few posts, you will read about my soccer teams opening match where we beat the other team 15-0. Well, after playing our second game, we've been brought back down to earth. We went up against the leagues top team and lost 14-5. Ouch. Granted, we played like crap as a team, our starting goalie was out and we had a couple new players join this game. We get one more shot at them this season, it will be time for some payback. :(
Monday, July 05, 2004
Man, I didnt know how badly I needed these past few days off of work. I was really getting worn out. I feel totally rejuvinated after the past 3 days off. And I still have the rest of today and tomorrow off! Its been a great 4th of July weekend so far. Friday night, Emily and I played putt-putt and rode go-carts. It was a lot of fun and she insists that the highest score in putt-putt declares the winner. In that case, she won... by a very large margin. Ha! In the go-cart catagory I expected a rough and tumble race from the little speed racer. Turns out, she got the slowest cart on the track and everybody was passing her. LOL Oh well, maybe next time.
Saturday started out with Emily and I meeting Jimmy at the lake for an afternoon of jetskiing. It was a ton of fun and we covered miles of lake! Party cove was super packed. Must have been 100 boats there! We had fun jumping the large boat wakes and flying across a fairly calm lake. Only later in the day did things get rough out on the open water. That night we met up with Cheryl and Mike and headed over to Fouts Field stadium to watch a huge fireworks show. It was pretty good, although a bit short. Lasted about 25 minutes. At least it was free.
Sunday I took Emily up to my parents house for a cookout and to shoot off some fireworks. It was a lot of fun and the food was great. Fireworks went off smooth. I didnt blow off any hands or my face! Always makes for a successful 4th, dont you agree?
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Tick Tock, Tick Tock...
Its Thursday, 4:28pm. Im on vacation tomorrow and because of that the clock hates me. I think it even went backwards 2 minutes! Its dead quiet here at work and getting difficult to find stuff to do to help time pass. So I figured I'd blog for a few minutes. I was just given the new Novell SUSE Linux 9.1 install. Should be intesting since I know just a microscopic ounce about Linux. Although Im trying to learn. Microsofts days as king of the hill are numbered. Might as well start learning the next big thing.
So, what am I going to do on my extended vacation/4th of July weekend? Hopefully get caught up on some sleep, do a lot of jetskiing at the lake, finish repairing my buddies laptop, visit my parents, clean my apartment, bathe the hermit crabs and work on any other projects I can think of that ive been putting off. Seems like a lot now that I look back at what ive typed. Oh yeah, I'll also have to watch some fireworks go off Saturday night.
Nothing beats a free lunch and thats what I got today. I found in my wallet a gift card to Johnny Carino's Italian restaurant that I left from my birthday in September. I found out I also still had $15 left on the card! Cha-ching! Free lunch. It was sooo good, but after lunch I was painfully stuffed. Im just now getting to where I can breath without leaning way back in my chair.
Well hopefully I'll take some cool pics this weekend and have something worth posting on thorpeland.com.