Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Renter's Dilemma

Renting a house has some nice benefits. The lack of a large mortgage payment probably being the nicest, at least at this point in our lives. (And yes, I've heard renting is throwing money away...but that's a whole other story)

But, The main benefit is the fact that we don't have to worry about doing the home or yard maintenance. The landlord takes care of the maintenance. And he hires a landscaping guy to cut the grass.

However, I still can't keep myself from wanting to work on little improvements here and there. But, besides making sure the landlord doesn't object, I also have to decide whether the time and money I might spend on the project is worth it. Since we'll only get to enjoy the fruits of that labor for the time we are renting here. So for the most part I've only fixed things around the house that we're pretty easy (and cheap).

But, when it comes to the yard, I think we could go kind of crazy, especially as the weather turns nice. As mentioned, we have a guy who cuts the grass, but other than that the yard is pretty much left alone.

As spring time emerges the flowerbeds are beginning to sprout with all types of green buds and leaves. The trick is trying to figure out what is a weed and what is meant to be there. I'd feel kind of bad if I started ripping out plants that are supposed to be there. As a result, we haven't done much with the flower beds, yet.

We did splurge and plant a bunch of tulip bulbs, last fall. They are now starting to emerge...

Tulips, I like. They're nice and low maintenance. "Set it and forget it"

And last week I finally broke down and bought some grass seed to patch a mysterious crop circle that has been in our backyard since we moved in. The squirrels and I have stared at it long enough. Plus, I think the neighbors cat was using it as a public toilet. None of us need that.
Bye, bye crop circle. Hopefully, it wasn't an intergalactic stop sign.

So, that's the current sum of our yard improvement projects right now. The joys of renting. Actually, we just received security clearance from the landlord to do what we want with the flowerbeds. So, we're gonna spend a nice little Saturday at Home depot and pick up some flowers, as the yard needs a little more color. Maybe, I'll even post some pictures on this here blog.

Don't worry, I've got some better blogging topics on the horizon. I know I keep saying that...but I really do. Can a blog go through a slump?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Crazy to think that there are only 24 days until the wedding. It's very exciting. But, it's also a little overwhelming as we try and figure out all those last details of where things should go and when things should happen. I've planned a lot of events in my day , but none of them can really compare to this experience.

On the plus side, the wine arrived last week...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bracket Busted

That ripping sound you heard on Saturday was several million people (including myself) ripping up their brackets once Kansas lost. Since I had Kansas winning the entire tournament, my bracket went down in flames with that loss.

On the bright side the Huskies are still in it. So, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the tournament. Hopefully the Huskies can get a few more wins!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

After Round 1

After Round 1

I'm 21 for 32. Yesterday went 12 and 4. Didn't lose anymore Sweet 16 teams. But, it's painfully clear by now that I don't know college basketball very well and that these blog posts arent't that interesting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Madness after day 1-Broken but not busted

What a crazy first day of the tournament. The highlight for me by far is the Huskies rallying to beat Marquette. A great game. So glad to sse the Dawgs advance. Makes me not really care about my bracket.

Speaking of my bracket, it took a bit of a beating on day one.

The Bad:
-Went 9 and 7 during the first day. Was on the wrong side of most of the upsets and most of my upset picks didn't happen. Although I did pick UW.
-Lost 2 of my Sweet 16 teams
-Worst start I've ever had on day 1.

The Not So Bad:
-Still have my winner
-Still have my final 4
-Still have my elite 8
We'll see if that's the case at the end of the day.

That's about it. We'll see how Day 2 goes. Hopefully, more great games.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Madness Update

Hmmm, a few upsets. Too bad I didn't predict them.

Murry State upset Vanderbilt. Which hurts, because I had Vanderbilt winning two games. And then St. Mary's is about to defeat Richmond, which I did not have.

I did correctly predict Kansas St over N. Texas and Baylor over Sam Houston St. (not rocket science)

Definitely not a strong start for my bracket. But, the games have been exciting, which is really the most important part.

Madness Underway

Okay, the first 3 games are done. And if this is foreshadowing of things to come, I may be in trouble.

Some very close games and an upset.

For the first 3 games I had Notre Dame, BYU and Villanova all winning.

Well, Notre Dame was upset and lost. Not a huge hit for my bracket, as I had them losing their next game, but still a weak start for me.

And then we had BYU needing two overtimes to get past Florida. I'm saying it now, my pick of BYU getting to the Elite 8 was the dumbest pick on my bracket. Oh well, at least they got through the first round.

And finally in a huge game, Villanova was almost upset by Robert Morris University, but pulled it out in overtime.

So, for the first three games I went 2 for 3 with my picks. And the one loss didn't hurt my bracket too bad. But, all the games were too close for comfort.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My 2010 NCAA Bracket Predictions

This posting contains sports content, that may bore some. Also, click here, if you'd like to learn more about this subject or just want to read something more interesting.

Above, you can see a blurry some what crooked image of my 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket. Basically, it's my predictions for what teams I think are going to win and advance in the tournament.

Now, I'm not a college basketball junky, but I think I've entered some type of March Madness pool or another for the last seven or eight years. I've never spent more than $10 to play. And I've never won. I think I finished third one year and maybe got 20 bucks out of the deal. So, needless to say I'm not an expert at this. I tend to go with my gut on my picks and don't spend a ton a time looking at the stats. I know people who will spend hours and hours pouring through information trying to pick a winning bracket. It's really a crap shoot. They say you have a better chance at winning the lottery than selecting a all the games correctly in a bracket.

For the most part, it seems like you pick a few upsets in the first round and then advance a combination 1, 2 ,3, 4 seeds to the elite 8. And then a combination of 1, 2 and 3 seeds to the final four depending on who you feel good about. You could just take all four number one seeds to the final four, but that rarely happens. So, I usually do a couple number ones and a two or three. (What I just wrote makes total sense to me in my head, but upon reading it back it may be the least coherent paragraph I've ever written on this blog. And that's saying a lot. Bare with me.)

A few things about my selections.

-To be honest, I'm not feeling good about this years bracket. I did fairly well last year, so I'm expecting my bracket to get busted by about 4:00 on Friday.

-Like a lot of people, I have Kansas winning it all. They just seem to be the best team in the country this year.

-I have three number 1 seeds (Kansas, Syracuse, Duke) and a number 2 (West Virginia) in the final four. Conventional wisdom says this is too many number 1 seeds in the final four. I think Duke is the least likely to make it to the final four of the ones I picked, but I don't know who's likely to upset them, so I left them. I think Kansas and Syracuse have a strong shot at the final four. And I just feel good about West Virginia getting on a role. But, what the hell do I really know?

-I have BYU making some noise and getting on a role all the way to the elite 8. That may be a dumb pick.

-I'm being a homer and have the Huskies getting two wins in the tournament and making it to the Sweet 16. I just can't root against UW, even if it is far fetched.

-I think Gonzaga is in trouble and have them getting knocked out in their first game.

-Other than a few other minor upsets, I played it kind of safe.

So, that's it. We'll see how it goes. The first 16 games are Thursday, with another 16 on Friday. So, by the end of Friday, I should have a good idea if I'm still in it. I'll blog a few updates about how my bracket fares. The sooner I'm eliminated the sooner it's back to sweet randomness and mutant strawberry postings. You decide if that is good or bad.

Oh, and Happy St. Patricks Day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March Madness

I'm excited about this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament.

So, in order to provide some content for my blog that doesn't involve mutant strawberries or complaints about my job rescue, I'm going to post a few posts about how my 2010 NCAA tournament bracket does this year in the office pool. (You're probably asking how I'm participating in an office pool without having an office, well fortunately one of my former employer's office pools is open to former employees, so I'll be taking advantage of that.)

The first step is to fill out my bracket. However, I need to do a little more research before I finish selecting my teams...once I do that...I'll post my selections here...stay tuned. Fair warning if my teams get blown out in the first round...I'll probably stop blogging about it :). If you have no idea what I'm talking about right this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random Update

Okay, it's been a while since we spoke. Here's what we've been up to and the results.

Saturday, We went for about a 14 mile bike ride. Started off at Warren G Magnuson park and rode up a little passed Kenmore on the Burke-Gilman trail. Weather was amazing. Sunny and about 60. Keep in mind this is March.

Result: I rediscovered how much fun a bike ride can be. And how painful it can be. My butt still hurts.


What: We bought some strawberries and one of them was over half the size of an apple.

Result: I'm concerned about what they are using to water these strawberries.


Helped the guys brew 20 gallons of beer in the last week.

Result: Burned a good 4.5 hours for each 10 gallons. But, In a few weeks we'll have 20 gallons of beer. 10 gallons of Pale and 10 gallons of Amber. Can't complain about that.


What: A week or so ago, I had two phone interviews, six different in person interviews at 45 minute each and an hour interview with a committee of seven people. All with one company for one job.

Result: Still looking for a job and considering a career change.


Wedding planning continues to come together. Wedding invitations went out. Some RSVP's have come back. We booked our wedding DJ. 75 percent of his music is on vinyl. Sweet.

Result: Things our coming together. Our wedding guests won't have to sit and stare at each other in silence.


What: Went for a run around greenlake on a nice day.

Result: My legs hurt. Greenlake is still crazy busy on a nice day. We're going to pay for this nice weather. Just you wait.


What: I did a little event production contract work for a welcome home ceremony held for the Winter Olympians from the Seattle area down at Westlake Center last week.

Result. Enjoyed working this event. Nice people. But, I concluded that if people see a bunch of people standing in line, they'll join that line of people waiting even before they know what those people are waiting in line for. People are funny.


What: Played my Nintendo Wii for the first time in about 4 months.

Result: Concluded that If I'm currently unemployed and don't have time to play video games but once every four months, when am I ever going to have time to play video games again once I do rescue a job. I miss being 10 years old...scratch that thought...I couldn't drink beer when I was 10.

What: Tonja made this home made pizza from scratch.

Result: We ate it. It was good.


What: I just blogged about pizza, brewing beer, mutant strawberries, job interviews, video games, wedding djs, bike rides, running, greenlake, the weather, and some other random stuff.

Result: I have an updated blog. (I didn't say it was a good updated blog, but at least it's updated)

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