Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Memorial Day


This is a representative photo of one of my favorite features of Madison. Actually, it's located in Middleton WI, which is just outside of Madison. Several times throughout the year (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.), the local VFW lines the medians of the streets with American flags. For more pictures, check out the Flickr Set.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Goombas and Troopas and Bowzer, oh my!

Back when I was a kid, Super Mario Brothers was the greatest game that ever existed and to this day, I would still rank it pretty highly. My brother and I would spend countless hours in front of the tv playing this game with the hopes of saving Princess Toadstool. For whatever reason, I don't think we ever actually accomplished this task. It certainly wasn't for a lack of trying, and we probably only gave up when the SUPER Nintendo was released and we were in awe of the amazing 16-bit graphics that this new system provided.

I recently got a Nintendo Wii for my birthday (thanks Mom and Dad!) and one of the neat features of modern gaming systems is the ability to purchase games online and download them directly to the gaming system. The online catalog of games contains both newer releases as well as classic favorites. While scrolling through the selection, I came across the original Super Mario Brothers. It was at that moment that I realized resistance was futile. I was going to download this game.

I've put in a decent amount of time playing this game lately too, and it is truly remarkable how much of it I can remember. I sometimes look back through my high school and college classmates on Facebook and can't remember a decent number of them, and I have pretty much no recollection of anything I learned in Organic Chemistry (assuming I ever really understood anything in that class anyway). Heck, I usually can't remember what I ate for lunch the previous day. But for some reason, I immediately remembered the exact brick to jump into in world 1-2 in order to get the 1UP mushroom, and that the warp zone to world 4 was hidden at the end of this level. And while it may seem to be a trivial accomplishment to some, I can finally say that I have rescued the princess! An accomplishment over 20 years in the making....

Oh yeah, and I STILL hate those little hammer-throwing turtle guys.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Play Ball!

Jenelle and I spent our afternoon at the Brewers game today. It was a part of one of these birthday celebrations where the birthday boy/girl plans several days of activities and expects all of his/her friends to attend each and every one of them. Ordinarily, I'm not a big fan of such occasions, but those that know me will realize that I can't pass up a good baseball game.

Today, the Brewers were taking on the Cardinals. Being that I currently live in Wisconsin, yet I have lived in Missouri, I really didn't care much who won the game. I just hoped for a good game with some great plays, and I think I got what I asked for. Offensively, Ryan Braun was a monster, with two home runs today to the delight of the home crowd. On top of that, it looked like the Cardinals might be able to mount a bit of a comeback in the 9th inning. Troy Glaus stepped up to bat and hit a long fly ball to deep right field. On most days, this would have been a home run and perhaps a momentum shift for the visiting team. Today, however, Corey Hart seemed to come out of nowhere to jump over the fence and pull the ball back in the park. The ball came loose and Glaus got a double, but that play really energized the crowd and seemed to energize the team too.

You might be wondering what that picture is at the top of the post today. Those are, indeed, very large sausages. It's a bit of a tradition in Milwaukee to have a sausage race during the game between innings. Some teams might resort to having an animated race on the jumbotron, but in Milwaukee they have people dress up in large sausage costumes. The cast of characters includes Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Italian Sausage, Hot Dog, and of course, Chorizo. Chorizo has to be my favorite...probably because they put just about every Latin stereotype into this costume yet no one seems to mind. For more information on the sausage race, you can check out this site.

I've really gotten to enjoy taking pictures at the ballpark, so I also took a bunch of pictures that you can check out below.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spring has sprung

It's been a long time since our last posting. There's really no good reason. Perhaps it had something to do with the winter. The cold, the shorter days, and oh yeah...the 101 inches of snow we had here in Madison this winter. Don't get me wrong...I like snow as much as the next guy, and probably even more. I recall the first snowfall of this past winter. It was on December 1st and I believe I said something like "It's snowing! Awesome!". Four months and 100+ inches of snow later, I was saying something like "It's snowing...Awesome....". Sometimes punctuation can make all the difference.

Things have been in bloom here lately and Jenelle and I took the opportunity this morning to head over to the Madison Farmer's Market. It is really one of my favorite parts of Madison. There are dozen of vendors selling all sorts of items, and the location on the Capitol Square can't be beat. It has become a bit of a tradition for Jenelle and I to start it off with breakfast at Gotham Bagels, a great little bagel shop just off of the Square. They definitely seem to have the best bagels in town, but I suppose that isn't hard when the alternatives seem limited to Bruegger's and Einstein Brothers. But beyond the food, I think I like the atmosphere the best. I don't know the history behind the store, but I'm pretty sure it was founded by at least one true New Yorker, and I feel like I can appreciate (and pronounce) the names of many of the items on the menu, such as the Long-Guy-Land or the Massapequa.

After a great breakfast, we headed out to the Square to see what items were for sale. Typically, the Farmer's Market has a bunch of stands where they sell flowers, plants, vegetables, baked good, and of course cheese (this is Wisconsin, after all). There are also some slightly unusual things at the Farmer's Market, yet they retain some kind of small-town charm that probably adds to the experience. I tend to keep an eye out for some of the signs at the stands, such as this one or this one. Even better are some of the salespeople as well. Today we saw a guy selling donuts that appeared to be lifted from a Dr. Seuss book, as well as a man peddling his honey.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008