Tuesday, October 27, 2009

True Fall Food

Had a great fall culinary experience tonight, so I thought I'd share it.

I had some homemade pot roast with roasted carrots and potatoes and cabbage. Oh my word, oh my word. So few words can describe the sheer simple, hearty deliciousness of such a meal on a late-fall evening. If you have someone who knows how to slow-roast beef with all kinds of spices and other good bits and pieces of edible awsomeness, plead with them to cook for you one day. All credit goes to Big J on this one, thanks Madre!!

The food itself is warm, aromatic and the epitome of comfort food. Such a meal can actually make you appreciate the season or weather in which the meal is enjoyed during. You dig in and...BOOM! Especially if the meal is something you've enjoyed since you were young, this will always take you to a warm, comforting place.

What social lubricant can add immessurable pleasure to your dining experience? Soft drinks can't touch it, and don't even bring juice into this conversation, that's for the kiddy table.
Wine? Well wine can certainly be an excellent compliment to certain foods in the right situation, it's not really very versatile, especially with the hearty late-season fare we're enjoying tonight.
What about a crispy yet bland and ricey light beer from a major international corporation?
While those have their place, I would put those closer to the soft drink category with a 3% abv. level.

What else my friends, than a gorgous, carefully and lovingly created local craft beer?? Eureka!!
When you pair the right food with the right craft beer in the right season, you my friend reach a special level of meal enjoyment that few are lucky enough to reach. Tonight, we paired a delicious and highly-seasonal Bell's brew from Kalamazoo, Michigan with our roast. Bell's Octoberfest beer has just enough maltiness to swim in harmonious symphony with the rich, carmelization of our roast. A brown ale would also have fit the meal perfectly, but I had some of this excellent beer sitting around for a couple weeks and I wanted to have some of it while still fresh.

A good craft beer is a culinary experience in itself, so sit back and enjoy. All you need is one.

Here's to good eating and slowing down to enjoy the little things in life once in a while!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Waiting for the Good Stuff!

Yes, yes, I know it's been a few days since I've updated. I'd been waiting for the weekend as I knew I'd have the good stuff to post!

So, let's begin Friday night. My friend's Dan, Eric and I decide to join the Grand Rapids Griffins for their 14th season opener. For the 14th year, it's a sell out. For the first time in those 14 years, it happens to be a $1 beer and hot-dog night...SCORE.

A wonderful back and fourth game saw the home-team coming away with a 5-3 win.

Switching gears momentarily, the Griffins decided to give out 5,000 glow-in-the-dark plastic mugs at the game. They looked great during the intro, glowing all over the stands. But with 4 seconds to go in the game, as the Griffins scored an empty-net goal, almost all 5,000 mugs rained down upon the ice, most of them breaking spilling their glow-in-the-dark liguid all over the ice. Bottom line: Embarrassing yet entertaining. Management MUST see these things coming in the future. Keep the $1 beer, be more head-up about what night you have what giveaway.

Now on to today, Saturday. At 7 am EST my friends Erica, Eric S. and I travelled to Ashland, Ohio to follow our alma-mater, the GVSU Lakers play the Eagles of Ashland University. Less-than-desireable weather conditions could not stimey the Lakers, as they drove for a 34-7 week 9 win to pull their record to 8-1 on the year. After spending a quite chilly 2.5 hours in wind and moderate rain, we piled back into the Saturn Aura to head home. First stop was a small and VERY old cemetary in the middle of no-where we noticed on the way down. Eric wanted pictures and we both wanted to explore for a few minutes. Very old, (mid-early 1800's!!) and creepy to boot! I want to share some pictures with you as soon as I have them!

The drive home continued through Ann Arbor just as the UofM game was getting out, so traffic on 23 was heavy, with many, many major accidents making the drive a tense one. Shortly after 9pm EST, we arrived safely back in Grand Rapids.

Aside from a lazy day tommorow, this hopefully concludes the major excitement for the weekend.

Take care all and I hope to have some phot'o's for you soon!

Monday, October 19, 2009

People of Walmart dot Com

I don't know what took me so long to wander on to this GEM!

For all of us despise Walmart and it's business practices, all of us who do whatever we can to avoid going in there, this website is for you!

Now I know you can people watch anywhere, anytime. But is there any other business establishment so widely popular where you are guarenteed to find such rarities?! It's shocking...maybe it's just it's stereotypical association that has us thinking we see the most "cool kids" there. Maybe, however, it's not. I think one gets one's image for a reason.

Waste some time here, really. It's soooo good.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend Randomness

Well we're winding down the weekend here, and I've got a few thoughts from the past few days.

Incidentally had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week off from work, which included a little road trip for a wonderful change of scenery for several days. Hard to believe that it's already Sunday evening! Weekends go by too fast, even extended ones.

Had a great day yesterday, went out to Allendale and helped a friend work on a fence before heading over to campus to tailgate for the homecoming football game.

Today: Quite lazy and unproductive to start, then I decided to get off my rear and go running around 5pm. It always amazes me how much better one can feel after getting in even some light excercise. I really ought to make a concerted effort to excercise more. I had a great regiment in college and I really got away from it.

So, if you're reading this, you likely are familiar with Facebook. With that made apparent, what the HELL is the deal with all the moronic games on Facebook?! For example, there is one called Farmville. I have no clue how you play, but I assume it is somewhat along the lines of SimCity, where you have to maintain your farm with all that is entailed. So why does the game have graphics designed for 11 year old girls while the writing matches that of kindergarten level story books? Here however is the most maddening part. Why do they show up in my news feed?! I sure as hell don't want to know about a "Lonely brown cow or black sheep" on your stupid farm!!

I can understand updating your personal status with what you are doing, but this is simply a waste. Next question; does the game automatically send and show these "updates" or does the player need to choose an option to, say, "show updates in news feed"? It has gotten out of control in my eyes and taken away from the enjoyment that Facebook provides. Maybe I'm an "old timer" in Gen Y, but it's not necessary.

One thing I can assure you of, is that the creators are quite wealthy because of it.

Thanks for letting me rant tonight and until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Slow Down Rush!

Yesterday the NFL made a very wise business decision.

It wasn't something they started, but something they stopped from happening.

The whole topic has become as widely controversial as the main character involved in the story.

Recently, the popular and divisive talk radio host Rush Limbaugh made a bid to become partial owner of the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. As a very, very successful and subsequentially wealthy man, Rush has every right in the world to pursue membership in one of the most exclusive clubs in America; becoming an NFL owner and shareholder. If I had his money, there would be a few things I might pursue as well.

Since finding his first radio gig, Rush has created his multitudes of wealth and legions of loyal followers by doing one thing and doing it well; being extraordinarily controversial and saying whatever was on his mind at the time. I guess you could say that is one of his endearing points, is that you never have to be unsure of what side of the topic he'll be on. He's brash, insulting, divisive, loud, rough on all edges and likes to cause a stir. He also happens to be one of America's most radical politically and socially right wing activists.

Much like other media counterparts of his such as Michael Moore, Bill O'Reily, and shock-jocks Howard Stern and Imus, he lives on the edge of political correctness and often crosses way over the edge, resulting in major public uproar.

This off-the-appropriate-path approach has won these individuals fame, fortune and millions of fans. However, just as many if not millions more people have a severe dislike for men like Rush Limbaugh due to that exact style.

Here is one example where "Rush" hurt Rush in his bid for partial team ownership. He has been quoted on his blog as stating that, "...All too often the NFL looks like a game between the Crips and Bloods without weapons...". Now, the team Mr. Limbaugh was interested in becoming part-owner of was located in a metropolitan area with a major African American population. I don't see his association with that frnachise as having gone over very well at all in the eyes of St. Louis-area residents.

Now if you were in charge of protecting the image of world's biggest and most successful sports league, would you sign on the dotted line? The answer came yesterday in a resounding "NO" from NFL top-brass. It's clear to see that in this case the league has nothing to gain from Rush and everything to lose. They don't need his money, and they certainly don't need to alienate fans, employees or advertising partners. Not in these economic conditions, not ever.

Contrary to what Rush went off the hook about on his show yesterday, the decision has nothing to do with politics. The majority or NFL owners political contributions go to Republican party causes. The decision was not political, his "peers" saw a bad apple when it showed up at the doorstep and slammed the door.

Sports is a business unlike any other, but a business none-the-less. Divisiveness is very bad for business and therefore precludes men like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Bill O'Reily and Howard Stern from team ownership in any respectable league in the United States. Fame and fortune have their drawbacks, and so does upsetting the public. In the end, the football-loving masses are better off for it.

What are your reactions? Speak up!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

GVSU Football and the end of The Streak

Almost 5 years ago, 1,813 days to be exact, was the last in-conference loss the Lakers of Grand Valley State had suffered. That loss came on home turf on October 23, 2004 at the hands of Northwood University.

Yesterday, October 10, 2009, the Lakers walked into Muddy Waters Stadium on the campus of Hillsdale College. Hillsdale is a very small private college that continues to compete at a high level in division II athletics. Despite having only around 1,300 students, they apparently have great funding. As the clock ticked to zero at the end of the 4th quarter, a last-second field goal attempt by the Lakers sailed wide-right, sending all of Hillsdale College into a frenzy with a 27-24 win over the then #1 ranked team from Allendale.

The upset win is just one bright example of a multitude of others this season throughout college football at all levels. A lot of schools who had let football fall by the way-side are now putting the necessary resources into their programs to make them competitive, some for the very first time.
This is the the third straight year the historic and tradition-rich Hillsdale program is looking to have a winning record. This win, and possibly a playoff birth come November, could be the culmination of some great recruiting done by the Hillsdale staff. A young Joe Glendenning from East Grand Rapids is a freshman on the Hillsdale squad. Glendenning set the all-time rushing record at the powerhouse program that is East Grand Rapids. Look for him in the coming year(s).

This all sets up a crucial match up next weekend at GVSU's Homecoming against the other leader in the GLIAC, the University of Findlay (Ohio) Oilers. The Oilers beat these very same Hillsdale Chargers 42-10 the previous week.

Once again, the GVSU program tastes defeat in the conference and with injuries mounting, the team must rally and pull together. This is the first time any of these players have tasted an in-conference loss in their college careers.

I encourage all who can to make it to the game next weekend in Allendale to show and wear some blue. Kick off is at 7pm, and tickets are as low as $6. Now is when we separate the contenders from the pretenders. I guarentee you won't see better football anywhere.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Hockey Season - Cue up Mr. Cherry!

The 2009-2010 NHL season is underway as I have the Red Wings home opener on the tube as I write this. Weren't we just finishing last year's NHL Finals two weeks ago?

At any rate or length of season, it certainly is nice to have the one Detroit sports team back that you can be sure will be competitive, if not down right dominating.

I think Red Wings fan needs a sense of closure as well, a chance to move on and close the wound left by Pittsburgh and their league-appointed golden boy. Had we been swept quickly, it might not have hurt so bad. Instead, it was a grad-down, slug-fest that went all seven games. Fully emotionally involved with pride on the line. Red Wings fans, as well as many around the league, have had some ill-will toward Mr. Crosby before the start of last year's finals. During the playoffs, we learned it wasn't just fans. The NHL players overwhelmingly voted Crosby as the biggest complainer in the league.

During the decisive game 7, Crosby went out with a major injury. While his team went on to win the game 2-1, Sydney re-joined his team on the ice to celebrate a Stanley Cup win, disgracing the sacred Joe Louis Arena ice. While the Red Wings lined up to shake hands, and the Wings fans obliging Pittsburgh's effort and accomplishment with clapping, instead of booing, Crosby seemingly forgot about the handshake. The sacred, gentlemanly gesture under taken by players at the end of a series in the NHL. With the whole Red Wings team and coaches waiting at center ice, Sydney went on celebrating. A move which will never be forgotten by Wings players and fans.

The wound had salt rubbed into it when we all witnessed the "chosen one" lifting the Stanley Cup. He remembered to do that much.

Now, I am not sure about you, but I can never in my wildest dreams imagine Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Messier, Joe Sakic, or any other team captain worth his own weight pulling such a stunt. As the Red Wings players retreated to their locker room to allow Pittsburgh their glory, they turned their cheek and took the high road. Kris Draper reminded us all of the code of behavior expected amongst players in hockey in his post-game comments on the issue.

Mr. Crosby might want to heed the words of Mr. Draper. Karma can come in many forms, and we shall see if Sydney has his in the pipeline.

On other notes, there is now an organ and organist at the Joe Louis Arena! I, for one, approve of the addition!

Until next time, keep your head up and stick on the ice kids!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tigers: Exit Stage Left.

Well that's it my friends.

Two weeks ago we were all speculating the playoffs, and now here we sit.

As I stated a couple days ago, this team didn't deserve to go to the playoffs, and now they won't. They however, have ripped the core out of their fan's hearts in the worst economically hit city in the United States. The people of Detroit didn't deserve this. The people of Michigan didn't deserve this. Yet, it's the Tigers who still have a paycheck.

Screw the healthy perspective of the past. Let's not be rational right now. What the Tigers displayed this past month was not rational, so I refuse to be at this moment.
Any momentary flashes of passion and emotion the players showed last night was heavily padded by a dumb-founded, hallowness of urgency.

Was it the players fault? Not entirely. Was it Leyland's fault? Not entirely. Was it Dombrowski's fault? Not entirely. They all however contributed to this end result.
What did the fans contribute? Piles of our money, in tickets, concessions and gear. Piles of our own money which is becoming even more scarce in this stricken state each day.
Sooner of later major athletes may have to answer to those that ultimately write their checks. We can only hope.

Now we turn our attention fully to college football, with an eye to the NHL season which has arrived once more sooner than expected.

Keep your receipts Tigers fans.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How do ya like me now, Packers?

Could Brett Favre have made any bigger of a statement last night? Sure, he's won a SuperBowl, sure he passed for almost 400 yards the day after his father passed away. This was as hyped an event as any of them.

Whether you agree with his actions lately or not, and I generally do not, one can not look away from what he did to his former team last night. The last time the Metrodome was that loud must have been back when the Twins were in the World Series and they had hockey glass on the outfield fences.

Even though Rodgers out threw Favre 384 yards to 271, Favre tossed 3 touchdown passes to his counterpart's 2. Favre had too many weapons, and Rodgers had too little protection. He's an old fart, but with weapons, he's still here.

Look out for the Vik's kids. They've got an old man on board who's out to prove something.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Facebook and more...

We now have a Facebook group! Search "Finding my Calling" and join up!

Now on to something on the minds of Detroit Tiger fans everywhere. The one game playoff with the Twins tommorow night in the giant Hefty bag that is the Metrodome.
My first question is, how on earth did we get here? A month ago, we had a 7 game lead in the division. Last week we had a 3 game lead! I don't know that I have ever seen a team in any sport so un-motivated to make the post-season. So un-motivated to win the Tiger's first division title since the 1980's. So un-motivated to get back to the promised land and finish what they started in 2006. There was a recent article on ESPN.com about the Tiger players and coaches feeling a need to uplift the spirits of the people of Detroit and Michigan. I'm not so sure, usually teams that are truly driven by such divinity of spirit show much more desire. You have to have a give-a-damn, a fire in your eyes.
Want to see an inspiriring run to up-lift down-trodden hearts? Look no further than the 2008-'09 Michigan State Spartans run to the National Championship game in the very city of Detroit. Even with their slaughter at the end, they puched themselves to the limit. There was no lack of give-a-damn, and you could see it.
What am I trying to get to? I'm trying to say that the Tigers don't deserve the one-game playoff, let alone a trip to the post-season if they do happen to pull off a win in the deafening Hefty-bag for which they seem cursed in. I hate to say it, being a life-long Tiger fan, but the expectations they groomed and cultivated throughout the season were no where reminiscent of their current actions.
Let's however get some perspective in the midst of all this tension and frustration. If you're my age, and had even a mild interest in the Tigers as a kid, you can remember the dismal 90's. Being able to walk up to the Tiger Stadium box office window at game-time and buy a box-seat behind home for under $50. How about the early 2003. Remember 119 losses, and a Kansas City Royals team that actually had a winning record?
Back then, we would have KILLED to have a team that was merely competitive and not painful to watch. In 2003 to think that we would have the lead in the division for almost the whole season and would have a chance to go to the playoffs would have made us go nuts. 2006 Ruined our perspective, and the dissapointment of 2008 jaded us. So, if we lose tommorow night, and there is a big probability we will, feel free to be as dissapointed as the next fan. However, keep in mind that 2003 season when spewing hatred Wednesday morning around the water-cooler.
Humility, and remembering how far this organization has actually come is important.


Sunday, October 4, 2009


Hey all,

Once again before we know it, we're back to October. Wasn't it just July?!?

I had the great honor or standing up for two of my best friends yesterday in their wedding. Two people truly cut out for each other. Crazy to think of all of us from college starting up our lives in one way or another. Had a ton of fun and I need today to just recover!

On to the randomness. I haven't drank coffee in about a year, but the last few days I have found myself drinking it. Maybe it's the colder weather?? I don't know, either way it's odd.
Last week I really slacked off in my job searching, I need to get back on that this week and hit it hard. As nice as it can be, subbing isn't a career choice and it's definitly not enough money to live on, let alone have your own place! Anyone hiring 20-somethings??

The previous weekend I got to spend with my beloved GF. What a great time to just enjoy some downtown. Got out to a really cool (not to mention huge and busy) cider mill North of St. Johns, MI. Great donuts and gourmet carmel apples! Let's not forget the free wine tasting, that was a first for me. Good times had by all.

College football is in full swing, and as it always does this time of year, it makes me go crazy. I don't know what it is, but I love it. Grand Valley is once again on it's way to a great season, and my Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 4-1!

Well, not a whole lot of substance in this post, but I needed to update. I'll try to stick to this better this week.

Until then, peace!