Well, it has been almost two years, but the day has finally come. This is post 100! You would think most people would want to franticly get a milestone post completed. If you have a personal site, we all know you are tracking the number of posts, users and comments waiting to hit milestones. So why did I delay? I would guess over the last two years I have probably worked on about 30 different posts in an effort to get post 100 competed. The problem was, in my head I created such huge expectations that my 100th post needed to be something special. Everything I tried to put together just did not cut it. As the time frame from post 99 grew bigger, it got harder to put together a post that was not just a giant synopsis of what has been going on and that did not seem very special. I needed something big and something current.
So what topic did I finally come up with for post 100? Today marks 6 months until the wedding. If you didn’t know, Cece and I are getting married on October 13th, 2012. Or as Sandy likes to puts it… “We’re becoming a family!” We are pretty deep in the planning process but Cece has almost all the details set and we are mostly just finalizing things at this point. As if planning a wedding wasn’t enough work, we are also planning to put the house on the market next week in an effort to upgrade to a bigger house. We are going to try and build this time around so if the house sells, we will probably all be packed in to a small apartment for the summer while we are preparing for the wedding and the new house. This is going to be an interesting summer!
Cece's Engagement Ring
Last spring, Cece and I made a couple window shopping trips to look to for engagement rings. Being the kind of person that knows what he wants… I wanted to make sure Cece was getting what she wanted. Luckily, she fell in love with the setting pretty much as soon as she saw it. Step one, complete! After that, we went back and looked at the diamond options. Picking out a diamond is a very difficult task since the price range is so broad and well, most of the flaws are not even noticeable to the human eye. Luckily, Cece fell in love with a specific cut that actually is pretty rare. This gave me enough time to go back and compare some of the options on my own. When it was all said and done, I was pretty sure she wanted the rare cut. Step two, complete! Then all I had to do was come up with a way to propose and we all know I don’t like drawing attention to myself so the typical “propose in front of people” idea was definitely out. Kent and Laurie had just had their wedding at the Sunken Gardens in mid-October and everything was still pretty at the time. John and Chelsea offered to have Sandy come over to practice soccer for the evening on a Friday (October 28th, 2011). Luckily, I had a new camera lens arrive that week from Amazon… which wrapped my whole story up in to a neat little package. The plan was drop Sandy off and then head to Sunken Gardens to test out my new lens and then go out for dinner. Step three, complete! We had to be quick and stay on schedule since the sun was setting so early. I didn’t plan for Boo at the Zoo, so there was a major delay to get to the Sunken Gardens by kids running around in Halloween costumes. We sat on the three block stretch in front of the Zoo for about 10 minutes watching the sun fall lower and lower in the sky. We finally made it to the Sunken Gardens with just enough light to get a few shots and that was about it. As we walked up, I was a bit in awe because all the beautiful flowers had been ripped out for the winter. At this point I figured the ring had fallen out of my pocket or something because nothing was going as planned. We walked around a bit and then I had Cece sit down on the bench to take some pictures. Once she was all posed, I walked up with the ring in hand… and completely fumbled through what I was planning to say. Honestly, I do not remember everything I actually said… but it must have been good because she said yes and she was actually completely surprised. I assumed when I was the one to find a sitter for Sandy that I was giving away a giant clue, but it all worked out in the end.
This brings post 100 to a close. Obviously the rest of the year is going to give me a lot of content to write about… hopefully I can find time to post it.
For the last 32 years, my brain has been programmed with tradition. In 1980, after the tornadoes ripped Grand Island apart, one of the few things that survived was my Nebrsaka Cornhusker’s cowboy hat… I was 2, so a cowboy hat was acceptable and that has to be a sign of some sorts. In Nebraska, the day after Thanksgiving is not Black Friday, it is the Nebraska versus Colorado game and we are not wearing black. No matter what the polls say, any time Nebraska and Oklahoma take the field together you can bet it is going to be a good game. Iowa State may never seem like much of a threat but in recent years it has been pretty exciting to see if we could still pull off the win while our team was “rebuilding.” The last minute of the 1997 Nebraska and Missouri game pretty much created an instant rivalry in the eye’s of Missouri fans. Missouri wanted their win and their losing streak to Nebraska broken; six years later they finally got that win. Texas… Texas Tech… Kansas… Kansas State… I don’t care what you say, the Big XII was an exciting conference.
Looking past traditions, the move to the Big Ten will likely be beneficial to the University. Hopefully we have better recruiting options and based on the 10 million dollar figure form last year in the Big XII, 20 million sounds pretty good. Well, it did sound good. After Beebe’s attempt to save the Big XII conference included a 17 million dollar figure and more TV time, our move to the Big Ten doesn’t seem so sweet. So… Nebraska was upset because we weren’t getting enough TV time, enough money and deep down we despise Texas. Well, not to be rude, but did everyone just decide to forget what has happened during the last 12 years, because it has not been pretty. Don’t get me wrong, our stats still show we have been one of the strongest football teams throughout the years but the money goes where the action is and there just has not been much action since Osborne retired as head coach. We are not the powerhouse we once were and we need to accept that. That is the reason contracts do not last for ever. Who wants to give all your money and TV slots to an average team? It kind of seems we are expecting a lot more than we deserve right now. It takes time to recover. Everything was finally turning around but we will never get to find out how well things have turned around. Starting in 2011, we’re going to have a new hurdle. We will have a new conference schedule and we will be the new kid on the block.
I am not a sports analyst by any means. I watch for the enjoyment of the game. I do not have time to devote my life to sports and would never want to. My opinion is simply an opinion. When it sounded like the Big XII was breaking up and everyone was going their separate ways, I thought us moving to the Big Ten was alright. Now that the Big XII is moving forward with 10 teams, I feel like our move was made in haste. It is going to be tough to just pretend those Big XII teams do not exist and follow all the Big Ten teams throughout the season. Really, it is unfortunate the politics and money that is involved. It seems we traded away our traditions in favor for our greed… and that is never what Nebraska Football should be about.
Paul Gray (Author: Gene Smirnov - http://www.genesmirnov.com)
After a seven month hiatus from my website, I am not sure how to pick-up where I left off. The reason for this post is because last Monday brought sad news to the music world, the Midwest and myself. Paul Gray has passed away, for reasons unknown at this time. Paul was one of the original founders of Slipknot. He had been Slipknot’s only bass player since their inception in 1995. On Monday morning, Paul was found dead in his hotel room in Urbandale, IA. He is survived by his wife Brenna who was expecting their first child at the time of his death. I realize their music is not for everyone, but that doesn’t take away from their talent. Many consider Slipknot the pioneers for new age heavy metal (or nu metal). Really, there is not many other bands that have a 9 person member list, which makes their sound pretty unique.
Paul Gray's Guitar Pick from Council Bluffs, Iowa 01.25.2009
On top of that, their lyrics are powerful, full of emotion and touch on the darker side of some topics that can effect us all. Slipknot’s stage presence is amazing and extremely energetic. Although they have received negative press as using their masks and image to sell records, their intention is actually to draw attention away from themselves so listeners can focus on the music. Everyone deals with life’s difficult times in different ways and Slipknot’s music has been like medication for some of those tough times in my life. Paul will be greatly missed.