Thursday, August 31, 2006

Randy's Most Memorable Sports Moments: #8

I love a good head-to-head competition where I'm very evenly matched with my counterpart. It often comes down to determination, concentration, and of course luck. One such competition was bowling against my old roommate Duby.

When we lived together sophomore year of Calvin we'd often go to Eastbrook lanes on Thursday nights. They had a sweet deal where you could play as many games as you wanted from 9-11 for $9, including shoes. The two of us would go and play 6-7 games in those 2 hours.

On one occasion Duby was bowling very well and I started poorly. He thoroughly trounced me the first 3 games and the 4th was starting the same. At some point in the middle of the 4th game I got hot and started coming back. With just 3 frames left he had it all but locked it up. As luck would have it I bowled a spare in the 8th frame but the computer screwed up and gave me a strike. Duby got all flustered and I just sat there and smiled like I deserved it and should get credit for it. He then proceeded to bowl 3 very poor frames and I finished extremely well. It was such a flip-flop that I won even if the unearned strike was counted as a spare.

Game 5 was close but I pulled it out. The last two games were big wins by me as the momentum had clearly swung in my favor. By the end I had won 4 games to Duby's 3. We had a lot of good matches but this was the best and most controversial.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ode to Vyn

Farewell to Reuben. Surprisingly, after leaving for France right after Calvin Reuben came back to GR to work and live for a year. Now, he's heading off again; this time to Portland, Oregon for his masters in French. On Friday we hosted a going-away party for my longtime roommate and friend.

It was a fun farewell party that included:
-Traditional Party Games

-Our new favorite party game: Trail of Tears. Basically everyone forms a row for someone to run through and then smacks them with rolled up magazines as they pass.

-Sisters that dress alike

-Plenty of other Mischief

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Randy's Most Memorable Sports Moments: #9

All of my other most memorable sports moments are from competitions that I was a part of. However, I must dedicate a position in my top 10 to the sports team that I'm most attached to: Michigan Football. The outcome of some of Michigan's games can make or break my weekends.

For some reason the game that is most memorable to me is Michigan's 31-29 victory over Washington on August 31, 2002. The game was on Labor Day weekend and I was watching it in my cottage with all the Elenbaas men and several other cottagers. It was the season opener and Washington was ranked #9. This was Michigan's season of atrocious place kickers. Earlier in the game Philip Brabbs missed a 36 and 42 yarder and Troy Nienberg missed a 27 yarder 1:19 earlier. None of the other attempts were even close.

Down 29-28 Michigan held Washington off and got the ball back. By a stroke of luck there was a penalty on the 2nd to last play of regulation giving Michigan a 44 yard field goal attempt to finish the game. As they lined up I said "I give him a 7% chance of making it." To every one's astonishment and delight Brabbs kicked it perfectly through to win the game! We all erupted and everyone down on the beach knew Michigan must have won just by the noise coming out of our cottage. I couldn't contain myself and ran down to the beach and did circles in the sand.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August Days

Erin and I enjoyed a nice and relaxing weekend at the cottage. We had Reuben up for the day Saturday and did some tubing, skiing, and badminton.

Check out Erin's sweet air on this jump. If you can, zoom in on her face for a good chuckle.

Erin had some fun with the camera. We gave her the task of taking action photos of our badminton game. As it turned out, however, we would dive for a shot, lay on the ground for 5 seconds, and then see the flash of the camera. To help Erin out we would even tell her we were about to dive but still, she was several seconds late.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Randy's Most Memorable Sports Moments: #10

I've compiled a list of the top 10 most memorable sports moments of my life. The 10th on my list is my dramatic stop as goalie in 7th grade.

I started playing soccer as soon as the leagues were offered, probably when I was 5 or 6. From the beginning I was on very good teams made up of mostly kids from Millbrook Christian School. We went undefeated most years (which is easy in elementary with just a couple of standout players) all the way through 6th grade.

I was a staple at the goalie position. I was officially stuck there in the beginning because of my pretty bad asthma but I was glad to be there because I was embarrassed with how slow I was and how tired I'd get. Fortunately the position grew on me and I became pretty good.

In 7th grade there was an official school team. Again, we were very good but now there were 3 goalies and I was 2nd string. That meant I only played the 2nd quarter at goalie. I felt I had something to prove because the starting goalie gave up more goals than me.

One game we were playing a very good team and it was a 1 goal game in the 2nd quarter when there was a "hands" in our penalty box. So they sent their star forward out to take the penalty kick against me. I got in position on the goal line and waited for the shot. Their star kicked it low and hard and I instinctively dove at it, getting a piece of it with my outstretched right arm. As I laid there on my stomach I looked up and saw the ball roll directly down the goal line, hit the goal post squarely, and bounce back directly on the goal line toward me. It miraculously stayed right on the line all the way to me and I snatched it to safety to complete the diving penalty kick save to keep our team ahead!

We ended up going undefeated in 7th and 8th grade with just 1 tie.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


This week I'm starting a new process up at work. Usually that means weird and potentially long hours. Yesterday I was geared up to work 24 hours straight but an equipment problem shut us down so I was only there 15 hours. No matter how much I work nothing will ever come close to my unbelievable work week of 2001. Here is the story:

The summer after my freshmen year of college I was working at Perry's Party Rental. We set up tents and rented out chairs and tables. My job was to drive the truck and deliver the rentals. This involved carrying lots of chairs and tables from our truck to the customer's back yard.

On Monday I knew I had a long day ahead and worked a solid 13 hours. That same day one of our long-time employees didn't show up so they asked me if I wanted to work a special job Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It was setting up 6 tents, 300 tables, and 2000 chairs on the roof of a parking garage in downtown Detroit for the international freedom festival fireworks. I happily agreed because we got paid a couple hundred dollars extra for this.

On Tuesday I started work at 8 and did a normal 8 hour day of deliveries. Starting at 4 we loaded up the trucks and went downtown to set up for the Wednesday fireworks. It was extremely hard physical labor and we got done at 3:30 am after a strenuous 19.5 hour day. I drove the 1/2 hour home and set my alarm for 6:30 am as I went to sleep at 4.

On Wednesday I again started at 8 and did a normal 8 hour day. We then went downtown and enjoyed the fireworks. As soon as they were done we started tearing everything down and finally got done at 4 am. On the drive from downtown to Pontiac I was so exhausted I fell asleep and switched lanes with a loaded truck. Luckily my boss was in the truck with me and he made me pull over so he could drive (he didn't have his license). I tried to stay awake the rest of the way home to help him out but I physically couldn't. We got back at 4:30 after a 20.5 hour day. There was no way I could drive home so I fell asleep on the shop floor.

On Thursday I woke up at 8 when the other employees came in and figured I might as well punch in. Thursday was busy and I worked an 11 hour day.

On Friday we had all kinds of problems including me getting into an accident. I finally punched out at midnight after a 16 hour day. The accident happened when I backed out of a driveway onto a 2-lane, 55 mph street at the exact same time as a trailblazer backed out of the driveway across the street. My steel step on the back of the truck went through the trailblazer's driver door. There were 7 people in it but only the dad driving got hurt.

80 physically demanding hours in 5 days including working 40 out of 44 hours at one point and 52 hours out of 60.

I'm just glad I didn't die and that was a pretty sweet paycheck, but totally not worth it.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Erin!

My beautiful and awesome wife turned 26 on Tuesday. She likes to be pampered (and I like to comply) on her birthday. One of my favorite parts of her "birthday week" is making her a cake. I only make 1 cake a year so I might as well go all out; three layers at a minimum and I try to make it as unhealthy as possible.

This is my 3rd year of practice and I think I've learned a little. Last year's cake caved in pretty bad mostly because I didn't have enough time to let the cake cool before stacking and frosting. This year I gave myself enough time but still found it tough. Below is the series of events leading to the final product. Here is my formula:

-add as many m&m's and chocolate chips as the cake will hold
-try to take the sticky formula out of the pan

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-carefully stack the layers
-piece back together the broken cake

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-use frosting as an "adhesive" to hold the cake together
-use whatever you can for support while the "adhesive" is drying

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-frost over the blemishes

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-finish with more frosting and compare to last year

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