Sunday, March 13, 2011

And Not A Scratch on Her...

Yesterday the sun was out and all I did was walk around the House fidgeting. I wanted so bad to get the new boat in the water, but I missed the blue sky window of opportunity and it was all my fault. Today the morning was beautiful so I called Fitz up and we headed out to the boat launch at Higgins Point.

There was very little wind for my first launch and that made me feel real confident. We took our time and checked, double checked everything. The launch went flawless and as she sat quietly next to the dock, I took the boat up to the parking lot, paid my $5 launch fee and came back with my can of champagne. To be honest, I used a can of Guinness to christen the boat. Before you go crazy and say I goofed, hear me out. (1) I have never been a fan of champagne, even when I drank. (2) When I drank I loved Guinness. (3) I felt that it would not feel right to splatter champagne all over the front of the boat, but a good beer, that is another story. (4) I can grantee you that we will never have champagne on this boat, so why not spill something that will probably be spilled in fun and friendship for years to come.

With all that taken care of we motored out on the lake and gave the girl a good spin. We ran the big motor up to speed and played with the trim. Then we stopped and started the trolling motor up and ran it for a bit. I played briefly with the fish finder and then we returned to the dock, where I made the perfect landing. We double checked everything as we were at the dock, then I went up and brought the trailer back. We loaded it in very little time, tied it down and drove home. No rips, raps or flips. I love the new girl and can't wait to get Linda on board to see her in action.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Welcome to Your New Home

We spent Saturday afternoon at Tobler Marina getting the thousand info books and a few lessons about our new boat. I am pretty excited and a bit anxious about the whole deal. I have wanted a boat for fishing since I sold my bass boat. Don't get me wrong, I did not feel I made a mistake selling the flat bottomed craft to get money to buy my cataraft. Our cat has taken us some amazing places and I love that boat. I did however wish I could have kept the fishing boat and purchased the cat. I love to be on the water; lake, river, or ocean. This new boat has been my dream and now she sits in the driveway, it's hard to get my head believing that it's a done deal.

We need to name her. I haven't given it much thought, but Last night Linda reminded me that she will need a name. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 04, 2011

My First NHL Experience

Blackhawk tickets, can you believe that? Heather’s cousin works for an investment firm and his group had three tickets available in their private box, yes, private box. On Wednesday evening we attended the Region 14 reception, ate coconut shrimp, pizza, ate calamari, then walked out, grabbed a cab and drove to the United Center. If you know Chicago at all you know that the Bulls NBA team and the Blackhawks NHL team share this facility.

Frozen in the cold air outside the center is a bronze statue of the great Michael Jordan. You can’t help stopping and standing. Jordan soaring above, for a moment I forgot about the icy cold wind cutting into our faces. The crowd pushed us into entry # four and the excitement started escalating.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year and it is apparent by the huge crowd that they are expected to do well again. They had won three straight and everyone expected them to be able to hold off the Calgary Flames tonight. This would be my first professional hockey game and only my second professional sporting event ever. I went to see a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field once.

Our seats were amazing! They were located just above corner ice in the visitors end. I think that would be considered visitor ice because they were on offence during the first and third period in front of us. But with free tickets, a plush seat, free drinks and hockey less than 30 yards away, who cares which ice you are looking at!
The entire evening was a loud spectacle of flashing lights, music, and the combined noise of 40,000 hockey fans. From the singing of the Star Spangled Banner to the first face off the sound level was incredible.

When the Blackhawks scored their first goal the place erupted. Three long blasts sounded from what sounded like a shift change horn, roared followed by a united singing of a song that everyone joined. You would have to experience it to believe the feeling. I took video with my camera, but it does not do the experience justice.

The Blackhawks won the game 5 to 3 which added to the excitement. It is still hard to think that we lucked into this, or should I say that Heather’s cousin so generously provided us with this experience.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Chinatown and More

The next day the conference was broke up into blocks and we were able to take the afternoon and ride the red line down south to Chinatown to explore and grab lunch. Heather put me in charge of getting us there and I held up my end and we were able to get there without the outcome that we faced yesterday on the trip back from the Sears Tower.

Heather asked a sales clerk where we should eat lunch and she said “ta tipple quan”. She asked what color the sign was and was told to look for green and yellow. We walked down to the street and looked around. We both spotted the place at the same time. Before us stood a big yellow and green sign stating “The Triple Crown.”

Our evening dinner was another experience. We joined our friends from PCC and Lane and walked about six blocks to a hot dog joint. This place had some of the best hotdogs and sausages I have even tasted. We gorged on dogs and onion rings. Obviously I will not be losing weight on this trip