Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

RIP and Thanks for the Superbowl Tickets

January 30, 2011

A man in Cottage Grove, MN lost his wife last November, but she managed to give him one last Christmas gift: One-third of a $45,000 lotto winning from a pool she had played with two other coworkers.

From the Mpls Star Tribune:

She had never told her husband that in 30 years of working at a grocery store, she and two colleagues always played the lottery. Even after she got sick, Ginny kept contributing money.

Paul says one of the friends called him around Christmas, telling him he’d won a third of a $45,000 jackpot.

Awwww…bittersweet, right?  I did have to chuckle when I read about Mr. McCauly’s plans for the money:

He says if Ginny were still alive they would have used the money to see their beloved Packers in the Super Bowl.

Suuuuuure, dude. Well hey, who’s going to argue with him?  Have fun, Mr. McCauly, and I hope the Packers take it!

~

Also, I heard a funny joke that’s probably old as dirt to sports fans, but I’d never heard it before. Ready?

What do you call 60 guys sitting around watching the SuperBowl on TV?

Answer: The Bears

Bah da dum!

Full disclosure: I was rooting for the Bears.  I’m a Chicago girl at heart.

Endless Loop Diving

January 20, 2011

Here’s a cool video of an “endless loop” of  swimmers diving from the high platform:

Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival 2011

January 17, 2011

Late Report!  This was actually two Saturdays ago, on January 8th, but there’s been so much cool stuff going on…okay, I was just lazy.  Oh, naughty Zeus!

*****

Recently the Hubby and I went to the 2011 Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival.  I learned about the event over at 22 Words and at the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation website.

Previously on the blog I’m complained expounded on my general disdain for winter activities because…umm… you have to frickin’ freeze to enjoy them.  BUT I am pleased to announce that I had a really great time.  There were no clouds in the sky, the sun was shining and we bundled up to stay warm.  I bundled up a LOT.  I had on gym leggings, jeans, a t-shirt, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a coat, hats, gloves and my warmest boots.

We arrived at the festival around noon just as things were starting up.  There were already a few people on the ice and maybe 4-5 kites were up.  It was a pretty nice set-up.  There were several tents and stands and the organizers had arranged a free marshmallow roast, free hot chocolate and cider, they were giving away little plastic kites to kids and they were well-staffed with volunteers.  Pssst: Click on any photo to make it crazy big.

 

The wind wasn’t being all that cooperative, but we managed to get our little kite up for a few minutes.

Okay, I may have been optimistic when I said we got the kite “up” for “a few minutes”.

After the kite flying we headed over to the Minnesota DNR tent where they were holding ice fishing demos.

It was kind of funny to watch; there was a lot of activity inside the tent, probably because it was heated.  There was one guy who looked SUPER into the whole ice fishing deal; he would glare at the hole in the ice and look up in frustration every time a kid would squeal or somebody would brush by him.  Also, we witnessed the amazing flash transformation of super-excited kids into super-bored kids.  They were practically jumping with excitement as they were handed the short ice fishing poles and the line dropped into the water, and after about 30 seconds of not catching anything they’d start to get fidgety, and then the complaining started.  I couldn’t blame them – that’s pretty much how I feel about ice fishing.

Ice fishing holes!  The first picture is of a hole that was drilled outside of the main tent.  The second picture is of an ice fishing hole that was drilled inside a small black tent.  It turned out to be accidentally cool and Tron-esque because of how the low light in the tent, the bright sun shining in from the open tent bottom and my confused camera worked together.

The other thing happening at the DNR tent was snowshoeing!  The tour guide helped the Hubby and I and another couple with two small boys get our feet into the snowshoes, which was not as easy as it might sound.  But eventually, we did it.

 

And then we were off.  We walked across the ice to a bird sanctuary located on the north end of Lake Harriet.  The guide lead us off trail so that we could experience snowshoeing through fresh snow.  It was a neat feeling; I sunk down further in the snow than I thought I would, but the broad, flat shoe distributed my weight so that I didn’t sink down to my knees as I would have in regular boots.  And, I only fell once.  Ta-da!

The snowshoeing tour was about 30 minutes long.  After we got back to the DNR tent we walked around and did a little kite and people watching.

And to end the day we roasted a few marshmallows:

There were a ton of people with some very pretty cameras on the ice that day – gigantic lenses and camera bags galore!  These websites have some fancy pictures that I suspect were taken with SLR cameras that had…like…zoom…and adjustable apertures…and stuff.

Star Tribune

CityPages Blog

This Flickr Stream

An awesome video that was filmed with an old-timey effect.

World Sauna Championships

August 9, 2010

My apartment neighbor and I had a yard sale yesterday.  Bad call, brutha.

It was sooooooooo humid!  I love summer and heat, but moist heat is just icky, unless you’re in a sauna (and it’s not 230°F…more on that later).   The temperature was only about 85°F when we started, but the humidity was 70%!  It was frakin miserable.  Luckily we have a North-facing apartment, so we were in the shade for the entire day, but still schweaty grossness ensued.  There were two …count ’em two… deodorant reapplication breaks yesterday.  Neighbor and I were hit on by one dude about three hours into the ordeal and we were thinking, “Man, how desperate must you be to think we look sexy right now?”

Our yard sale

But the good outweighed the bad.  Neighbor brought out frozen green and red grapes, which yesterday were a little slice of heaven.  By the end of the day we both had gotten rid of a lot of unnecessary junk, and as soon as we finished packing up the unsold items for Goodwill we went down to Lake Calhoun to go swimming.  The water was indescribably refreshing.  And Neighbor and I made enough money to go out for margaritas and Mexican food afterwards!

So we didn’t have it so bad.  I mean, you wanna talk humidity?  Instead of sitting in the shade eating frozen grapes, we could have been in the World Sauna Championships in Finland this past weekend. 

World Sauna Championship photo source

This “championship” seems to be less of a artful mastery of one’s chosen sport, and more a willingness to suffer extreme pain and injury in the name of being able to say “huh huh!  Look I did it!”  Look at these rules, from Wikipedia:

Rules

  • The starting temperature is 110 degrees Centigrade. Half a liter of water will be poured on the stove every 30 seconds.
  • Use of alcohol is prohibited prior to and during the competition.
  • Competitors must wash themselves beforehand, and remove any creams and lotions.
  • Competitor must sit erect, their buttocks and thighs on the bench.
  • Ordinary swimsuits must be used. Pant legs in men’s swimsuits may be up to 20 centimeters long, and women’s shoulder straps may be up to 5 centimeters wide.
  • Hair that reaches the shoulders must be tied into a ponytail.
  • Touching the skin and brushing is prohibited.
  • Competitors must not disturb each other.
  • When the Judges ask, competitors must show that they are in their senses with a thumbs up.
  • Competitors must be able to leave the sauna unaided to qualify.
  • A breach of the rules results in a warning. Another one results in disqualification.
  • The last person in the sauna is the winner.

All one has to do is sit still and endure heatstroke and skin burns.  This contest is so stupid, I’m amazed it didn’t originate in the US or Japan.  Seriously, at least in American Gladiators and Japanese game shows there’s some running around, balancing and wrestling.  Hell, even a lot of the Jackass stunts require more agility and physical prowess that sitting in a hot, steamy room and trying not to pass out. 

Well, now it’s over.  The World Sauna Championships have been suspended – probably for good.  Again, from Wikipedia.org:

On 7 August 2010, Russian finalist and former third-place finisher Vladimir Ladyzhensky and Finnish five-time champion Timo Kaukonen, passed out after six minutes in the sauna, both suffering from terrible burns and trauma. They were both rushed to the hospital but Ladyzhensky died en route. Kaukonen was reported to suffer from extreme burn injuries, and his condition was described as critical, but stable.

I don’t know anything about the World Sauna Championship except what I’ve learned today.  And I’m all for people spending their time, money and physical health in whatever ways they like as long as it doesn’t hurt other people.  I’m not making a statement about the way this gentleman died; people die in professional sports all the time.  Athletes are aware of the calculated risks they take when they engage in their sports.  This is an unfortunate accident and I feel for the guy’s family, friends and those who enjoy the World Sauna Championship.

But if this “sport” seemed stupid before, doesn’t it just seem even more awful that it’s unentertaining and deadly?