Archive for October, 2010

It’s nights like these that make me glad I’m back in school.

If you’ve read the “about nicname” section in my bio you know that I am employed as a line-cook.  If you know anything about being a line cook on a Friday night you know where I’m coming from.

Tonight was  especially busy  at my restaurant.  We were constantly trying to get out of the weeds and the sweat was definitely pouring out of every gland available from the time I clocked in to the time I clocked out.  WE made it though and we made the company around $8,000 tonight.  For my efforts I will take home around $50.  Such is the life of the line-cook, especially one who is only two months on the job.

I wouldn’t say that I am a particularly great line-cook either.  I mean, I get by and I give good effort and have a positive attitude but making a career out of it would probably leave me broke and depressed.  For that reason I find myself quite thankful that I am finally back in school and pursuing my dream career of mega-journalist.

During the last five or so years I have worked in kitchens for about four of them, topping out at around 60 hours a week last year while D took maternity leave after giving birth to our son Max.  During that time it became quite clear to me that I would not live a very fulfilling life if I were ton continue on that path.  So I made a point to get enrolled in school as soon as possible.

Tomorrow is an off day, filled with a wedding and college football, then it is back on the grind and thankfully — well at least in monetary terms — I am starting to get scheduled some more hours in the kitchen.

So to all you line-cooks out there “big ups,” you are true warriors that live a tough grind.

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Jayhawk QB takes a dip: Literally

When Kansas QB Jordan Webb left the field with a shoulder-injury late in the Jayhawks’ 45-10 home-loss to Texas A&M Saturday he did what many God-fearing Midwesterners do after a hard days work: He put in a chaw.

Webb enjoys a lipper

Now this might come as a surprise to many that a University of Kansas student athlete is representing his school and in effect the residents of the Great state of Kansas by succumbing to his nicotine addiction while still in uniform, on the sidelines and while the game is still being played.  The news is especially shocking on a Turner Gill coached team.

Gill, is known for his strict disciplinarianism.  The coach has banned both women and the use of cell-phones at times during the 2010 season.  He has also banned the use of swear-words by both players and coaches, and had them sign pledges (sort of like this) stating that they will abide by such stipulations.

Then again maybe Gill didn’t feel like he should have to add the use of chewing-tobacco to his laundry-list of team bannings.  After all the NCAA strictly prohibits tobacco use in its bylaws.

NCAA Rules Related to Tobacco

11.17 Use of Tobacco Products.  The use of Tobacco products is prohibited by all game personnel (e.g., coaches, trainers, managers and game officials) in all sports during practice and competition.

Tobacco: The use of tobacco products by a student-athlete is prohibited during practice and competition.  A student-athlete who uses tobacco products during a practice or competition shall be disqualified for the remainder of the practice or competition.  The use of tobacco products by coaches and game officials also is prohibited.  At NCAA championships, tobacco use by any individual on the field of play – as well as during other championship activities such as banquets, autograph sessions, press conferences and post-game interviews is prohibited.  Violations of this policy shall be dealt with by the appropriate sports committee in accordance with the misconduct provisions of NCAA

Bylaw 31.1.8.  Further, in the sport of baseball, dugouts are considered to be on the “field of play.”

Whether Webb was unaware of the rule or not he doesn’t seem to be to discreet as he pops in a dip in plain sight of fans and media. A Jayhawk staff-member looks on approvingly. <— video link, got to 1:24 in the video.

Webb is listed as questionable for Saturdays game at Iowa State.  It remains to be seen whether corrective action will be taken in regards to the apparent tobacco usage during the Texas A&M game.

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Big 12 Power Rankings: 2nd Edition 10/24/2010

Missouri didn’t fizzle under the national spotlight, taking down BCS No. 1 Oklahoma in Columbia;  Nebraska bounced from last weeks loss to Texas with a big win in Stillwater;  Baylor became bowl eligible for the first time in 16 years by outlasting K-State; and Iowa State give coach Paul Rhoads another chance for youtube stardom with an upset win over Texas in Austin.

1. Missouri – The Tigers still had a lot to prove heading into Saturday’s match-up with BCS No. 1 Oklahoma, and Gary Pinkel’s squad didn’t disappoint, handing the Sooners their first loss of the season.  Mizzou is now 7-0 (3-0), the lone remaining undefeated team in the Big 12 and one of only 7 remaining unbeatens in the country.  The Tigers defense stepped up holding Oklahoma to just 99 yards rushing and forced three OU turnovers in the 36-27 victory.  It’s tough at the top and the Tigers become the hunted with a trip to Nebraska looming next week that should decide the Big 12 North champion.

2. Oklahoma – Mistakes cost the Sooners dearly in a 27-36 loss to the then BCS No. 11 Missouri Tigers, but has shown enough on the season including wins over Florida St., Air Force and Texas to warrant the second slot in this weeks power rankings.  The Sooners now 6-1 (2-1) should cruise to three easy victories over Colorado, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech before a bout against upstart Baylor in Waco and then finishing off the regular season in Stillwater against rival Oklahoma St. in a game that should decide the Big 12 South.

3. Nebraska – It was road-sweet-road for the Cornhuskers as Bo Pelini’s team bounced back from last weeks home loss to Texas and outlasted high-powered Oklahoma St. (then BCS No. 14) in a 51-41 shootout with the Cowboys in Stillwater. QB Taylor Martinez had his best passing day of the season (23-35 323 yds, 5 tds) and WR Niles Paul regained his hands (9 rec, 131 yds) in the win. Nebraska now 6-1 (2-1) hosts Missouri in what looks to be the deciding game in the Big 12 North on Saturday.

4. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys move up this week despite the home-loss to then BCS No. 16 Nebraska.  OSU’s offense was solid against the Blackshirts but the Cowboys were unable to corral QB Taylor Martinez and the Cornhusker passing game in the 41-51 home-loss to NU.  The Cowboys should be favored in every game leading up to the season finally with former BCS No. 1 Oklahoma in Stillwater.

5. Baylor – The Bears offense was nearly unstoppable in a 47-42 home-win over former BCS No. 22 Kansas St. on Saturday.  With the win Art Briles has lead Baylor into bowl-eligiblity for the first time since 1994.  QB Robert Griffin III threw for 404 yards and 4 scores, but if the Bears hope to break into the top four their defense will have to stiffen up as the BU has games with Oklahoma St., Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma remaining on the schedule.

6. Texas – Mack Brown’s Longhorns have been an enigma in 2010, losing to at home to UCLA and Iowa St. but beating then BCS No. 5 in Nebraska in Lincoln.  UT’s offense has been stagnant all season and it bit them again in the 21-28 loss to the Cyclones on Saturday.  They will have to improve to keep pace as the high-octane Baylor Bears come to Austin next week.

7. Kansas State – The Wildcats defense failed them once again as K-State fell to 42-47 to Baylor in Waco Saturday.  Kansas St. now 5-2 (2-2) will need improved defense to slow-down Oklahoma St. this Saturday in Manhattan.  That game is followed by a visit from Texas and then rough trip to Missouri.  Bill Snyder could still be looking to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2003 when he takes his Wildcats to road games at Colorado and North Texas to finish out the season.

8. Iowa State – The Cyclones, who now faced five top 25 teams finally came out on top Saturday with a tough 28-21 win over Texas in Austin.  Iowa State 4-4 (2-2) forced four Longhorn turnovers en route to the victory.  Paul Rhoads’ team should be able to post a win over hapless Kansas on Saturday to move within one game of bowl eligibility.  With home dates with Nebraska and Missouri bookending a road trip to Colorado the Cyclones have limited opportunities to find their sixth win.

9. Texas A&M – The Aggies get jumped this week despite their 45-10 drubbing of Kansas in Lawrence.  A&M 4-4 (1-3) broke a three game skid with the win over the Jayhawks but wins should be hard to come by the rest of the way for Mike Sherman’s squad.  Texas Tech comes to town Saturday but after that the Aggies face a gauntlet featuring former BCS No. 1 Oklahoma, a tough road trip to Baylor, Nebraska and a trip to Austin to face the Longhorns to round out the season.

10.  Texas Tech – New head-coach Tommy Tuberville’s debut season in Lubbock has left many Raider fans yearning for the Pirate’s return.  With a 27-24 road win over Colorado the Aggies are now 4-3 (2-3) and with remaining games featuring opponents Texas A&M, Weber State and Houston sprinkled around tough dates with Missouri and Oklahoma the raiders could likely be bowl eligible this year. That doesn’t mean that folks in Lubbock aren’t wishing that Craig James’ son Adam, hadn’t opened hi big mouth.

11. ≡ Colorado – The Buffs kept it close again this week in a home-loss to Texas Tech, but Coach Dan Hawkins’ club still hasn’t managed to post a conference win.  A road trip to Kansas could be the cure for Colorado now 3-4 (0-3).  After that the Buffs host Iowa St. and Kansas St. before facing Nebraska in perhaps the final game in a long-standing rivalry.  Bowl chances look slim and even winning two of the remaining games will be a tough challenge for CU

12. ≡ Kansas – Few, if any bright spots remain for the Jayhawks in new head-coach Turner Gill’s first season in Lawrence.  After Texas A&M handed KU it’s third straight loss (all by at least 35 points) even tilts against Iowa State (especially with their win over Texas) and Colorado look near impossible.  Lose those and Kansas should see it’s conference losses streak run to 15 games by season’s end as the Jayhawks finish off the season at Nebraska, home against Oklahoma State and in Kansas City against rival Missouri.

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Hot Dogs: 5 ways to prepare (and enjoy) an American icon

“A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz.”

~Humphrey Bogart


Whether they are toted by sweaty stadium vendors up and down the grandstands at sporting events,  being hawked street-side via cart and fresh from a “dirty-water” bath on a New York City street corner, or served around the kitchen table to hungry kids as a quick-and-easy lunch, hot dogs have become synonymous with the American way of life.

And though they may have received, perhaps, an unfair share of negative press in recent years (see: choking hazard, cancer-risk ), and yes, like most products there a lot, and I mean a lot of “hot dogs” there that are pure crap (I’m looking at you Bar-S) made from the cheapest pork, chicken, and turkey by-products that companies are able to scrape off of the floor, there are really few things that are as delicious and affordable — especially with the right toppings — as a quality dog.

A brief history.

Created in Frankfurt, Germany of which the names “frankfurter,” and “frank” cased sausages are claimed to have been created as early as the 15th century.  In the early 1800’s residents of Vienna (Wein), Austria tried to lay their claim to the birth of the famous sausage, christening it the “weinerwurst” and later shortening that to “weiner.” It wasn’t util the mid-to-late 19th century that they made their way across the pond to the United States.

The man who is credited (albeit with some disagreement) with creating the first  real, hot dogs meaning a frank served on a bun was Charles A. Feldman, a butcher from New York who began selling them from a cart on Coney Island in 1867.

 

Some guy sells hot dogs from a cart before colorized pictures.

 

 

The key to a good hot dog is found in the meat. As noted before, cheap multi-meat hot dog impostors are not to be confused with a quality frank.  Many cities, especially in the northeast are home to locally owned producers of fine sausages, but when it comes to quality on a national level the two best options are Hebrew National (Kosher) hot dogs and Nathan’s Famous.  I go with Nathan’s natural-casing hot dogs when available. Hebrew National doesn’t make natural-casings because it isn’t Kosher as the casing is usually made of pork intestines.  I hear that Boar’s Head makes a great frank, but I’ve never had the opportunity to try them.

Nathan's Famous: natural casing hot dogs

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Thirty-Two Great Calls by Joe Posanski

Joe Posnanski

Former Kansas City Star and current Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski had a really interesting write-up detailing 32 of the all-time greatest  radio and television sports-calls. Complete with video and/or audio clips for each entry the article offers a plethora of nostalgia to any serious sports fan.

The list is peppered with calls from great like Vin Scully and Verne Lundquist as well as instances where it was the moment, not the broadcaster who made the call great.  From Larry Bird Stealing the ball and passing it underneath to DJ, to Scully eloquently telling the story of Sandy Koufax’s perfect-game, and some excited person yelling, “Look at Mills! Look at Mills!” over NBC broadcaster Bud Palmer during Billy Mills’ thrilling 10,000 meter race at the 1964 Olympics.

Chic Anderson on Secretariat’s amazing run at the 1973 Belmont Stakes.

Kudos and thanks to Posnanski, this is a gift for any sports-fan.

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Big 12 Power Rankings: 1st Edition 10/19/2010

This is my first sports related post.  It will be a weekly ranking of Big 12 Conference football teams.

The week of October 16, 2010 saw some definite surprises and the cream is beginning to rise to the top in the Big 12.  Nebraska was exposed as one dimensional in yet another loss to Texas.  Most Big 12 fans must have found this at least mildly amusing as NU is leaving for the Big 10 almost entirely out of jealousy toward Texas.

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Get yourself pumped with Sean Stephenson

Sean Stephenson a true lover of life.

This is Sean Stephenson.  He seems to have been posting videos on Youtube for quite some time.  A friend posted this video of him on facebook and it needs to be shared.  You are drawn in by his odd look but the dude is pretty inspirational.  A man truly living live with a youthful bliss.

Sean Stephenson Dance Party

Keep rocking and rolling Sean.

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