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Rain Rain Go Away

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Minnesotans just can't catch a break this year - first the upper part of the state catches fire, then the 35W bridge collapses, and now it's been raining almost non-stop in SE MN. Other than a few mud slides and some wet basements, there hasn't been too much damage here in town. (We live at the highest point on our street, so our house has been fine - although I think our neighbors that have a lower yard than we do had some water damage to their basement). Some of the surrounding towns haven't been so lucky. One of my co-workers parents live in Rushford, which was pretty devastated by flooding. Her parents were evacuated at 4AM on Sunday, and they've lost basically everything. The paper has been updating fairly frequently, and posting pictures and it's just amazing the amount of damage.

Things could have been really bad here - but they did a major flood-control project after a 1978 flood that put large sections of town underwater. A popular picture shows the K-Mart with water almost to the roof; I just found a picture in a PDF that shows the mall with water at least halfway up the side. But there was still a lot of water this weekend, especially right by the river and lake.

Part of my favorite bike path route:

What it normally looks like (coming from the opposite direction:

So ...

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I haven't blogged in awhile. It's been long enough that I had to actually type in my blog's address to read my last post, since it's not in the history anymore. I haven't felt like I have much to blog about, since I'm not really running a whole lot. I'm going to make a separate post for the running I have been doing, but here's what else is going on with me.

Boston

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Wow - the Boston forecast kind of sucks:

FORECAST:The most up-to-date weather forecast calls for a predicted Spring storm on Monday, including heavy rains (potentially 3 to 5 inches), with the start temperatures in the mid to upper 30's. Wind will likely be East (in the face of the participants for most of the race) in the 20 to 25 mile per hour range, with gusts to as much as 50 miles per hour. This will produce a wind chill index of 25 to 30-degrees Fahrenheit.

I'm feeling pretty damn good about my decision to bypass Boston for a trip to Hawaii right about now. Good luck to everyone running Boston!

Thanks for playing!

Fucking Wisconsin.

Since I had them in the championship game, I'm done on Yahoo's brackets. Thankfully I picked Florida instead for my work bracket, so I'm not totally screwed in the money version. But as far as the RBF version goes, I think it's safe to say I'm going to finish near the bottom now.

Stupid Big 10 - way to totally disprove all the "Big 10 is overrated" / "Big 10 basketball sucks/is slow and boring" talk.

March Madness!

Barb's got a RBF bracket going on:

It's almost time for the BIG DANCE.

Let's dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues.


Group Name: RBF Bracketology
Group ID# 37463
Password: run26.2

Take this info. Go here: http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/
You may need to create a yahoo id...ain't no thang though...it's easy and they don't solicit you with crap you don't want.

Once you're logged in, you'll need the Group ID# and Password and just follow instructions until you're in!

You won't be able to fill out your bracket until after Selection Sunday and you won't be able to view other folks' brackets until after play begins. You'll get to fill out up to five brackets (and if you're smart, you'll have KU losing in the first round in at least one of them and them winning it all in another).

What on earth are you waiting for?! Come join your fellow RBFers and have some fun. And yes, trash talk is totally allowed...all in good fun. Feel free to post this info on your blog...

Winner gets Gu...or something fun and runnerish like that.

So yeah...LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!

My bracket is tentatively called "The NCAA is bullshit" because that's about all the Engineer and I could say as we watched the selection show. BULLSHIT that tOSU is not the #1 overall seed. BULLSHIT that Kansas is a #1 seed and gets the play-in game. BULLSHIT that Purdue is a 9 seed, Indiana is a 7 but Illinois is a 12. BULLSHIT that a bunch of teams with shittier records got better seeds and playing sites than Illinois. (And poor MSU with the 8 seed).

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any illusions about Illinois's playing strength and chances for longevity. (If you're just tuning in, the Engineer and I are Illinois grads. We also root for the other Big 10 teams during the tournament (well, except for Minnesota. I still rooted against them in '05)). They've had a rough season, what with the injuries and illnesses and adjusting to life without Dee and Augie ... not to mention the whole stupid DUI debacles. But I think the Big 10 got pretty screwed by the tournament committee. Oh well, hey, 2 years ago they said the Big 10 was down and they got 2 teams in the Final Four.

Obviously someone on the committee has a strange sense of humor: if Illinois wins, they could potentially play Southern Illinois and then potentially play Kansas. Looks like some of the conspiracy talk on IB wasn't totally unfounded.

(The bold part above is mine because I had already planned on doing that. But that's because we hate Bill $elf and KU here).

Tired of snow

We got another 7" of snow yesterday afternoon/last night. The Engineer and I shoveled before we went to bed last night, and I got up early this morning to check if we needed to shovel again. It didn't look like it had snowed much more, but the plow had been by so the end of the driveway needed clearing. It didn't look like there was much, so I went back to bed for awhile and then woke the Engineer up so he could clear it for me. Unfortunately, between the plow and the drifting, there was a lot of snow at the end of the driveway. The Engineer had maybe a 10 minute headstart on me, and it still took us close to 20 minutes together to get the driveway clear so I was late to work. (It was deep enough I couldn't just drive over it).

snow thrower I've been wanting a snow thrower for awhile, but this recent heavy snow has made me really want one. I'm fairly useless with the snow at the end of the driveway because I can't lift it and a snow thrower would help make it so I could get out without needing the Engineer. (I was worried about the potential for snow last week while he was off "working" in California). On Wednesday, when we first got the 10-15" prediction, I called around and every store in town was out of 2-stage throwers. But the newspaper's business blog had a tip today that a store in the next town over (10 minutes from my house) still had a ton in stock. So the Engineer and I headed over to check it out, and tomorrow morning our new toy will be delivered. How's that for good service? They're going to assemble it and drop it off, and if there's a problem during the warranty they'll pick it up for service. Since it weighs 160 lbs, I'm glad I don't have to help try and get it in the car!

Of course, now we'll probably be done with snow for the season and next winter will be light ... but I'd still consider that money well spent!

Pointless post

How sad is it that I'm excited by today's weather forecast?

I made mashed sweet potatoes last night, and while the Engineer discovered that he doesn't like them, I thought they were really good. He much preferred the mashed garlic potatoes I've been making. Apparently the secret for good mashed potatoes that reheat well is to use olive oil instead of butter.

I've been trying to start cooking again, and I actually found recipes at Hy-Vee this week. I made a rice thing last night that was ok, although a little bland by itself. I also steamed vegetables with some herb mix thing, which turned out pretty well and is a lot cheaper to make than the Green Giant versions that I love.