Behind the Record

Well, my humble little blog about water skiing has officially gone world wide. One of the organizers of the recent world record for number of skiers behind one boat has thanked me for the coverage of their many attempts and finally of their record.

David Bennett, one of the organizers of the event grew up in a family without a boat, but his family did join a local family based ski club and learned to ski and now will ski on just about anything… trampolines (on skis), ladders, milk crates on disks, bench seats and even computer keyboards and laptops. He’s taught nearly 1000 people how to ski.

For those of you that have built the show ski pyramids in the states, here’s something you may find interesting, They used an awful lot of ropes for that record…

That be a whole lot of ropes that they had to get the same length. Put that together with the engineering to devise something to pull that many people from a deep water start and you have quite the record.

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Lots of Skiers [an update]

January 30, 2010 – 110 skiers up, 99 made it 1 nautical mile

Over in Tasmania, they are still trying to break the record for most skiers behind a boat. On January 30, 2010, they managed to get 110 skiers (of 120) up on plane from a deep water start, but only 99 skiers made it the nautical mile required for it to be a record.

They plan to try again and soon. Be sure to check out their website for more details, pictures and videos.

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Bags of Chips or Bags of Air?

/off topic

Inspired by a friend that joined a Facebook group, I decided to write this post sharing a few details about why bags of chips contain so much air.

First off, the bags are packaged by large machines that weigh out a specific amount of chips to put into the bag. Since chips vary in size and shape, there needs to be extra space for the packaging process. As the chips are shipped to your local grocery store, they tend to ‘settle’ into a more compact space. Yes, this is the common reason given by most people, but it is only part of the reason.
Second, the bags of chips are typically shipped in large boxes. The air in the bag actually acts as packing peanuts and protects the chips from becoming crumbs. Without the air in the bag acting as padding, or spacing, for the chips, a large box containing many bags of chips would soon be all crumbs, which nobody wants. Try to crush the chips in a brand new unopened bag. Tag a bag of chips and squeeze it between the palms of your hands. Now not so hard that the bag will burst open, but enough to theoretically crush some chips. Chances are that air you complain about is doing a pretty good job of protecting the chips from any significant damage. So there are two options for this step, either put the extra air in the bag to protect its contents, or put styrofoam packing peanuts in with the chips and I’m off the opinion that this would be a bad idea.
Now I like my bags of chips, specifically Cheetos, and I would like the bags to be as full as possible, but I also want chips or Cheetos, I don’t want a bag full of crumbs. So next time, instead of complaining about the half bag of air, be thankful for the half bag of chips you have. It could be a full bag of crumbs.
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K’Nann on ACL

/off topic

Since setting up my DVR to record Austin City Limits on PBS so I wouldn’t miss the Pearl Jam episode that aired in November 2009, I’ve been treated to a lot of really good music. Some very familiar (Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Dave Mathews Band) and some that I hadn’t heard of. It is of one of these that I’m going to tell you about.

The episode from this past Sunday featured the artist K’Naan and Mos Def. Mos Def I’ve heard of (and can’t say I’m a huge fan of), but K’Naan was a complete unknown to me. I had never even heard the name.

The performance by K’Naan was amazing. His family is from Somali and left the country in 1991. His life growing up wasn’t easy and he uses his music to give you a little bit of insight into that life. You can check out the full episode online here. Really, you need to watch it. I’ve posted an excerpt of it below.

Mos Def performed for the second half of the show. Still not a big fan, but did like his song called Micheal which is a rendition of a Micheal Jackson song. The song right after that one, Quiet Dog I believe, was also very good. I did like him as Ford Prefect in the Hitchhikers Guide.

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Did You Hear the One About the Water Skiing Elephant?

So I know a lot of people have heard the tale of the water skiing elephant. I think Rykert and his dog Nola or the keyboardists over at the CRB mentioned the impressive pachyderm at some point, but I’ve actually managed to have my automated Google-bots track down the source of this legen- wait for it, and I hope you’re not lactose-intolerant because the second half of this word is -dary story.

My Google-bots sent a link to a YouTube video uploaded by JPizzle1122. Who is JPizzle? Well, he is Jonny Paula, “the host of YouTube’s only interactive movie review show.” (That doesn’t mean anything to me either.)  In his January 13th episode he decided to review the Final Destination (not the original one that was OK, but the one from 2009 that was in 3D) and Honky Tonk Freeway. What is Honky Tonk Freeway you ask? I haven’t heard of that movie you’re saying. Well not many people have. It was a 1981 box office BOMB staring Beau Bridges and Beverly D’Angelo (before either of them were stars) and some others that you’d probably recognize from other great 80′s movies.
The movie even warranted a Razzie award nomination back in 1982 for Worst Original Song (“You’re Crazy But I Like You” by two people you haven’t heard of). It also featured such memorable quotes as “Yep…goin’ to the Super Bowl. Gonna sell me some cocaine.” Needless to say, this little gem pulled in about $2 million total in box office revenue back in the day. With all the “soon” to be stars in this movie, it’s probably worth watching in the way that you have to look at a car accident. You can even get it on Netflix.
Now I know you’re asking yourself how does a water skiing elephant fit into the movie Honky Tonk Freeway? Well, the premise of the movie is a small Florida town is going to get by-passed by a freeway. And by by-passed, we mean by-passed. Not even an on-off ramp. People won’t even have the option to stop. In an effort to “stop” the freeway, the small town mayor and the business decide to come up with tourist traps (for lack of a better description) that’ll make people want to stop. One of those tourist traps is Bubbles the Water Skiing Elephant.
Bubbles the Water Skiing Elephant
By now I know you’re itching to see the movie review that inspired me to write this bit of useless droll. So without further ado, here is Episode 10 of Movie Night – Water Skiing Elephant Killed in Bizarre Swimming Pool Accident… enjoy…
And now you know… the story behind the pachydrm that is proficient on pink pyramid boards. Wedge Out!
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The Crazy People in Tasmania Are At It Again

The Horsehead Water Ski Club in Strahan, Tasmania is going to try and break the world record for number of water skiers behind one boat again. The attempt is set for January 30, 2010. They’ve been trying the last couple of years, but have encountered some engineering difficulties that prevented them from succeeding.

The current record is 100 skiers from Oct 18, 1986. Here’s the picture of everyone up on skis…

And if you want to see some video of it, here it is…

In 2008, they tried to break the record with 121 skiers. What will they try this year?
For more details, be sure to look around their website.
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Naked Water Skiing

Who knew that hangovers + nudity + waterskiing + near hypothermia = community event to boost business. Yeah, that’s right, it’s a community event to boost the communities business. They first tried the Bun Run (that’s what they call it on) out on New Year’s Eve, but that didn’t work so well (put a dent in the supper business), so now they do it on New Year’s Day and it’s been working well for 30 years now. Granted it’s happening in California, so the water is a “balmy” 46 degrees, but that’s still cold.

You can read the full story here.
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More People Preaching that the BCS is Good

I love the BCS Twitter feed. It is so much fun to read…
First, they point us to this article that basically says a playoff would dilute the regular season for college football. That is bunk. If you have a 16 team playoff field that is populated with the 11 conference champions and 5 at large bids. Schools need to ensure a conference championship to punch an automatic ticket to the playoff. Every game will still count. If by chance they come in second in their conference, they’ll be competing with about 110 other schools for the 5 at large spots so they’ll need an impressive resume to punch their ticket so they’ll need some big name out of conference wins to help get an invite.

This article basically says the BCS is good because it provides lots of money to schools/conferences that get to participate. I was still under the impression that college sports were still sports. Yes, they can’t loose money, but they do need to break even and sports like football (and b-ball and at some schools, hockey) need to pay for the rest of the non-revenue sports, but isn’t the ideal behind it that it is still a sport. (Pro-sports are a whole ‘nother can of worms.) Isn’t the NCAA suppose to help their member schools maximize the revenue of the sports. Not the revenue of their business?

It also says that for the 2 teams that make to the championship game, they’ll have to go through so many extra games that the risk of injury increases and becomes to great. Whether they play a single bowl game or 4 games to win a championship, they’d probably end up practicing the same amount of time do the risk of injury isn’t really that much greater.
I’m sick of hearing about everyone complaining that congress spent some time creating a law that says that the BCS can’t call the winner a champion. I’m guessing the discussion went like this… Hey, the way the BCS decides a champion is bunk. Let’s force them to make a playoff. Here’s a proposed law. All in favor, say Aye. And then they went back to healthcare discussions.
And if the NCAA Football is a business worrying about providing lots of money to the conferences and schools, why are they even concerned for the well being of the players? They aren’t. They use it as a distraction to protect their friends that run the bowls and makes a boat load of money for organizing a football game that the student athletes will remember for the rest of their lives. I can’t wait to hear a player shout out in excitement “I’m so proud to be the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Champion. It is the crowning achievement of my college career.” Oh wait, that’ll never happen.
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The Mess that is the BCS

Alright everyone, I’ve been chomping at the bit to write this ever since I saw that the BCS has created a website dedicated to documenting the problems with a playoff in college football. I found out about via the BCS Twitter feed. Both have been providing me with a daily source of entertainment since I found them.

First, I’ll mention an article that the BCS Twitter feed about how the BCS is going down the right path. It brings up the fact that there could be 5 undefeated teams at the end of the year and how it is nice that TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati are at least in the conversation of a national championship and how pre-BCS they never would have been. OK, I’ll grant the BCS that, but with a true playoff, not only would they be in the conversation for a championship, they’d be in a playoff that would determine one. The best quote from the article which really doesn’t help the BCS’ cause is this:
That simple truth hasn’t changed in the BCS which, for all its flaws, is largely a product of human whim.

For those unsure of the definition of whim, it is this (from an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy. With that definition in mind, the article that BCS uses to stump its case brings up the fact that the team’s playing in the championship are decided by humans that really aren’t giving a ton of thought to the votes. I’ve heard many mentions in the press that coaches really don’t have time to fill out their polls in a meaningful way, they are busy figuring out how to win their next game. Press members really don’t have the time either. Between the conclusion of games on Saturday and Sunday afternoon when the polls are released they need to thoughtfully evaluate all of the games from the previous day while writing their various articles for the local paper they work for or whatever media outlet they work for. They don’t have the time.
Now back to their new website…
On the front page of they list off 7 questions with the intent being they’d dissuade you from wanting a playoff. I’ll go through those one by one now…
1) Who would participate?
I’ll just flat out say a 16-team playoff is necessary. Checking the college football schedule on I found that there are 12 football conferences. You can’t have a bracket that doesn’t have at least one spot for each conference champion. If winning your conference doesn’t allow you to play for the national championship, it just isn’t right.
2) How many automatic qualifiers?
I’d award each conference champion (however a conference decides it) and any undefeated team an automatic bid. If you want to open an extra at-large spot or two, you could put the caveat in that the conference champion would have to have 2 or fewer losses to earn an automatic bid. (I would personally lean to have the automatic berth require 2 or fewer losses). This would typically open another 2 or 3 spots (for example, this year, Conference USA, Sun Belt and possibly MAC conferences would not earn automatic bids because their champions have too many losses.) Each year there would typically be 4 to 7 at large berths.
3) What would would be the criteria to qualify?
I’ve already answered this question in my answer for how many automatic qualifiers. Look to my answer for the next question for filling the at-large berths.
4) What would be the criteria for seeding?
For the at-large berths and the seeding, I’d do what the NCAA does for their exciting basketball tournament. They sequester some people intimately involved in the sport (conference commissioners and athletic directors) to select teams for the at-large berths and seed them accordingly. They seem to do a good job for basketball.  I’d personally put a heavy preference on undefeated teams getting top seeds, followed by conference champions with at-large’s getting the last spots.
5) Where would the games be played?
In the first round of 8 games, I’d play them at the the higher seeds stadium. Give them a reward for a well down season. Second round games, I’d play them at a neutral stadium that can handle the demand of the two teams that is a fairly equal distant for traveling purposes for the teams/fans. Semi-final and championship could be played at traditional bowl locations.
6) When would they be played?
I’d play the first game the week after the regular season is done and then every two weeks thereafter. This would provide a break for finals at most universities between the 1st and 2nd round games and the 2 weeks between the 2nd round, semifinal and championship would provided adequate time for fans to arrange travel, etc. This would have games on the 2nd and 4th weekends of December and January. People may say this stretches it out too long, but that would only get really long for 2 schools and sort of long for 4 schools.
7) Would everyone be satisfied?
The BCS website says no, but I’d beg to difer. Maybe teams 17, 18 and 19 aren’t too happy about not getting in, but guess what, they probably have 2, 3, or 4 losses and if they have that many, should they really have a reason to complain. No. The way things are today, there could be 3 undefeated teams on Sunday that don’t get to play for the National Championship and I think they would have a lot more right to complain than team 17, 18 and 19.
Some other notes about how to get in and what nots…
  • No limits on how many teams from a single conference. If a conference has 2 undefeated teams, they’d both get in, one via the conference championship, one via going undefeated. (This could happen in the Big Ten for example.)
  • No special rules for any independent teams. They’d need to earn an at-large berth or go undefeated to get an automatic entry.
Finally, after digging deeper on the BCS website, they pose the question Why would a playoff diminish the regular season? Here is their answer:
Playoffs would weaken the regular season. It has happened in every other sport. Once a team has clinched a playoff berth, subsequent regular-season games often become meaningless. The interest of fans, sponsors, television viewers and others is redirected from the regular season into the playoff.

I take offense to their answer. The only way to clinch a berth is to win your conference. Many conferences have a championship game which is the last game of the year for those teams. They need to win it to get an automatic berth. If there is a maximum loss to keep the automatic bid, they’d also have reason to keep winning. I don’t thin this will water down the regular season.
When they talk about about watering down an experience, I think they’ve successfully watered down the bowl experience. They say 68 teams get to go to a bowl game. Yes, some bowl games are rich with tradition (Fiesta, Rose, Sugar, Orange, etc) that every year have a quality match up. Now there is the Little Ceaser’s Bowl. Yay, I’m the Little Ceaser’s Bowl Champion… we defeated a 7-5 team and got some free pizza. (no offense to Little Ceaser’s… I eat their pizza weekly.) I’d chalk that up as one of my great college experiences…. err, maybe not. Yeah, it would be fun. But playing for a true championship would be way more fun.
Finally, just because there is a playoff, doesn’t mean the bowls can’t go on. If 68 teams go to bowls today, why can’t 52 teams go to bowls while the others play in De-January Madness.
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Mad-city is the state champs!

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Where are my Cheez-Its?

While the CRB and Lake of Sin feud over an old cooler (that's gotta be just about empty by now since no one refills it), a paddle and a Lappy, I'm looking for my Cheez-Its so I can watch 24? I'm not sure who's going to star in 24 now that Nola has taken out Jake Baurer (still not completely sure how that happened?) Personally, I'm hoping Jack's daughter somehow saves him without getting kidnapped.

Personally, I think the CRB just needs to give up their quest and buy themselves a new cooler… maybe something like this…

I personally don't think that will hold enough "beverages" for the CRB'ers though. (I do think it'll fit there style perfectly)  They might need something a little bigger like this…
But even that might not be big enough… This one might actually be able to satisfy their thirst…
That cooler doesn't have beer in it, but it might just be big enough to handle the beer needs of the CRB crew.
Meanwhile, I'll continue to look for a new source of Cheez-Its since CRB and the Lake of Sin have purchasing all of them for the nefarious needs.  I'll offer up my casa to Nola if she wants to lay low for a while.

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UW Band Concert

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15 Percent Concentrated Power of Will

That is what it took to write this post… not really, but it has been along time coming.  Here’s a look back at some the best pictures from 2008. My photo blogging took a bit of nose dive last year after June 1st due to the lakes closing in Madison.  When you drive 45 minutes to practice and don’t get home till 10pm or so, you just don’t have that much spare time.  The camera was still busy, so here’s a look back.
As those that follow the site know, my ski season started early in 2008.  January 26th to be exact. I went south to get some skiing in, but not very far.  Just a mere 30 minutes.  The ski site looked like this…
And the water was cold…
But it wasa fun…
The the skiing too a hiatus for a few months.  It took till the beginning of May before we back on the water…
But it has to complain when your nights on the water end like this…
A week later, the Best Dam Barefoot Race took place.  It was a little cooler this year, but still a whole lot of fun.
As May wound down, we had some very nice weather, which we made good use of…

Then, the rain hit, and it hit hard…
Leaving us with this…
And this….
So Mad-City headed about 45 minutes north, to Lake Wisco, to practice.  One of the nice things about that is we had nights that looked like this at the end of the night…
And this…
And resulted in fun practices like this…

My boat also made a few trips to Lake Wisconsin too. One of the better trips was on July 4th.  It took phone calls until 1am the night before to finalize the plans, but they were finalized and we skied on some nice water in some great scenary.

When State arrived, the rain made another cameo appearance…
But it didn’t stick around too long…
And it was still a whole lot of fun…
And we put on one hell of a good show…
Resulting in this…
The following week we did a road show in Portage, so I had a chance to do doubles again…
And then the next week we did yet another road show, this time on Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, there were 4 foot rollers there to great us…

Finally, Nationals arrived.  After a season of driving, late practices and little sleep, our Nationals show went very well…

And after our show, we hit “The Bar”…

Our efforts were rewarded…

After Nationals, the Madison lakes slowly reopened, so then we just had some fun….
And more fun…
And occasionally, we needed supplies delivered…
So the nights would end like this…
But then we’d go out again the next night…
I did get to hit the ramp a little…
And the water…
Finally, fall arrived, and the last trip out on the lake…
Then winter arrived and more nights would end like this…
So that’s the 2008 in pictures.
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Think Tank

I find it interesting that Think Tank has changed it’s name. The reason I’ve heard is there are two many “think tanks” now and the name wasn’t unique.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that they may have changed the name because some call it Drink Tank. So they’ve now dropped the old name for a new name, and the new acronym is WSCE, and as Steve Locke pointed out on USA Water Ski today

WSCE (does that sound like whiskey?… just wondering)

So I’ll be off to WSCE at the end of February, where they’ve dropped one drinking name for another.

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Barefoot Worlds Coverage on Tales from the Foot

Barefoot Worlds are going on right now in New Zealand.  The best of best are over there tricking, slaloming and jumping.  KSO is trying to defend is title.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world, at least those of interested in barefooting, are curious to know what’s going on over there.  So far, there hasn’t been much, if any, official coverage, but I have managed to track down some sources to keep tabs on what’s happening.
Instead of having to scour the internet yourself looking for info, I’m doing that for you.  Just head over to my barefooting website Tales from the Foot.  That link will show you all the World’s Barefoot coverage that there is to know about so far.
While you’re there, feel free to browse around the whole site.
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Going for a Record… 122 Peoples, 1 Very Big Boat

I wrote about their attempt last year (someone from Tasmanina even stopped by in December 2008 to let me know about this upcoming attempt on Jan 31st.) Well they are going to try it again.  The Horsehead Water Ski Club in Tasmania is going to try to set a record.  Don’t know where that’s at?  Neither did I, so enter Google Maps, and you find out it’s here…

Still not sure where that’s at?  Well that “island” is off the southern tip of Australia. It is west of New Zealand, if that helps.  Here’s a link to the location in Google Maps.
Enough geography for today, back to the task at hand.  The World Record attempt.  The current World Record, at least according to this YouTube video, so it’s gotta be true, is 100 skiers.
Anyways, the Horsehead Water Ski Club is gonna try it again this year.  This weekend actually. They gonna try on Saturday, so that would be some time late on Friday here in the states if my international date line logic is current, but it could be wrong.

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A New Holiday Classic

No, this isn’t water skiing related, but it is a relatively new Christmas. This dates back all the to 2005 when Carson Williams put together this little light show for his neighborhood.  I’m not sure if it was that year or next, but Miller picked it up for their holiday beer advertising.  Then the following year they tried to create their own, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

Without further adoo, here is the original Symphony in Lights featuring the Wizards in Winter by TSO…
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The Mad-City 2008 National Recap is Online

I just finished posting Mad-City’s National Recap over on the Mad-City website.  Once again, it features a highlight clip.  Here’s the link. If you don’t want to read the whole recap and just want to see the video, here it is…

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Time for a Crash Course

For those of you that think that doing these crazy tricks on skis, or your barefeet, or hitting the ramp is easy, just watch this video.  It features skiers from a professional ski show trying out the new stuff in their spare time and this video shows all the crashes these people go through to land that big stunt in the ski show.

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Spread Eagle Night Shows

One thing you just don’t see very much is water skiing at night.  It’s just not allowed in most places.   Tommy Bartlett’s in the Dells would do night ski shows, but in the heart of summer, it just doesn’t get very dark until very late, so it usally wasn’t done in the full dark very often.

Once in a while the local ski teams around the state of Wisconsin get permission from the local authorities and put on a night show.  It’s usually a pretty big deal.
The Badwater Ski-Ters put on a night show this past year.  They are based way up north in Spread Eagle, WI (yes, it’s a real place) and ski on the Menominee River.  

Night show are something you don’t get to see very often, but luckily, they put together a little highlight video of their show.  Take 10 minutes and check it out.
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Mad-City 2008 State Highlight Clip is Online!

I’ve just posted Mad-City State Highlight Clip online. You have a couple options to view it…

  • First option is to go to the team’s website where there is a state recap online, with a brief recap of the whole weekend, including the video. Here’s the link for that.
  • Next option to start searching YouTube, but that isn’t always easy to find what you want.
  • Third option, is to just stay right here, because I’ve posted the video below.
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Another Couple Peeps Doing 7′s

Well, it has finally come to pass.  Paul O’Conner of Mad-City is no longer the sole person doing 720′s in the show ski world.  We have a couple more people to add to the role call now.

First off, we have someone from the Waterhawks in Waterloo, Iowa doing a 7 of the ramp through some fire.

Next, we have a 16-year old named Nick Wilson, from the Lake City Skiers in Warsaw, Indiana land a 7.  
Not sure how consistent either of these people are throwing them yet, but much props to them for landing one.  Me, I still spin abot 330 degrees when I throw a heli.  Makes skiing away a bit difficult.
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Free Style!!!

Way back in the 90s, there was a little sport called Free Style Jump.  Back then, they did a whole lot more of the ramp than just flips, gainers and helis.  They’d do all of that, then they’d do it on just a single ski, throw in some 1 ski 540′s, mobes, back mobes and some other stuff that I’m really not sure what they are and you have some pretty slick free style jumping.
It still exists today to some extent.  Now it’s called show ski jump, but just a bit tamer.  They mainly stick to the three staples (helis, flips and gainers), with a handful of people doing a bit more. You see the occasional 720, some one ski helis, and the vary rare mobious, but you just don’t see them vary often.  In the show ski world, unless you can stick damn near everytime, it’s just not going to make the show.  It’s too risky when you’re going for a state, regional or national championship.
But here are some people that don’t care about scores.  They just care about making you go “what the hell did I just see?” or “wow” or “holy shit!” and occasionaly make you’re jaw drop.

Now some ski teams still push the envelope a little bit.  Mad-City has Paul O’Conner who’s one of a handfull of people who can through a 720, and probably the only one that lands it consistently.  They also have a stable of jumpers so they can put together double 1-ski gainers, or the more traditional triple gainers.  There’s also Jon Debelak who’s skied for RAJ & Badgerland that can through the Mobe and gets to pull it out once in a while.
Some other teams will put together some crazy jumps of people flipping over helis and what not, but nothing like old school free style jumping.
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Solving the World’s Problems

Here’s something from an email chain I typed up today… I was asked if we had solved the world’s problems… Here’s my response.

And yes we solved the world’s problems… the Mad-City Ski will be introducing a new car that runs off the energy generated by big bright show skier smiles. Just keep a shit eating grin on your face and it’ll cruise down the highway. Revert to a normal smile and it’ll stop damn near immediately. Still working on a way to power boats with this power, but they have a tough time maintaining their smiles as they pull people of the dock (some are concentrating just too hard to smile). Besides solving the world’s energy crisis and the issue of road rage (it’s just too hard to yell mean things while maintaining this smile), the ski team will make enough money to buy up Monona Bay and all the surrounding land and convert it into the world’s best show ski site and ski school. And we also plan to move MG&E’s hot water outputs into the bay to keep it heated year round for skiing.

I was then questioned on pissing off the property owners and fisherman, to which I replied…

In my plan, the property owners would be very well off. The team purchases all the land around the bay to plant more trees (wind blocks) and create a huge park/ski site along the south shore of the bay (that is the best shore in the summer with Madison predominate south winds.) Basically, it would be a park all around the bay with the exception of the side with the train tracks on the shore.

Fisherman would be happy too… based on the need to be able to run U shaped patterns, some new breakwaters would be installed in the southwest and southeast corners out in the bay to prevent waves from the U-shaped patterns from interfering with the calm water in the center of the show course. These breakwaters would be planted with trees to both provide additional windblocks and “hide” things that are out of the show course. The side of the breakwaters opposite the main show course would become prime fishing areas based on the new shoreline for small fish to hide which attract larger fish which the fishermen want. Due to the nature of the boat patterns, they’d be able to fish in these locations anytime, including during shows practices.

I can’t think of a way to help the ice fishermen though… they’d just be out of luck.

And in case you didn’t realize this by now… this is completely fictional and tongue-in-cheek. Not real. Don’t be offended or pissed off.

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BFC Wisconsin State Tourny Article

Over at, one of the many minions Chuck has out reporting on events for him sent in a pretty good article about the Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament. The article, written by Michael Frank of the Badgerland Ski Team, has lots of pictures from a lot of the shows and a good explanation of what show skiing is and how it’s scored. Go check it out.

Link: BarefootCentral Wisconsin State Tournament Recap

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A Nationals Review Teaser… EOD2.5

Yes, Mad-City is a ski team, but our highest scoring act wasn’t a skiing act… technically… it was our continuous comedy… all the little things that go between the water skiing acts. Here is undoubtedly the highlight of our comedy.

The Evolution of Dance 2.5.

You might want to hit the rest room first, some people have had a hard time controlling their bladder while watching this.

The Evolution of Dance 2.5Mad-City Ski Team – 2008 National Show Ski Tournament
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Nationals in Rapids

Yes, I’ve been MIA most of the summer here. More details on that later…

Just a little reminder that the show ski Nationals are this weekend up in Wisconsin Rapids. Mad-City skis 3rd on Saturday so we’ll take the water about 10am. If you plan to watch us, you’ll want to be up there by 9am.

From the east side of Madison, it’s a 90 minute drive. Take I-39 north, then highway 73 west/north. Turn right (north) onto County U, then take a left (west) on South Park Road. The ski site will be on your right.

If you do come, the beach at Lake Wazeecha is red sand. It stains clothing and people. Wear older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Wear white shoes only if you want them to turn red.

Can’t make it? Plop down in front of your computer and watch the LIVE webcast. Just go to USA Water Ski for more details or click here.

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Slack in the rope?

Finally… Some Almost Warm Weather

Finally had a chance to bust out the boat last weekend on Saturday morning and have a good time on the water. I forced everyone to have a early wake up, even though it is a late start for skiing, still early as we all adjust to a summer morning skiing schedule. I called for people to be at the lake at 830am. As I pulled in just a couple minutes late, I saw Sandy and John waiting. We launched the boat as Teri called to say that Rob and her were “almost” there. About 15 minutes after we got the boat in the water, they arrived, through no fault of Rob’s, or so he claims. Next time, I plan to just tell Teri 30 minutes earlier than the rest of us. They did bring some trail mix for everyone to snack on though.

Back to the skiing… We didn’t freeze, calm water and lots-o-sunshine. John, Teri and I did some footing, Sandy did a little slaloming, Rob got dragged around on the boom (much to our entertainment), and then we busted out my new surfboard. I won’t go into details about the day, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking… We took lots of them, and here the best of the pictures…

John threw some tumbles…

and one foots…

and did we mention he likes to test out his barefoot shorts…

I just did some footing… here I am in front
of the hospital I’m spending a lot of time in now…
(Work reasons, not health reasons)

Teri demonstrated a tumble turn on the boom

John wanted to have some on the boom too

Sandy busted out her slalom ski to rehab her knee…
her she throws up a wall behind the spray from the boat

A better picture…

Here I’m making sure the surfboard works

Teri on the board from up high…

and down low…

That wave looks huge!

John actually looses the rope now and then…

No rope…

But sometimes needs it back

Rob learned how to surf…

Here’s he on top of the water…

Here he’s about to go upside down…

It wasn’t that warm out though…
Sweatshirts made the day very nice
Sandy’s catching some rays here

And here’s the backdrop for our skiing, the state capital

Back to my earlier comment about dragging Rob around on the boom… he tried he hand (or feet) at barefooting. Now he’s not a small person and tested out the boom. He threw up some big splashes with some of his tumble up attempts, even dosing the camera once. We decided to catch them on video. I need to do a little editing and set the videos to music for maximum entertainment value. Be sure to check back.

Links: Picasa Web Album

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Mad-City’s First Show is Sunday, May 25 at 6pm

Hey Everybody! Mad-City has been braving the very brisk waters of Lake Monona the last couple weeks getting our skiing legs back underneath us in preperation for our first ski show of the year. And it is coming up fast. We’ve had 3 practices on the water so far and have our first show already. The team suits up on Sunday, May 25 at 6pm for our first show at Law Park (just east of the Monona Terrace on John Nolen Drive). It’ll be a little rough, but come watch it anyways. You’ll be amazed when you stop back in a couple weeks and see how much our show will change in such a very short time.

Here’s a couple pictures from the first few practices. Enjoy!

Anna’s face shows just how cold the water is!

Yeah, Conventional Doubles!

Landing after a 3-high

Dano remembers how to do Helis

Paul on the wakeboard

Pictures courtesy Jim’s Photos the photographer of the Mad-City Ski Team.

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The Jersey… Part 2

Back in April I posted how I thought it would be awesome if the guy who put a Red Sox jersey in the cement of the new Yankee Stadium had buried a second item somewhere. I specifically mentioned a second jersey, but now there are reports of a score card being buried somewhere, and this time, he isn’t blabbing about the location.

Heard about this from Keith Olbermann/Deadspin/USA Today.

In the words of Eric Cartman… “Sweeeet!”

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22 Miles of Booze, or There and Back Again, a Drinking Tale

This past Saturday, the Best Dam Barefoot Race took place in Beaver Dam, WI. This year, I suited up with Bugsy, Beau, Dano and Marky to go the distance. Russ was driving for us in his Malibu.

Beau, Bugsy, Wedge, Dano and Marky Ready for 22 Miles of Fun

The weather this year, although not warmer than last year, was better than last year. The winds were much calmer, making the race like a Nascar Race. One slip up and you’re not going to win. For the race results, go check out Tales from the Foot. Basically, they messed up a pit stop and lost the race.

We didn’t have delusions of winning, we just wanted to finish. Shortly after the winners finished the race in a mere 23 minutes, we approached the turn around boat. The story in the bar afterwards goes that we stopped for a “drink” before making the return trip. We’ll neither confirm nor deny that, all we’ll say is that we were happy to see the turn around boat and they were happy to see us.

We finished the race, riding the feet of Marky, Dano and Beau while Bugsy and I did our contributions by giving them some recovery time and entertainment. Admittedly for all of us, it was a rough day. I’ve been on the water once, Dano a couple time, Bugsy did a 3-Event tourny (but hadn’t footed) while Beau and Marky suited up for the first time. None of were really ready for 22 miles, but we went anyways. Towards the end of race, the cold started to take affect, but then we finally spotted the bar and the finish line and rolled across the finish line 63 minutes and 43 seconds after we started.

But when the race finished, the party began.

We put the boat away, dried off and made our way into Dawn and Woody’s Moonlight Bar for food and drink. Before anything got too wild, we parked our cars at the Bell residence and car pooled back to the bar. We planned to have a good time.

As we arrived back at the bar, the karaoke was starting up. Beau, Dano and Marky had to head back to Madison for various reason, but we had reinforcements show up. Sandy and Beth were there to cheer us on, John arrived a little later, Teri was there as well with her own team and Douch arrived for the party as well. Many of us took turns on the stage… Sandy and Teri sang many songs, Pa Bell took the stage, Bugsy graced us with a boy band song, I did some Fishin’ in the Dark and got to sing along with Black Betty.

It took a while to get them to play Black Betty. First they said they’d already played and couldn’t play it again. Then I called them on the fact that they had already repeated several songs that night. Then they were like we don’t have a karaoke version and I told them I knew the words. After Douch made a comment about wanting ot hear it, they finally relented. It took way too much work to get that song played.

While I snacked on some cheese curds, Ann quizzed me on how I thought they were. I gave them 3 stars. They had a good batter on them and were white cheddar so they were pretty decent. We agreed that the curds at Old Fashions would be 5-star cheese curds and the variety served at The Coliseum Bar and The Dane in Fitchburg 4-stars. Ann then tried a cheese curd and agreed they’d be a 3-star cheese curd.

Talked with Footstock Dave and Chris Van Zeeland a little bit (he’d seen my other barefooting sight and liked it.) Shot some pool and caught up with some friends from the Must-Skis. All the while, I had a steady supply of margaritas on the rocks. I felt very good by the end of the night and none of us went home thirsty that night.

Here are some pictures from the night…

Wedge, Douch and a One of Many Margaritas

Bugsy on the Dance Floor

T-Bell and Wedge

Bugsy strikes a pose

Bell Duet

Around 11pm or so, we made it back the Bell house for the after bar. We arrived to find the garage fridge nearly empty, but Greg showed up with reinforcements. Meanwhile, Ma Bell kept feeding us with a steady supply of pizza. What some people found amazing was I was eating the pepperoni pizza even though it also had mushrooms on it. I don’t normally eat mushrooms. Correction… I don’t eat mushrooms. Or at least I hadn’t up until then.

Neither Bugsy or Lisa are doing anything particularly interesting…
But look at Ruby drinking some beer while Pa Bell watches proudly!

We made it past midnight and finally called it a night. I claimed a recliner in the Living Room once again and grabbed a blanket and quickly fell asleep.

Sunday morning arrived way too early and Ruby greeted me at 6am with a wake up call. Unlike last year, she didn’t have a pair of underwear with her this time. I was tired, thirsty and very sore, but surprisingly, not really hung over. Around 8am Ma Bell started making some breakfast for the Mother’s Day Breakfast she had planned. Slowly, the rest of the household started moving. I rolled out at 9am so I could make it back for my Mother’s Day festivities.

More pictures on Picasa.

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Breaking the Seal…

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog-casting. Water Skiing and Barefooting season is finally back!

Spring is doing everything in it’s power to push the last remnants of winter away. The weather is slowly warming, and with that, the water is slowly warming.

Unfortunately, the weather and my schedule haven’t been very cooperative this spring. The handful of nice days that we’ve previously had, I’ve been busy. The days I’ve had time, well let’s just say the weather has been a bit wintery. Hell, we’ve even had snow coming down on some of those days. Other days, 50 MPH gusts of wind. All great for water skiing… err maybe not.

But the weather and my schedule finally lined up on Monday. 60 or so degrees, sunshine, calm winds. After texting T-Bell and calling Lisa, I had the magic number for skiing.

After work, ran home to quickly get my boat, put some fresh gas in the tank, and headed to the lake. Teri and Lisa arrived and away we went. The lake’s a little high right now and we all felt the need to duck are heads as we went under the railroad bridge into the bay. I don’t think my head would have hit, but it was definitely low enough to make me think twice.

Once in the bay, I finished suiting up. And unlike last year, where I needed some assistance zipping up my suit…

Last year I needed some help…

This year, I zipped it all by myself. I’m a big boy now… or maybe not quite as big of a boy now since I fit in my suit a bit better.

Anyways, onto the skiing!

I took the honors and took the first run of the year behind my boat. I usually do. Ownership has it’s privileges. Somehow on my first run, I managed to be footing and have slack in my rope. That’s a neat trick. The first runs of the year took their toll on me. 2 sets of 2 runs each. No major runs, but it had it’s after affects. My feet were sore the next day, ear aches from the cold water, and arms that felt like jelly. Completely worth it though… I was back on the water.

Slack in the rope?


Next up Lisa dusted off her slalom ski. After letting the waves calm down from the barefoot circles, Douch took her runs back and forth across the bay cutting up the glassy water.

Lisa cutting hard!

Nice wall!

Teri dusted off her dry suit (not that it was really needed that night) and took her footing runs for the night and the first of the year for her as well.

Teri sporting the dry suit look!

In front of the Capitol

As we headed back to the boat launch, the three of us were treated to a great sunset!

Sunset on Lake Monona

After just a couple runs, maybe totaling 2 miles, I’m off to Beaver Dam this weekend for The Best Dam Barefoot Race. 22 miles of something. Last year it was brutal water, but a hell of a party afterwards. This year we’re crossing our fingers hoping for better water. No matter what, it’ll be a lot farther than I went on Monday.

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Ice Mite Fight

I grew up playing hockey, so it holds a special place in my heart. The NHL playoffs are fun to watch, and so is college hockey (I follow the Badgers). Olympic hockey is also a lot of fun to watch.

One thing I’ve never been a fan of is fights in hockey. I just never really saw the point. Once you’re old enough to check, there are so many legal ways to hit someone really hard, why throw your fist into somebody’s helmet. It just doesn’t make sense. So the frequent fights in the normal NHL games are pretty much a turn off for me.

Last time I went to a Badger hockey game, they had some Ice Mites playing hockey between periods. One kid tripped another and I stood up and started heckling the “refs” about missing the call. Another guy stood up and starting yelling it was clean. It became quite the funny scene and then pretty much the whole section started laughing. See Ice Mites are about 5, 6 or 7 years old and most can just kinda ice skate. They don’t know all the intricacies about playing position yet, they just kinda follow the puck. Lots of fun to watch… at least for a few minutes.

This video came to my attention from one of the many sports blogs out there. It shows, what looks like Ice Mites, getting into a fight. Unlike most fights, this one is hilarious. It almost looks like they are on the same team and someone from the other team comes to break up the fight. I had to keep myself from laughing out loud at work when I saw this. Enjoy…

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Inappropriate or Hilarious?

Or both? You decide…

Personally, I think both. I can’t help but laugh at this image, the winner of the latest Woot contest, but also feel bad that I think it’s funny. The image in question is from Woot user toby8195. Prepare to feel bad that you’re laughing so hard…

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This Isn’t Good Sportsmanship…

It’s GREAT sportsmanship!

Sara Tucholsk, a senior from Western Oregon’s softball team, hit her first home run ever in a game vs Central Washington. In her excitement, she forgot to tag first base as she passed it and went back to touch it. That’s when her knee gave out and she crumpled to the ground.

The antiquated rules of softball (probably inherited from baseball) state that the runner has to touch all the bases for it to be a home run and Sara wasn’t able to move anymore on her own power. The rules also state that she couldn’t get help from an official, her coaches or anyone on her team to round the bases. It appeared that they were going to have to score it as a single and then put a pinch-runner in for her.

Then Mallory Holtman, a senior from Central, asked if they could carry Sara around the bases already knowing in the rules that nothing prevented that. So Mallory and Liz Wallace, both from Central, carried Sara around the bases so her first home run would be scored as a home run.

For a few more details, go check out the full article on

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10 Best Places to Ski and Live… Redux

Although I like the fact that Madison, WI was named one of the 10 best places to ski and live, I really didn’t care for the article. Instead of just complaining about it, I’m taking action. I’m going to write my own version of the article. Here goes…

People in Madison, WI love their Packers and Badgers. The city, situated amongst Lake Monona, Mendota and Wingra also has people that love their lakes. Everyone enjoys the lakes, from the Union Terrace situated on Mendota to listen to live music in the summer or attending a wedding reception at the Monona Terrace situated literally on top of Lake Monona, people love the lakes. But people do more than just things around the lakes, they do stuff on the lakes. In the winter, while they’re frozen, you can find a multitude of ice fisherman on the lakes. But once they finally thaw, you can find even more people enjoying the lakes. The lakes are known for their great fishing and also sport both UW Rowing Team and many rowing clubs. There are also avid sailing clubs. Amongst all this activity, you can also find 3-eventers, wakeboarders, barefooters, show skiers and weekend warriors on the lakes. Madison is home to the Mad-City Ski Team, winner of 3 of the past 4 national championships, and the UW-Ski Team, a collegiate team that has competed well at the national level, despite only a month or so on the water in the spring and fall. To support all of the avid skiers, the city has boat dealers for both Mastercrafts and Nautiques. The lakes are facing their challenges though. The Mad-City Ski Team is helping to lead the charge and sponsors the Clean Lakes Festival raising money to help clean the lakes for everyone to enjoy.

Selling point: Minnesota may be the land of 10,000 lakes, but Wisconsin has even more. And 5 of the lakes are in the Madison area. Once the lakes thaw, you can find avid skiers taking to the water while ice still lines the shores, making the most of their precious time on the water. Whatever type of skiing you enjoy, you’ll like find some new friends on the water that share your passion for the sport. And once the sun goes down, you’ll find a lively city scene to keep you occupied till the sun comes up again. Just make sure you’re not allergic to snow.

Website: or

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10 Best Places to Ski and Live

I was flipping through the April 2008 issue of Water Ski Magazine and saw this picture staring back at me…

Mad-City Ski Team’s Ballet Line
Picture Composed by Don Heilman from the team’s website

Turns out I was on a page in their article titled 10 Best Places to Ski and Live. Now I’m happy to see Madison, WI ranked on their list, but I wish they had spent just a little bit more time writing their paragraph about Madison.

First off, the image is straight off the Mad-City Ski Team’s website. I know, I help run the site and know the person who put the image together. It isn’t a simple photo, there is some photo shop skill on display there as well. The kicker is photo credit doesn’t list the person that created this image or the team. It lists the person that sent them the image. Not good in my opinion.

Next, they talk about Mad City being a “show skier’s haven.” Based on that comment and the picture accompanying the article, I’m guessing Madison made the list, at least in part, because it’s home to the Mad-City Ski Team, winner of 3 of the 4 past National Show Ski Championships. If that’s the case, then just come out and say that it in the article instead of just the allusion to it by referencing Madison’s very common nickname which is incorporated into the team’s name.

The next thing that irked me is they completely got the number of lakes in Wisconsin all messed up. They point at the Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and Wisconsin isn’t that far behind. Now I knew off the top of my head that Wisconsin has more lakes than Minnesota. Using the internet I easily verified that. Wisconsin has about 15,000 lakes, significantly more than the 11,842 lakes in Minnesota. If you’re going to point out how many lakes a state has, even in general terms, make sure you get it right.

Finally, going back to the picture. It’s a picture right off the ski team’s website, so they know where it’s at. I think the picture was on the WWSF’s site too, and if they got it there, they were obviously looking for a Mad-City picture for their article and the WWSF site has links to the team’s website so they could find it. Plus, if you Google the team name, the team’s site is right at the top of the list. The website listed as a local reference for the article is the WWSF website. Nothing against the federations website, but ALL of the other 10 best places have a local chamber of commerce type site listed or local ski club site listed, not the state’s federation site. (I’m guessing this is related to the person who sent them the photo, but not positive.)

Once again, I love the fact that they like Madison enough to put it on their list and featured a picture of the Mad-City Ski Team in the article. They may even have mentioned my skiing habit of skiing until very late in the season in a drysuit amongst the snow and ice. But please do some basic fact checking. Or contact someone with some local knowledge to help with the fact checking.

Just a little note… One of the other cities listed, Seattle, Washington, has a great photo of someone skiing on Lake Sammamish with Mount Rainier in the background. It is a very scenic place to ski… I know, I’ve skied there. Very nice place to ski.

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The Jersey

If you pay attention to sports, you’ve probably heard that a Red Sox fan who happens to be a construction worker on the new Yankees’ stadium decided to put a Red Sox shirt in the cement of the stadium. (Here’s the story from TBL.) The guy couldn’t keep a good think secret and blabbed and then the Yankee’s went and dug it up.

Here’s what would be awesome…

He went and told about this shirt to make a big fuss about it. The secret is he really buried 2 shirts in the cement and didn’t mention that there is a 2nd shirt.

That would be awesome if he was smart enough to do that!

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Visitor Number 5000

Visitor number 5000 hailed from the Arena, Wisconsin area and arrived via the Google Image search having found this picture from this page and spent about 33 minutes browsing the blog looking through at least 13 different pages.

Obviously, the main page has been the most visited page, but the “Fatty Full of Fellowship and Fun” page visited by #5000 has been one of the most popular pages for people to find, followed closely by the Friday Night Surfing page.

Now that I’ve crossed the 5000 visitor mark, the quest begins for 10,000! Hopefully I get to 10,000 just a bit quicker!

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Approaching 5000 Visitors Fast…

Waaaaay down at the bottom of the home page you’ll find a tiny little counter. That’s what keeps track of how many people stop by. Well, I’m nearly to 5000 visits. Should cross that total later on today or tomorrow. Will you be visitor number 5000? If you are, let me know!

Those of you looking for some water ski commentary… it’ll be coming… real soon. The lakes are nearly open and my boat is ready to go. Just waiting for the water to resume it’s liquid form.

And yes, I’m jealous of Rykert… he’s back on the water. Posted a couple videos too. If you listen closely, there are a couple funny comments from the people holding the video camera.

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Brewers Ranked #1

Over at Ladies… they have the Brew Crew ranked number 1 in the MLB standings. Now I’m not a big baseball fan, but their little summary of their ranking rational made me laugh.

1st place: Cardinals and Brewers. Best records in baseball at 5-1. This is clearly the NL Comedy Central’s year to make a dramatic comeback. Half the NL All-Star starters will be Redbirds and Beer Makers, we will win home field advantage and then the Cards will beat the Brew Crew in a dramatic game 7 of the NLCS on a Pujols bomb that knocks Bernie Brewer unconscious and causes Derrick Turnbow to collapse in a pile of tears. Yep. That’s exactly what will happen.

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UW Oshkosh Forming a Ski Team!

Hot of the press… UW Oshkosh is forming a water ski team. Their first opponent… UW Platteville. Get the full story here.

On a more serious note, it’s good to know water skiing is important enough at UW Oshkosh to warrant an April Fool’s Day Joke. Not sure why they’d have to use the sink holes… they have enough water around the campus in lakes and rivers, unless they just have a whole lotta sink holes on campus. That, and they already have a ski team.

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MSU Likes ESPN Polls

Over at ESPN, they have a poll going on right now about who’ll win the NCAA basketball tournament. I think there are just a few people from Michigan State voting based on the results from when I took the poll, particularly in questions 3, 7, 8 & 10. I’m a big fan of the results for question 2 though.

1) Which team will win the East Regional?
48.6% North Carolina
39.5% Tennessee
8.9% Louisville
3.0% Washington State

2) Which team will win the Midwest Regional?
46.8% Wisconsin
45.9% Kansas
4.8% Davidson
2.5% Villanova

3) Which team will win the South Regional?
50.4% Michigan State
30.9% Texas
10.8% Memphis
8.0% Stanford

4) Which team will win the West Regional?
73.8% UCLA
17.0% Xavier
7.4% West Virginia
1.8% Western Kentucky

5) What was the biggest surprise of the first two rounds?
36.3% (12) Western Kentucky’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer over (5) Drake
27.6% (10) Davidson upsets (2) Georgetown behind Stephen Curry’s 25 second-half points
23.8% (2) Duke beats (15) Belmont by only one point
8.5% (13) San Diego’s De’Jon Jackson beats (4) Connecticut with a last-second jumper
2.9% (9) Texas A+M loses to (1) UCLA by only two points
0.9% (16) Mississippi Valley State scores fewest points in tournament (29) since 1946 vs. (1) UCLA

6) Which No. 1 seed is most likely to lose before the Final Four?
77.1% Memphis
12.1% UCLA
6.0% Kansas
4.8% North Carolina

7) Who has been the most outstanding player of the first two rounds?
43.9% Drew Neitzel, Michigan State
29.1% Stephen Curry, Davidson
3.7% Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
3.3% Ty Lawson, North Carolina
3.0% Joe Alexander, West Virginia
2.3% A.J. Abrams, Texas
2.2% Trevon Hughes, Wisconsin
1.8% Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
1.6% Kevin Love, UCLA
1.0% Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
++more people that I’ve omitted.

8) Which Cinderella is most likely to reach the Final Four?
61.0% (5) Michigan State
17.9% (10) Davidson
14.6% (7) West Virginia
3.7% (12) Villanova
2.8% (12) Western Kentucky

9) How many of your Final Four teams remain?
49.5% 4
43.9% 3
4.9% 2
1.0% 1
0.7% 0

10) Which team will win the NCAA tournament?
44.6% Michigan State
20.5% North Carolina
7.9% Kansas
7.2% UCLA
3.5% Wisconsin
3.1% Texas
2.5% Memphis
2.5% Tennessee
2.2% Louisville
1.7% West Virginia
1.1% Washington State
1.0% Davidson
0.8% Xavier
0.7% Villanova
0.5% Stanford
0.3% Western Kentucky

Total Votes: 213,403

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Hydrofoil Wakeboards = Old News

Not really, but kinda. Over on WakeBoarder’s Spot they had an article about a new form of wake boarding called Hydrofoil Wakeboarding. Basically, you have a wakeboard that instead of the basic fins on the bottom has a hydrofoil. Granted, they still aren’t being mass produced, but it really isn’t that new of an idea.

As I previously documented, some guy in the UK is trying to patent this idea of a hydrofoil wakeboard and I did my own personal debunking of it. If you look closely at the patent, it’s kinda vague and isn’t even new. Laird Hamilton and his crew of surfers in Hawaii have been doing this for years (as shown in the movie Step into Liquid). They stumbled upon an air chair, decided to get rid of the chair and then put some boots on it so they could get towed into the really big waves for surfing purposes. I’ve previously posted about this here and here. The movie came out in 2003 and it looked like they had been doing the foil surfing for several years. They had the process pretty well refined.

But my documentation of the foil boards goes back even further now. In the pilot episode of the classic cartoon Jonny Quest titled Mystery of the Lizard Men they show Jonny on what could almost be a hyrdofoil wakeboard. This back in 1964. Here’s the proof…

Jonny Quest – Mystery of the Lizard Men (1964)

Now this isn’t the best arguement because they put pretty much every water craft that the Quests owned on a foil of some sort, but it does show an elongated board for the purpose of being towed on the water with his feet secured and a hydrofoil.

This also gives me a good place to recommend the modern day version of Jonny Quest titled The Venture Brothers. It airs on [adult swim]. Great little cartoon and the make fun of Jonny Quest too.

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Whole Lotta Updates…

Where to start… it’s been about a month since my last post. No, I haven’t gone away, just been busy dealing with “winter” stuff here in Wisconsin.

I guess the first big update from the last month would be I hit up Think Tank. For those that are wondering what that is, it’s a water skiing convention put on by the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation. You can go there and learn about a lot of different aspects of water skiing. 3-event, collegiate, wake boarding, barefooting and show skiing. Lots of show skiing stuff there. It’s a good way to get people excited about the ski season starting here in Wisconsin (not that it has yet, but it’s getting close). It’s also a good excuse to get a bunch of water skiers together and have a big party. Only real complaint from the weekend is the hotel bar at the Chula Vista is not big enough to hold all the skiers. Over at BFC, they’ve posted a pretty good update about there trip to Think Tank.

My personal experience there was a lot of fun. I had my friend Linda, a show skier herself, up from Florida for the weekend. We got up there late afternoon on Friday and hit the water park in the hotel. I think it’s the first time I’ve gone to a water park in about 15 years. That was a lot of fun. Then we hit the outdoor hot tub for drinks before changing and heading down to the doubles competition and fashion show (better known as 2 good reasons to drink at Think Tank.) Saturday was rough, dranks lots of water, taught my tank in the afternoon and partied some more that night.

Shortly after Think Tank, I heard about a new water skiing movie coming out this summer. H2O Extreme. Guess the plot synopsis is a talented water skier and hockey player moves from Wisconsin to Florida to pursue the big money in professional show skiing, passing on a professional hockey career. Personally, it’s like my life story. Grew up playing hockey, in Wisconsin no less, love to show ski and water ski in general, but still not getting paid. I guess the main difference between me and the guy in the movie, he’s got some made show ski skills. Flying high on the wakeboard and fronts and gainers off the ramp, where as I’m a chick hauler who likes to try and jump. Want some more details? Check out the trailer…

If watch the trailer closely, you’ll see the newest skis from HO (yes that’s a real ski company name), twin tip jump skis. Yes, they’ve been doing it for years on the slopes and now they’ve done it for jump skis. Seen on the water ski blog-o-sphere first over on the Row Boat, you can pick up your own pair for four bills over at

While I’ve been lacking in my blog posts, the Row Boat has not. Then been posting up a flurry lately. Word on the street is the Row Boat has expanded a little bit. It’s no longer one man on the oars and it sounds likes he’s got a couple people over there helping to row himself around the lake.

Meanwhile, it looks like winter may actually be over here in Wisconsin. Spring officially starts tomorrow and my yard is pretty empty of snow (except where I piled it up clearing off the driveway). The lakes are still not open yet, and probably won’t be for a couple weeks yet. Too much ice needs to melt.

To compare the weather from this year (tons of snow) to years past (not tons of snow), back in 06 I actually went skiing without a dry suit and didn’t freeze on Good Friday. This Friday, which happens to be Good Friday I’ll definitely not be on the water. One reason, the water is still frozen solid. The second reason, which actually trumps the first, is it will likely be snowing here on Friday. Southern Wisco is under a winter storm warning from Thursday night thru Friday. 4 to 6 inches expected. Now you’re thinking “but it’s spring”? Well, spring here in Wisco still means we get some snow now and then.

Finally, been busy with Mad-City stuff. You’re thinking, but it’s winter, how can you be busy. Well, Mad-City goes year round. Being on the board keeps me pretty busy, but I’ve been helping out on the show committee helping to plan next years show, also keeps me pretty busy. Plus, we’ve had some winter practices. Those don’t take up much time, but they are there. We’ve got a small army of new people on the team this year and need to get them up to speed for climbing so once the water thaws, we can get the pyramids going.

We’ll, I try not to go a month before posting again. I’ll be getting my boat ready to hopefully hit the hopefully no longer frozen water the first weekend in April. Won’t be breaking my record season start of March 24 from last year, mainly because the lakes are frozen. Although as you can see from the previous post, I did get a little water time in January. (Still get shivers in my spine thinking about that.)

Couple last things… over on the right, you may have noticed it looks a little different. First off, there’s a section titled What I’m Reading. That’s mainly random funny or interesting things I’ve found on the net. Click on one of the links now and then, it might make you laugh. Just below that there’s my attempt to help cross promote the other skiing sites on the web as I Scour the Web for Water Skiing. The good sites that I’ve found, I’ve set up in a feed so as they post stories, you’ll see them in the feed there on the right. Way down at bottom of the right side column, there’s a place to sign up for email updates from here. Put your email address in, and after you confirm your subscription, these posts will come right to your Inbox. Inbox cluttered, just use the RSS feed… don’t know what an RSS feed is? Go here to get a crash course on what they are, then make your way over to Google Reader. Sign up or use your existing Google/Gmail account and it’ll keep track of all your RSS feeds.

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far, you’re a dedicated reader. Show your dedication by sending my a barefooting story my other site… Tales from the Foot. I want to get some reader generated content up there. Send me barefoot successes, failures or funny stories.

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I Know How An Ice Cube Feels…

Back on Saturday, January 26th I took my first ski run of the year… sans skis. Yes, I finally made the big commitment of giving up my Saturday and headed south to get some skiing in. I went all the way to the metropolis of Newville, WI a mere 30 minutes south of Madison.

And for those of you that think that makes me crazy, I was not alone. There were about 35 of us that braved the icy water of the Rock River. Yes it was January and yes it is Wisconsin, but we still skied or footed.

Why is there snow on the ground at the ski site?

Arriving at the Anchor Inn (that is situated on the shores of the Rock River) we were greeted with snow flakes in air, ice floating down the river and a cool winter wind. This is not the typical sight when you pull up to the boat launch…

Snow on the boat… not your typical sight when you are about to go water skiing.

Once everyone was registered and they explained how things were going to work, they put the boats in the water. Unfortunately, the boat wakes broke a lot of ice free up river from us and a ton of ice started flowing through. This held things up for about 30 minutes. Once the ice flow tapered off, they let people hit the water.

KTB getting ready to hit the water.

They had the skiers go first while there was still ice in the water. Once the skiers finished up, and most of the ice had finally gone away, they started pulling the footers. Many of the footers used step off skis. In fact, I think just about everyone used step off skis. The snow banks were good for storing the skis in.

Step Off Skis in the Snow Bank

I broke the mold though. I did a deep water start. And WOW, the water was cold. It wasn’t bad to get into, but during the deep, getting my face was wet and then standing up in the 40 MPH wind… it is a new level of wind chill to experience. But even in the ice cold water I was having a blast. Here are fews pics from my footing run.

No turning back now…

Proof that I was in the water

Doing the deep

Take 2

Snow and ice in the background makes for a nice backdrop

Yes, that’s me in the ball of spray… or should I say ball of ice?

I’m thinking “OMG AM I COLD!”

After my run, cold and wet, standing on the dock and I have a grin on my face from ear to ear!

For some reason, they completely blocked me on to the dock…
I couldn’t get through to get to the hot tub and the next skier left.

To defrost or reheat us after runs, they had a hot tub on the shore.
I’m in there with Heather and Anna & KTB are there with us.
All four us took a run that day.

Even thought it was very cold, there was snow and ice to deal with, it was a blast. My feet became painfully cold and my hands hurt a little bit too, but it was a lot of fun and I’ll be doing this again next year. There is nothing like sitting in the back of the boat on some ice, teeth chattering as your hair freezes.

Props to the RAJ for putting on a great event!

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Mad-City on BFC

Over on BareFoot Central they have a little thing called the Show Ski Challenge. Basically, a little spot on the site to give props to where a lot of footers come from… show skiing. They’ve got videos of crazy stunts and also some highlight clips from the teams.

“Footstock Dave” (as people call him) put together a highlight clip of the Mad-City Ski Team’s 2007 Wisconsin State Ski Show. Here’s the link to the video. Not sure I’d go with metal for the typical highlight video, but the video is pretty well done.

Be sure to check out some of the other videos as well.

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121 Skiers… 1 Boat

Over in Tasmania on Sunday, they tried to set a world record for number of people water skiing behind one boat. For those unfamiliar with where this is in the world, here’s a map. Sounds like they need to do some work on their physics though, because when they were trying to get the people up on their skis, the booms towing the people broke. I guess the physics get complicated when you have 121 people involved. I’ll give them an “A” for effort. I wish the story had included some pictures… it would be nice to see the setup for this. Video of the attempt would have been great.

Here’s where I’m confused… I wrote a post on October 9, 2007 about a world record attempt on October 7, 2007. A German blog announced they had smashed the world record by towing 33 skiers behind one boat. Of the top of my head, I know this isn’t a record. Here’s why…

First, there is always this great picture. Not sure on the exact number, but it is way more than 33.

Next, there is the world record pyramid from 2006. 48 people behind one boat. Not all on skis. But they got that whole pyramid thing going.

Plus, Mad-City has done 30+ people ballet lines this summer. That German post just seems fishy.

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The Forecast for Today

Truly, one of the wordiest forecasts I’ve seen on NOAA’s website. Here’s the weather for the rest of today and tomorrow…

Rest Of Today…Becoming windy and turning much colder. A period of rain…snow…sleet…or freezing rain early this afternoon…then snow. Snow may be heavy at times. A chance of thunderstorms. Widespread blowing snow this afternoon. New snow and sleet accumulation 2 to 3 inches. Temperatures falling to around 10 by late in the afternoon. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph with gusts to around 45 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Tonight…Bitterly cold. Much colder. Windy. Mostly cloudy with light snow likely in the evening…then partly cloudy after midnight. Blowing snow through the night. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 3 to 4 inches. Lows around 8 below. West winds 15 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lowest wind chill readings 18 below to 28 below zero after midnight.

Wednesday…Bitterly cold. Much colder. Partly sunny. Areas of blowing snow in the morning. Highs around 10. West winds 5 to 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph decreasing to 5 to 10 mph late in the afternoon. Lowest wind chill readings 18 below to 28 below zero in the morning.

In summary… 40 degrees this morning and, with wind chill, it’ll be 30 below tomorrow morning. Gotta love the 70 degree temperature swing in 1 day.

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News Flash!!!

In case you are wondering, in Wisconsin, in the month of January, when there is snow on the groud and ice on the river, the water is very cold.

This past weekend I played the role of an ice cube as I floated in the Rock River amonst the rest of the ice.

I just posted my “official” recap of Winter Waterland 2008 for Tales from the Foot. I’ll be posting a more light hearted one here in a couple days. I’m hoping to get some pictures from a few people first.

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1 Month of Netflix…

…and 26 DVDs worth of movies and TV shows watched. Don’t think I’ll be able to maintain that pace, but I definitely got my money’s worth during my first month.

That was done using the 3-at-a-time plan with a small amount of watch instantly (4 DVDs worth of The Office.)

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Anybody know what this commerical means?

I watched this commercial and I’m trying to figure out the meaning? What do Kraft singles, pregnancy and babies have in common?

Some ideas that pop into my head…

  • Even krafty single women get knocked up?
  • If you eat cheese every day for nine months a baby will be born?
  • Recommending grilled cheese sandwiches as healthy food for pregnant women?

What do you think?

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Why So Quiet?

For those that don’t know, I live and work in Wisconsin so in the winter months, there isn’t much water skiing to do. Not that I’m not thinking about it, but the lakes are frozen. I like to say I’m hibernating in the winter to save up the energy to make it through summer… in the summer my life goes non-stop.

In the winter, I work, watch Packers and Badger football and basketball, watch some TV, make pizza and grill brats and dogs for my friends and basically thing about the upcoming summer. Just not a whole lot to write about that is skiing related. I put up a few sports related posts, but simply put, there are a whole lot of people out there writing about sports. This site doesn’t need to turn into another one. The movie reviews also fell by the wayside here. Didn’t seem to be a huge interest in them (let me know if I’m wrong.)

I did start up a new website though… Tales from the Foot. My goal is for it to become the destination on the web for barefooting news and stories. Granted, right now it is in the infant stages of development, but it’ll grow. Have a funny barefooting story or video, send it my way. Know how to describe the process of doing a front to back, I’ll post that type of stuff as well. I’m looking for all kinds of content for the new site.

The lack of water skiing related stories will change this weekend. As I mentioned earlier, there will be some water skiing in Wisconsin in January. and I’m going. Gonna fork over the $35, suit up in my dry suit and freeze my arse off in the wind chill (just like in the summer when we say ‘It isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity’, in the winter we can say ‘It’s not the cold, it’s the wind chill’). Even if the forecast is right and the air temperature is around 30 degrees, 30 degrees at 40 MPH is really cold… through some cold water on your face into the mix, and I don’t even want to think about it. But it is all in the name of fun. And fun is what I’ll have Saturday.

Be sure to check back next week for pictures of me out on the icy cold water.

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Tales from the Foot

Thought I give a little shout out to a new little site I’m putting together called Tales from the Foot. I’m hoping it’ll eventually evolve into the destination on the web for barefooting. Schedules, news, stories, what ever. There really isn’t much there yet, but I’m working on it.

The name came up in my brainstorming for an unused URL. I wanted it to be somewhat barefoot related in the name and also evoke the idea of the stories that people tell each regarding their exploits on the water. First thing that came to mind was related to the Fish Tales people tell each other, but Foot Tales just didn’t do it for me. Same with Barefoot Tales and Foot Stories. I also wanted it to be somewhat original (no, I didn’t get inspired by the name Tales from the Crypt, at least not knowingly, but maybe that was in my head subconsciously). The goal is to have lots of stories out there, not just who won each tournament, but personal stories that are funny and or entertaining. Those stories that you share with your friends… here’s an example of a story that you would see out there, in addition to the tournament type stories.

There was this one time I tried a step off, hadn’t really made one yet and basically didn’t care for them that much. When my friends did them, we always spent way too much time looking for the ski later. Well, I decided to give it another whirl. I knew the process in my head, plant the foot, slowly transfer my weight to it and the step off the ski. Well, I guess I rushed it a little bit and face planted hard… not once, but three times. My face hit the water and then I kept spinning, saw the sky, hit the water again, saw something blue again, and then faceplanted a final time. I came up seeing stars, lots of them. I decided to call it a day. Luckily we didn’t have to spend anytime looking for the ski, it was just an arm’s length away from. And it was 3 years before I tried that again. Deep waters were much easier.

Bookmark it and stop by over the next couple weeks and watch it evolve. You should see things changing on it every couple of days for the next few weeks as I build the best barefoot website on the web.

Have ideas or suggestions? First give me a little time to get my ideas going out there. Come February, feel free to start sending them my way.

This site isn’t going anywhere. This will still be my personal blog.

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New Web Address

You may have noticed something a little different across the top of the site. I have a new address. All your old bookmarks will continue to work, but the new address will be easier to remember. I’m working on getting to work without the www part, but no dice yet.

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Water Skiing in January in Wisconsin

So very, very tempting… time to dust off the drysuit, make sure the barefoot suit still fits and write out a check for $35… scratch the wetsuit… just need barefoot shorts, life vest and a whole lot of warm cloths to wear under the drysuit. Time to renew my USA Water Ski membership.

Winter Waterland is Back! January 26… Newville, WI

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Jennings and Farve… The Old Man and The Kid That Wouldn’t Leave Him Alone

Still a bit bummed/pissed about the Badger game from earlier today…

[rant]Piss poor play calling by the UW – running the ball was working, PJ Hill was doing well, why keep throwing it? Run, run, 1st down, run, throw, incompletion, throw, incompletion, throw, incompletion, punt just doesn’t work. 4th and 2, I liked that they went for it, but the play selection sucked. Run PJ up the middle! Defense couldn’t tackle for sh!t in the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters either. I guess the @ss chewing they got at half time only lasted for one quarter. And then what is up with the piss poor use of time outs. A 10 year old knows better than to use them like that.[end of rant]

…and then I came upon this gem of an article about Favre and Jennings.

My impression… Favre liked him from the get go, he just didn’t tell Jennings that he liked him.

Meanwhile, Javon Walker is no longer happy in Denver. Back when the Packers had the unhappy receiver, he demanded more money since he was playing so well. Packers like to deal with contract talks in their last year, not two years before their up so they dealt him. Now he’s due 7.5 million dollars and has been injured for half of this year’s games. Seems to me that someone who wants more when he’s playing better should be willing to give back when he’s not playing at all. I almost feel sorry for the team that picks him up. I say almost because they will knowingly take this person onto themselves.

Seriously, go read the article on Favre and Jennings… it’s a good read.

And props to the Packer Bikini Girls… You can’t tell by looking directly at them that it is cold out, but just look at everyone around them. The guy in the middle giving the thumbs up completes the picture. I wonder which one is his girlfriend? And I agree with their sign completely. And ladies, in case you didn’t know, you did make the broadcast.

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Wintering in Wisco

I guess technically winter is half way over. The days are getting longer now. In reality, we still have to get through the month of January, which is normally cold and snowy.

Lately, we’ve been dealing with a full dose of winter. Lots of snow, then some more snow, and then after that, some additional snow.

Then this week we’ve had lots of fog. Thick fog. For example driving home the other night, looking at the dashed lines on the highway… I could only see one dash at a time. Which means I couldn’t see very far at all. Other than the fog, the weather wasn’t bad… upper 30s were nice.

Then this weekend it changed… dramatically. We were suppose to get 3 to 6 inches of snow, but that didn’t happen. First it rained for about 24 hours. Then it got cold and very windy. Then we got some snow, but not much… mainly lots of wind blowing the snow over the sheets of ice that are roads were becoming. Rain… then cold… then snow over the now frozen rain makes for very bad road conditions.

The boat’s been put away for a little more than a month now and hopefully I’ll be putting it back on the water in a couple months. Until then, I’ll need to my mind off water skiing and try to keep myself distracted until the deep freeze ends.

Anyways, Merry Christmas everybody. Enjoy the holidays…. I’ll be snow blowing in the morning then heading to the rents for the first of many Christmas dinners.

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BCS – The Most Unrewarding Championship That I Know Of

Here is my rant on the Bowl Championship Series…

To me, it is just unrealistic to think that we (humans) are capable of watching 120+ teams play an entire season of football and then compare their results to narrow down the field to 2 teams for the championship game. Simple put, no one person can watch every game and make comparisons. Even if someone could watch every game, very few people, if any, would be able keep track of what they’ve seen to make the comparisons.

Every level of organized football from high school up has a playoff system… except for one. That one level is the premier level of college football. They allow people to vote to determine who gets to go play for the championship. The people voting, sports reporters and coaches. The reporters jobs are to write about local or regional teams typically. They aren’t watching the entire college football world. They might be paying attention to it, but can’t dedicate the time to it because their job is to report. Coaches, have a different problem. They are focused on coaching their teams to a victory each week. They aren’t watching everybody else. They might know their conference, but can’t track all the teams.

My proposed playoffs are this…

  • 16 teams
  • Automatic bids for all conference champions with 3 or fewer losses. The rational for this criteria is a playoff team should be championship caliber team and that typically means 3 or less losses. Teams eliminated because of this criteria would be eligible for an at large berth if deemed worthy. This would typically only eliminate 1, maybe 2 champions a year.
  • Remaining spots filled by at large berths to be decided upon in a fashion similar to what completes the NCAA Basketball bracket. AD’s and conference commissioners meet to select the remaining teams and seed all of the teams from 1 to 16.
  • No limits for number of teams from a particular conference.
  • No special rules for any independent schools. They have to hope for an at large berth based on their record and performance.
  • 1st, 2nd and semifinal rounds played at the higher seeds home stadium.
  • Championship game played on neutral site.
  • Similar to the basket ball tourney, no reseeding of brackets after each round.
  • First round immediately following the season conclusion
  • 2nd round weekend after Christmas
  • Sem-Final round weekend after New Years
  • Championship game the following week
  • Teams not in the playoffs would be eligible for “traditional” bowl games.

I think this would have the potential to rival, if not exceed, March Madness.

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Badgers are Outback Bowling

As I had predicted in an email I sent to a whole bunch of people before the UW at Minnesota game, the Badgers were playing to improve their chances of a New Years Day Bowl, and very likely, the Outback Bowl. They won and it has helped their cause.

First thing that happened is the Capital One Bowl released the Badgers from their consideration since they’ve been there 2 years in a row.

Then, It became official and the Badgers will kick off 2008 with a game in Tampa and play a yet to be determined SEC team in the Outback Bowl.

Only bad part is kick off is 10am. That’s earlier! Especially after New Years Eve.

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Post Number 400… 7 Tumbles, 6 Bars, Lots of Friends

It has been busy couple of weeks since my last significant post. Sorry ’bout that. In my defense it has been a couple weeks since I’ve been on the water, so I haven’t had much to post about… but I do have a few things.

First up, a little critique of 7′s tumble turn skills. Back on Sept 29, the last day I’ve been on the water, 7 tried some tumble turns. I’ll give him an “A” for his effort. The trick can be broken down into about 5 primary steps…

  1. Sit back down on to the water and transition to your back
  2. Initiate the spin
  3. Spin
  4. Stop the spin
  5. Stand back up and continue barefooting

7 has steps 1 thru 3 down pat. In fact, he has step 3 down so well, he keeps spinning. He’s having some issues with step 4 though. Let’s go to the video…

I’m OK giving out a critique because I’m also willing to admit my last time trying tumble turns looked like this…

Trying to tumble turn or break dance? I’m honestly not sure?

Next up, Imse, the other person out in the boat that day, has been working on his back deeps for a while and at this point I would say he them down pretty well when he’s doing them on the boom. His back deeps themselves are very clean, but his backfooting did produce this awesome photo of one of his falls…

Awesome picture of a backfooting fall

Here’s some video of his back deeps…

As you can see, they look pretty clean. His next step is do them long line.

For a few more pictures from this outing, you can check out the pictures here… there are some good ones of 7 trying a flip on the wake board.

In non-water skiing related news, I’m sure you all remember the really old joke where people ask “Is your refrigerator running?” and most normally people answer “Yes” and then the joke is “Well you better go catch it!” For the past week I’ve been able to answer that joke with a “No” My fridge is dead right now and has been since last Tuesday. I’ve been living out of a mini-fridge from my college days for the past week and a half now and have been keeping my beer in a cooler on the deck. Here’s hoping the neighbor kids don’t find it or realize what’s in it.

Next, one of the most impressive feats of human determination you will probably ever witness… a high school girls breaks her leg and manages to finish her race. I found this on the The Big Lead, but wanted to share it…

At the time that The Big Lead posted it, not much was known, but since then ESPN has had a story on it as well.

A couple weeks ago I had a pretty busy weekend. Nothing too wild on Friday, but Saturday was a long day. Woke up, grilled out, watched the Badgers destroy Michigan in football, then headed downtown to meet up with some peeps… first I hit the Big Ten Pub to meet Paul, Joey, Josh, Cake and Solberg. They had some friends in town. Hung out with them for a while and when the started to head out about 630, I then walked down the street to the Regent Street Retreat to meet up with the Badger Bash Crew. Ran in to KTB, Bugsy, Tristan, Adam and a whole bunch of UW related skiers. By UW related I mean they either skied for the UW, still ski for the UW or skied against the UW in a collegiate event. Met Steve (again) and Meghan from UW-Whitewater’s ski team. Turns out she’s a WaterBug too.

After hanging out a Regent Street for a while, we hit up Toppers and then made our way to the KK… the Kollege Klub. Can’t say I’ve been there recently. About 1030 we migrated to Brats. Bugsy got friendly with The Captain, danced with some random people. Roller Girl showed up with some Healies on and slid up and down the isle… Bugsy, being “smart” asked me to move to my left to be more our in the isle. I had seen what she was doing and new what was going to happen. She came flying down the isle on her heals and ran right into me full speed. Not really an issue for me because a) I knew it was coming 2) the striped bibs she was wearing were hot… especially with the shirt on underneath and not much else from what I could tell and lastly) I’m not a tiny guy, played hockey in my past and knew how to take a hit, but in this case, taking a hit meant catching her so she didn’t fall down after running into her.

After enduring the chaos there, I finally departed about midnight and headed up to the The Dane to meet up with Sandy, Teri, Libby, Scotty, Beth and Sandy’s friend from Florida, Mark. Had some drinks and then we hit up Mike’s Horseshoe Inn near Sandy’s house. It was a little hole in the wall bar and had some great prices and a Patrone Margarita on the Rocks that can kick your ass. Finally, we ended up at Sandy’s for an after bar for a final beer before heading home… crawled into bed at 415am… way too late.

Sunday, watched the Packers blank the Vikings… which was awesome. 7 called during the game asked if I wanted to go the Badger B-Ball game… so we watched them struggle early before dominating IPFW.

Finally, found this video on the net over on BareFootSki Dot Com… guy put together what amounts to a remote control for his Sea-Doo and now he can barefoot and ski solo. No driver or spotter required. Not completely safe or legal, but I still want one.

And finally, finally, a word from Carl about the BCS. Just an FYI… he’s none to happy with the Giants either.

Carl on the BCS

I’ll have my own words on the BCS in the next couple days.
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The Boondocks

boondocks |ˈboōnˌdäks| plural noun informal
rough, remote, or isolated country : we’re out here in the boondocks, miles from a telephone.

That’s where I spent a good portion of last weekend… the boondocks. My friends Beau & Kelly were getting hitched in the north woods, or at least what a boy from Madison would call the north woods. Beau called it the boondocks…

But anyways, the wedding was in the afternoon and was very nice. Then we made our way to the reception with just a slight detour to make a brief stop at a liquor store for some supplies. One of my responsibilities was to start the music at the reception. We then put our stuff in the cabin we were staying in and made our way back to the reception hall and had some cocktails and snacks. The wedding party arrived, dinner was served, a nice video they had put together was played and then the dance started. After playing the part of a wall flower for a while as I continued to drink some beer, I eventually worked up the liquid courage needed to make my way out to the dance floor. I never looked back. I spent most of the rest of the night on the dance floor, only taking breaks to refresh my beer or find another shot. Needless to say, I had a blast. Shortly after midnight, I realized I had enough. Enough what you ask? Fun, drinks, dancing, everything. I was ready to call it a night. I said my goodbyes and stumbled my way to the cabin. It was like someone had flipped a switch. Here are a few pics from the night…

The Bride and Groom… Kelly & Beau

Kristen and I with Drinks in Our Hands

Kelly, Jenny and I on the Dance Floor

Final damage… 12 pack of Stella and a shot of Souther Comfort and about 5 or 6 shots of Jaeger Bombs. Yea… I was down for the count. And you knew you could have so much fun at a YMCA camp?

Next day, roll out of bed about 9am. Get some breakfast, say our goodbyes and head home. Roll into Madison about 11am ready to do nothing for the rest of the day. That didn’t happen though.

First, picked some of the ski teams 2006 DVDs. Next, headed to the ‘rents for some lunch and then got a call to go skiing… so I did. Hit the water at 230 in the cool brisk sunny afternoon air. Other than a few footing runs, I didn’t do much. It had only been 15 hours since the previous night and I was still a bit run down… Did get to see some good footing and some good falls. Here are some pics from the afternoon on the lake…

My footing run… notice there isn’t a dry suit!

7 Did Some Stuff on the Wakeboard

Trying a Back Roll

Trying another Back Roll

Final Back Roll of the Day

Imse did some backfooting… I have really good videos of his backfooting, and I was about to get a really good picture of him backfooting when this happened…

I’d Like to Claim this Was a Planned Picture, but it is Pure Luck

The fall didn’t end his day… he took another run.

How can you not want to be on the water on a day like this?

I have some videos of Imse backfooting and 7 doing his best break dancing imprecation. Both are really good. They’ll be coming soon.

Links to the Photo Albums:
Wedding in the Boondocks
Barefooting in the Fall

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How ’bout them Packers?

There were a couple comments this week about Brett’s arm strength having disappeared after he under threw a couple people last week. Before the game he met with Jaws on the field at the 50 yard line. Jaws asked about his arm. He pointed to a pylon in the end zone and hit it with a 50 yard laser. Jaws didn’t see any issues with his arm strength.

During the game, I think he put that question to rest for all of eternity with the world as his stage. Or at least the rest of the season. He can still throw the deep ball.

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Some October Skiing

Wanted to posted some pictures from some skiing runs earlier this October…

The first pictures are from the very beginning of October. I hit the water right after work on October 3rd to get some quality skiing time in.

John with a nice one foot

Me, smiling for the camera…

John’s buddy from New York getting a slalom run in…

John throwing up a wall of water

The sun setting in the bay…

A nice view of the capital

The next set of pictures is from the morning of the 20th… so this time it was a little colder. First a little background. Originally I lined up T-Bell to go out in the morning. I originally suggested 930 to 11am wanting to give it at least a little while to warm up. She asked to go earlier so she could go to the football game. I didn’t mind so we changed our plans to 830 to 10. Meanwhile, I’m realizing it is going to be a cold morning. Friday rolls around and she had a change of plans and asked if we could go out earlier. Once again I didn’t care, so we set the time from 8 to 930. It was going to be a frosty morning. Everything is set to go.

Much later that night, about 330am, my phone beeps at me. New message from Teri. I flip it open and read it through my half open eyes. It said something to the effect of “Do you know it is going to be 45 degrees in the morning? Still want to go?” I flipped the phone closed and went back to sleep.

7am rolls around and I crawl out of bed. As predicted, it was 45 degrees out, but also a bright sunny day. I’ll ski. Message back to Teri… game on! Then I gave Beau his wake up call. After breakfast, I head off to the lake. I ended being the only one that skied that morning… only one brave enough to hit the chilly water in the even colder air…

Yea…it’s a little colder out here, but I love doing this!

See the nice bright sunny day behind me?

Yes, it’s a bright sunny day out… gotta love it!

And now my face is completely frozen from the wind chill!

I’ll have another update a little latter this week recapping this past weekends adventures… a little trip to the north woods of Wisco for a wedding (the reception was blast… I think… as Bugsy put it “Drunk Wedge came out”) and then I hit the water today. I’ve got some killer pictures of the skiing today (some that are accidentally awesome!) and some good videos too! Check back latter this week.

After Work Skiing

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And Now a Series of Crashes…

As promised, here is a variety of crashes from a variety of people… Not gonna do a lot of commentary, I’ll let the crashes speak for themselves…

First on the dock is Ben… he has his heli’s down pretty good and is working on his front flips… here is one of his attempts.

Next on the dock is Chad… like Ben, he’s a pretty good jumper… here’s a series of helicopters.

Next up is Tommy… he’s the best jumper of the bunch and he decided to just go out on 1 ski. Here are the results…

Finally, Andy tried hitting the ramp on his wakeboard… here are the results…

Hope you enjoyed the crashes… and the ones that they skied away from.

[Sorry this wasn't up earlier this week as promised... besides life happening, I had some technical difficulties with Google not liking the videos for some reason, the uploader not cooperating, and my internet connection being flaky for a couple nights now.]

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Righty or Lefty?

Thought this was worth sharing. Which way do you see the dancer spinning? I saw her spinning clockwise so according to the article, I’m right brained.

The reason I found this really interesting is looking at the right & left brained descriptions, although I agree with the right brained description, a lot of the left brained descriptions I thin apply to me as well.

Finally, this contradicts the old saying of right handed people are left brained, at least for me…

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Want to See Some Crashes?

I know the answer is yes… I have some videos of various people doing helis, flips and stuff off the ramp that resulted in some pretty good crashes. The videos are being uploaded tonight so look for a post tomorrow night with a whole bunch of crashes.

I hit the water this past Saturday morning. The lake was a nice warm 55 degrees… which in October, isn’t bad. It actually felt quite nice. However the air wasn’t that warm… only about 50 degrees. Luckily it was sunny. I’ll have a couple pics from that as well.

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More Funny Quotes…

I watch a lot of late night TV… must of it is [adult swim] and every once in a while, although just about all of the shows are funny, there is a line or two that I find even funnier. Here are a few…

Shut up friends, my internet browser hear us saying the word “fry” and it found a movie about Phillip J. Fry for us. It also opened my calender to Friday and ordered me some French Fries.
– Professor Farnsworth in Futurama

This is probably especially funny for me and people that know me… I eat what many would consider too many French Fries.

I don’t want to tattle, but is Bobby really a doctor?
– Cindy in Family Guy

For some reason the Brady kids made a cameo appearance on Family Guy… still not sure why. But this line was especially funny… and more than a little bit sick.

Peter: Ah crap, since when did they change the meaning of “for” to “from”?
Brian: I think they had a meeting about it last night.
– Family Guy

Peter had just given away all of the family’s Christmas gifts.

He’s so cute… he can do two things at once time, eat and swim… oh, three things!
– Fry about Seymour in Futurama

Seymour was/is Fry’s dog and this is Fry talking about the dog swimming in the pizza sauce.

Fry: So I really am important? How I feel when I’m drunk is correct?
A Nibblonian: Yes, except that The Dave Matthews Band doesn’t rock.
– Futurama

Once again… just a great line.

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The Lop Sided Jump

As many of my loyal readers now, the Mad-City ski site had some flooding issues. Part of the flooding troubles we had involved our jump. Not sure on how it happened, but with the high water, our jump became rather lop sided… my guess is a barrel that had a leak that happened to have the leak above water for normal water levels, was pulled under and filled up.

This is all very evident by the new “water line” that is visible on our jump. I don’t think I need to say anything else.

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OK Peeps…

Yes, the skiing posts have dwindled as of late… so has my skiing, it is fall in Wisconsin… but…

I’ve been working diligently the last couple weeks on Mad-City’s highlight video, which is now pretty much done since it was shown at our banquet on Friday night. There are a couple minor things that need to be cleaned up and a couple final details I need to complete before I’ll say it is done done, but that shouldn’t take much. Look for the highlight video to make it’s web debut in a week or two. It’ll show up here first and then ever so slightly later, it’ll be on the ski team’s website.

What this means, is there are some jumping crash videos (of me and other people), a variety of pictures and other stuff that need posting (my life hasn’t been standing still) and that’ll happen soon… this week to be exact. I’ve etched that in pixels so now it has to be done. The only way this won’t get done is if the weather turns nice enough that I’m too busy on the water to get it done.

Plus my week started off slightly better… my Packers won (it wasn’t pretty though) but my Badger’s lost… well not completely… football lost, hockey split and women’s hockey just keeps winning… an NCAA record 32 in a row that they haven’t lost to be exact. Check back for a skiing update soon…

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In Favre We Trust…

I don’t need to write anything other than go read this post on KSK. Here is just a little bit of it:

The amendment requires all working quarterbacks in the United States to be more rugged and rascally, with a twinkle in each eye and a song in their hearts. It also establishes throwing a shovel pass across the field off your back foot to an opposing linebacker as the national “football move.” Furthermore, it designates Kiln, Miss. as a National Historic Landmark for Quarterbacking, rather than for general squalor.
KSK Favre Amendment

On a more serious note, turns out Congress really is going to honor #4, they’ve passed House Resolution 697.

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Falcons Want Their Money

The arbitrator ruled that Mr. Vick has to return $19.97 million of the money that the Atlanta Falcons have paid him. The NFLPA immediately appealed the decision.

I don’t think they are going to win the appeal and it comes down to one thing… when Mr. Vick signed the contract he was already participating in the illegal activities that he has admitted to and been convicted of and the contract said he had to abide by the NFL Code of Conduct which he was already violating. He was in violation of the contract before he signed it.

I don’t think he’ll when the appeal and in my opinion, he shouldn’t.

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I have water on the brain