Daily Log: July 7, 2005

SeaCows Win It Yet Again
Sometime in 1998, an unknown Valleyfair Games employee gathered a group together for the Olympics. The team name would be the SeaCows, inspired by the thought of a manatee being chopped up in a boat propeller. The team won it all that year, with Justin Springer a pivotal part of the squad. The team won it again in ’99, ’00, ’01, and ’02 before taking second by a very narrow margin in ’03. Last year, the SeaCows rebounded and won it once more. How would the legendary team do in 2005? Well, as you can tell by the title of this article, things went very well. The storied team was hands-down winners over the other 16 teams, winning by another wide margin. This year’s team consisted of manager Matt Thompson, former manager Justin Springer, supervisors Steph Volberding, Dan Schreck, Krista Sullivan, and myself; and team leads Amy Ronnei, Alison Mishur, Kevin Thurk, and Bekah Saatzer. The ten of us battled 160 other employees in a 2-night competition. Tuesday night, things kicked off with “Saved by the Bell” star Ed Alonzo’s opening ceremony R-rated magic show. The RipTide challenge was the first event, as Alison and I rode the new spinning, flipping ride with the water turned on full blast. Everyone was sprayed down, then ran to a bucket where the clothes were wrung out. Whoever filled their bucket the most with soaked-up water won. Things were interestingly scandalous as employees stripped their clothes off to wring them out. The SeaCows took 3rd of 17. The Ripple Rapids Relay, traditionally an instant win for us, again came easy as Bekah, Steph, Matt, and Springer won handily. In that event, runners run against the current of the Lazy River, a very difficult task. I had done it the last few years and was exhausted afterwards. Tonight, the games resumed with three other events. In one event, the Icee eating contest, the five male team members put their hands behind their back and used straws to suck down an 8-pound bucket of Icees. It was tougher to get the Icee out of the bucket than it was to face the brain freeze. The girls also did the event afterwards and dominated. They actually beat the guys by a ways. So we did nicely in that event. The other two events we placed well too. In the end, it was no surprise that we won, but they accidentally gave us the silver medals, and the runners-up ran away with our golds. Oh well. I am getting spoiled winning all these championships in intramurals lately. Pictures will be posted soon.

Carpenter Bash Begins Today
A combination of friends from various places will meet on the Dick Glanzer farm outside of tiny Carpenter, South Dakota beginning tonight. The event was such a success last year that everyone demanded a second coming of it in ’05. This year’s roster includes some from DSU: Chris Ahrendt, Amanda Geditz, Brad Feeney, and Craig Karjalainen, who recently decided to make an appearance. Others will be visiting from Minnesota–those being Jason, Jeff, Patrick, Luke Katuin, and his fiance Brit, although none are native Minnesotans. Jeff and Jason are Nebraskan, Patrick is North Dakotan, Luke is Iowan, and Brit is from Rapid City. Then there are the three Poles–Igor Cyran from Games, and two others I haven’t even met yet. Camping, goofy golf, Mom’s home cooking, and alcohol will be the theme of the weekend. Peyton will be on hand as a sideshow attraction to the visitors. Weather is expected to be in the 90s with minimal clouds. Pictures will be posted soon.

Me and Bad Habits It all started in first grade when I winked all the time, prompting Dad to think I needed glasses. I would wink more than I would blink. Then there was the awful shoe incident that has plagued me for 13 years. I had a pair of shoes that were way too big on me in third grade, so I would kick my right foot at the ground every step I took in a futile attempt to get my toes to the end of the shoe, the way I liked it to feel. This became such a subconscious habit that I continue to do it to this day, but only with my right foot. My right shoe has a slant in the end from all the times I’ve kicked at the ground without even thinking about it. After I learned how to cross my eyes in ninth grade, I’ve been known to sit there and cross my eyes for no reason. There are a number of other constant nervous habits that I have that I probably will keep secret just because of their stupidity.

Random Stories | Today’s Topic: Most Hellish Car Rides
There have been some times when I’ve been in a car and would have just as soon jumped out and rolled into the ditch than stay inside any longer. Here are the finalists.

3. The car sickness that will never be forgotten by former co-workers Jeff Gwost, Justin Springer, and Libby Boggess was the Cedar Point trip of 2003. We were on our way to Ohio when Springer’s van broke down in Rockford, IL. We were stranded in a ditch along the interstate for hours before we were given a rental car. Springer took over the driving around midnight, and I woke up around 5am in the backseat. I had eaten a full pound of Hot Tamales, and sleeping in the car had made me very car sick. I woke up to a throbbing headache and an upset stomach. “Pull over, Justin,” I said. “Uhh, I think there’s a rest stop up ahead ten miles,” he said. Knowing I would never make it ten miles without puking, I tried to go back to sleep, only to throw up in the car. “What was that?” Springer asked. “I just puked,” I said. Springer and Gwost couldn’t stop laughing, but Libby was none too pleased. She couldn’t even make eye contact with me for hours. I was too sick to enjoy the park the next day, so I stayed behind and slept off my headache in the hotel.

2. The summer before senior year, we took a van down to Mitchell for a high school basketball summer tournament. I was stuck in the far back with the speakers right in my face. And of course, whoever was driving (Zane Tellinghuisen, I think) put in Eminem and cranked the volume. Hating Eminem, I was not a happy camper. I yelled for him to turn it off numerous times, but he refused, and only turned the volume up higher. The whole 2-hour drive to Mitchell and the whole 2-hour drive back was spent listening to that crap, and I was irate with everyone sitting in the front. I like to say it caused my poor play the first few games.

1. Without any question at all, the worst experience in a vehicle was in November 2001, when I rode a DSU-chartered bus with Brandon Hanson and Angela Nelson to see a Sunday night NFL game between the Vikings and Bears. On the ride there, I was feeling a little queezy sitting in the aisle of the bus. The loud noises of the game increased my headache until it was throbbing. And then to top things off, we piled back onto the overcrowded bus for a four-hour drive home. I was in hell. As soon as we took off, I headed for the bathroom on the bus and violently threw up. I went back to my seat with my head and stomach still in pain, trying to find a comfortable way to rest. But with rowdy Vikings fans aboard, rest did not come easy. I was hit in the head with a football right before we stopped for gas in Mankato. It was snowing and freezing cold out, so sitting in the blizzard felt kind of good. When it was time for the bus to re-board, I nearly stayed back. I didn’t know how I would get home, but I couldn’t imagine the thought of getting back on that bus. Unfortunately, coordinator Erik Miller spotted me and forced me back on. Miraculously, I fell asleep an hour later and woke up when we got back to Madison at 3.

Top Ten List | Today’s Topic: All-Time Favorite Slow Songs
1. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Elton John
2. “On Bended Knee,” Boyz II Men
3. “Bless the Broken Road,” Rascal Flatts
4. “Bed of Roses,” Bon Jovi
5. “Always,” Bon Jovi
6. “For Crying Out Loud,” Meat Loaf
7. “Desperado,” The Eagles
8. “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John
9. “Eternal Flame,” The Bangles
10. “If,” Bread

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