Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007 Recap

Christmas was very busy this year with lots of travel. Unfortunately, my Uncle John (dad's brother) passed away unexpectedly a few days before Christmas. So, we changed our plans slightly to attend the visitation and funeral the weekend before Christmas. Although it was a sad event, many relatives were able to come, so it was nice to see them. Hopefully, the next time I get to see family it will be for a reunion.

On Sunday before Christmas, we celebrated with Todd's family. As you can see from the photo , it was chaos! With five nieces and nephews, it gets interesting keeping track of who is opening what gift. Usually we open gifts one at a time going from the youngest to the oldest, but this year the kids were ready to tear into their gifts. We got Max a circuit building kit. He said he wanted a science kit and Todd picked out the circuit set for him. I guess he loves it - his mom said it was the only gift he was playing with even after opening presents from Santa on Christmas Day. Todd is just happy that there may be a budding scientist in the family.

On Monday, we picked up my Grandma on the way to visit my parents. We were in Decatur for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While there, I got to catch up with my friends Gina and Kelly from high school. Gina now lives and works in Tuscon (lucky) and Kelly has two little ones. In fact, she had her second one, a little boy named Garrett, in early December (I hope I look this good two weeks after having a baby someday)! On Christmas Day, Todd and I went on a hike after opening gifts in the morning. It was supposed to be a walk, but we ended up going about 7 miles after starting at a different spot on the trail than we thought we were at. Of course, Lucy was with us and loved every minute of being outside. Plus, she was out of the house, meaning no one could dress her up as a reindeer anymore (Todd was not a fan of her costume and almost didn't allow this photo).

We stopped in Champaign on the way home. Of course, I had to go to campus and get an Illini Rose Bowl t-shirt. While there, we drove past the Alma Mater and noticed she was decorated for the big game. We did a u-turn to get back for some photos. The banner was made by several art and design students and is done in all plastic roses. It is really cool to see it in person.

When we got home Wednesday night, we both went to bed early! It was nice to be home!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running Shoe Bliss!

I found my favorite, discontinued pair of running shoes on eBay! I have been searching eBay for the last few months thinking someone out there has a new pair of Asics Gel Landreth II to sell. I finally stumbled upon them as I looked for the ceramic Christmas tree. I have been bidding on them for a week and finally won the auction. No amount of money was too much to obtain these babies. Now, I just have to wait until they arrive. Then my feet will be in heaven as I begin running again in the spring!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bad Karma?

So, here I sit typing this blog on Todd's laptop. Mine is dead, no longer, adios. I noticed that my hard drive was spinning loudly on Saturday night as I was working on a photo Christmas gift for our family. So, on Sunday I announced to Todd that I was going to backup all of my files. I grabbed our spare CDs, jumped on my laptop, and I was immediately faced with the dreaded "blue screen of death." Gasp! I tried re-booting to no avail. The hard drive just kept spinning and sounding worse and worse. I just got a black screen with kernel error messages. I gave up after an hour or so and Todd took a turn. Somehow he was able to hold my computer at about a 25-degree angle and get to the Windows screen where you can boot into safe mode. So, we lodged some books under the edge of my laptop and proceeded to move off a bunch of files onto a jump drive, but it wasn't big enough for my photos, too. So, I ran out to Best Buy and bought a 4GB jump drive. I have yet to try and boot it into safe mode again, but will try later tonight. I looked at my last CD of data that I backed up and it read June 2007. So, it has been roughly 6-months since my last backup. You might be thinking that a technical-type person would backup more often. I guess I probably should, but I was just taking my chances. I do a backup every 4-6 months, so the data is never that old. However, I have taken a larger than normal number of pictures lately due to this blog. So, I am anxious to try to retrieve them. Bottom line - Merry Christmas to me and my new laptop that I need to order this week. My former laptop was purchased in late 2002/early 2003, so it is at least five years old and not economically worth trying to repair/replace the hard drive. I am teaching a course in the spring at IUPUI, so I need my laptop to function when the semester starts and also so I can get to my work stuff remotely. Thus, I need a laptop soon!

With the bad haircut, the bad eBay transaction, and now the bad hard drive in just two weeks, I am hoping my my bad karma is over. If it comes in threes, I should be safe for awhile.

First Bad eBay Transaction

So, I had my first bad eBay transaction. I have been buying and selling on eBay for several years. I tend to be very selective about my items, so I always have good luck. However, I just ordered a ceramic Christmas tree that was listed with a description of being in excellent condition. But when I received it, there were four very noticible and large chips in the ceramic tree. The pictures must have all been taken at the right angles to avoid showing the chips. This tree also wasn't cheap, which made me even more upset about the whole situation. Granted, the tree is vintage 1970's, but still... If you are selling an item with flaws, you should let your potential customers know. Next time I will ask more questions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is it December or April?

Update: I went running at 6pm and it was 64 outside. It is still 63 at 9:30pm. For dinner I headed back into town to meet Todd for dinner and had my sunroof open while listening to Christmas music. Crazy!

It's 50 and raining outside. It definitely feels more like spring than winter. Although I hate cold weather and snow, it definitely does not feel like the holiday season out there. Oh well, at least I may be able to get in a few more runs before it starts snowing this weekend.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lucy on a Rainy Day

Here's how Lucy spends her rainy afternoons...

...on the couch with Todd. Gee, she isn't spoiled, is she?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Bad Haircut

Well, I think I just got about the worst haircut of my life. The cut itself actually isn't that bad in the sense that it doesn't make me look horrible. In fact, Todd calls it, "the most stylish cut you've had since before we got married." However, it is not at all what I requested. The problem is that my normal hairstylist is out of the country and won't be back for another month (although to add to my pain, I've heard she will be back sooner). So, I tried a friend's stylist. When I met her, I gave her all my rules:
  1. No bangs
  2. All hair must fit into ponytail
  3. No product and very little hairspray
  4. Do not flip my hair up, I curl it under
  5. It has to be quick to do in the mornings

However, she decided to cut off all my hair. All of it!! It now barely falls below my earlobes. Before the appointment I could fit every piece of hair into a long ponytail without problem. I estimate she cut off at least 5 inches if not more. I asked her to cut it, gave her all my rules (which I feel are pretty specific), and further explained that my hairstyle had to fit my lifestyle - I am busy and like to workout, so I don't "fix" my hair often. She showed me where she would cut and added that she would include some layering. Well, there must have been a miscommunication or something, because what we talked about did happen. Instead, she proceeded to cut my hair how she thought it should look - short without a ponytail. And at the end, she asked if I wanted bangs! I reminded her I did not want them (see rule #1 above). Needless to say, I was a bit shell-shocked. The only layering that took place was the hair she stacked in the back which I could not see her doing.

I have never been so upset about a haircut. More than anything, because she did not listen to me! I mean, it is my hair and I am paying her for a service, so I should get what I ask for, right? I guess I am just upset that she blatantly disregarded what I told her I wanted. So, I already know I am growing it out. Unfortunately, it can't grow fast enough! Actually, hair grows an average of 1/2-inch per month. So, I guess it will take about six months to get it back to a decent length that will fit in a ponytail. I guess I'll have to wait it out. The other thing I feel awful about is that my friend will continue to go to her and I listed her name as the one who recommended me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rose Bowl Bound Illini!

Wow - the Rose Bowl! I am so excited, I can barely type. But, I am also disappointed because I probably won't be there to see the game. I can only imagine what it must be like to experience the Parade of Roses and then the Rose Bowl later in the day. Unfortunately, Pasadena is so far away! We had already made plans to meet up with friends assuming the Illini would be playing in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. It is much closer and more affordable, so it fit perfectly with the rest of our holiday plans. But, I am glad my Illini are playing in a better bowl. So, we are looking into our options. Keep your fingers crossed that we can make it somehow. Otherwise, we'll have to throw one large bowl game party instead!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

Wow! It has been awhile since I have made a post. I guess my attempt at trying to post once a week has been flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately, my busy season at work also corresponds with the holidays. That leaves me little time to do much else. I am either chained to my desk or traveling to get somewhere in our car. Thanksgiving was a fun time this year. We got to do a lot of things, although that meant more time in the car. But, we did have fun and loved seeing those that we could. Below is a quick recap. I'll try to post more frequently in the next couple of weeks.

  • We got to eat a huge family Thanksgiving dinner! However, the stuffing (my favorite food of the season) did not stretch far when 17 family members are partaking. We ate with Todd's family and they also included my grandma in the day.

  • We played a lot with our nieces and nephews, although Todd may have traumatized Lizzie. He took a "nap" with her, which included letting her cry herself to sleep (none of us heard her downstairs since the other kids were playing and we were cleaning up dinner). Personally, I think she was freaking out that some random guy was trying to get her to sleep instead of her mom or dad. So, now every time Todd tries to pick her up she starts balling and stretches her hands out for anyone who is nearby to take her instead.

  • Todd got to do several days worth of hunting. We now have more duck in our freezer (those are all his to eat) and Lucy got to retrieve a 20-lb Canadian Goose that another guy shot. The bird was too big for her to carry in her mouth like she normally would, but she made due dragging it back by a wing.
  • I made a quick shopping trip to the mall with my sister-in-laws. After going to JC Penney, we decided it was too busy and gave up. This was at 1pm, after all the lines had died down some.

  • My college friends Adam and Lindsay just had a new baby. So, I got to visit Lauren at just 4-weeks old. Of course, she slept in my arms most of the time, which probably meant she was up the rest of the day keeping her mom busy instead of sleeping!
We were so busy we forgot to take pictures. But, here are a few from the day.

Daniel would not eat any typical Thanksgiving treat, like pie or cookies. Instead, he only wanted marshmallows, which he loves!

I didn't get a good picture of Todd holding Lizzie, but this is similar to the face she kept making. Her face would scrunch up, her eyes would start to tear up, and she would start holding her hands out for someone else. Max was a trooper as we tried to get a picture of the cousins.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Great Day to be an Illini!

Today is a great day to be an Illini! I mean, what Illini was not rejoicing over the win over #1 Ohio State last night! Everyone that I have talked to is pumped about the game. So, several things are going through my mind right now:
  1. If the Illini continue to look as good as they did against Ohio State and Zook keeps recruiting the way he has been, the Illini could be a BCS-bowl contender in a few years. I think we are going to see some amazing games from the Illini in the future!
  2. Why, why, why did we lose that game to Iowa earlier this year? They are one of the worst teams in the Big 10. A win there could have made the standings in the Big 10 very interesting at this point.
  3. Trying to determine what bowl the Illini will be in this year is getting interesting. I'm thinking the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL. But, we may have to wait to see how things turn out next weekend.
  4. Why, why, why did we watch the Illini on a non-HD channel?!? We broke down and got a new TV yesterday - a 40" HD TV. (Merry Christmas to each other!) It wasn't until after the Illini game that we figured out the HD channels where in the 900s. Ugh! But, we know better now!

Go Illini!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


No need for Halloween masks at the Royer house. Lucy looked scary enough with all of her facial wounds. We have now dubbed her "Scarface." It was actually worse earlier this week, so this picture comes a little late (probably after a few days of healing). But, you can see she has two small wounds - one from a scuffle at daycare last week and another battle wound from hunting this past weekend. She doesn't seem to mind and Todd thinks the wounds look awesome. I am just hoping her hair grows back in those spots.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Royer Weekend

This past weekend we went to Clinto to visit Todd's family. Well, actually Todd hunted on Saturday morning and I went to visit my grandma who lives only 45 mins from Clinton. We saw his family Saturday evening and Sunday before leaving. We ate a lot (I think the entire family went through 3-dozen homemade cinnamon rolls) and laughed a lot, too. On Sunday, the kids played for a long time after lunch. All of the Royer boys (including the big ones) are into football. Must be the time of the year, or maybe it runs in their blood. Below is a picture of Daniel's stance (with bis bike helmet, no less) and a few picture of Ben and Max before their big Sunday flag football showdown.

Whiffle Ball Update

I never followed up on my whiffle ball league. We called ourselves Team W after winning whiffle ball women. Really, it is after the W for the Cubs Win! Anyway, it has been interesting to say the least. We have played two games so far and lost both. We got beat by a really good team the first time around. Beat is probably an understatement. We pretty much got slaughtered - to the point we got the 10-run rule applied. But we had a blast playing!

The second game we lost by only a few runs, although I think we should have won the game. Everything was working against us - we only had three players to the other team's six, we had to play with a cracked ball (even after switching out two other cracked balls), and we played a sorority team that survived solely on cheating. Now, I am a fair person and I feel like I am a gracious loser, but I was just ticked off after this game. Whiffle ball is a recreational league, so the games are self-officiated. But, the teams have to agree on the plays. The sorority team never called themselves out a first, even if they were out by a mile and knew it. They kept skipping one girl in the batting order because she was no good. It was so obvious and we were so frustrated!

So, the rules are a little odd. You pitch to your own team, so if you are short players you lose base runners - there are no ghost runners. You have to throw the ball into the pitcher's hand, aka your teammate standing by the pitcher, who calls time to stop play. If time is called and you are between bases, you can only move to the next base if you are past the half-way point. Weird. I could go on with some other weird rules. But, it does make the game move faster! Below is a picture of me in the outfield. We play at the Rec Sports Center on campus.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Last Weekend

I never posted anything about the events of last weekend (10/13 and 10/14), except that we saw Hoosier Hysteria. I also ran another 5k with some friends, Todd took Lucy pheasant hunting at a hunting preserve, and we went to a u-pick apple orchard. It was a fun weekend and it was nice to be home. Usually we are out-of-town, so it was nice to sleep in and enjoy a great weekend weather-wise. Here are some pics of the activities, although I didn't get any of my kick-butt homemade apple pie!

Lana (R), Sheena (C), and I after the race. It was perfect running weather and we finished on the 30-yard line of the football field. Very cool!

This is probably a little gross, but I'll post anyway. Hopefully I am not offending any vegetarians or bird lovers out there, but here are Todd and Lucy cleaning a pheasant in our driveway (yes, the driveway while neighbors drive by). What the picture doesn't show is that Lucy just keeps trying to get at the bird. She LOVES hunting!

Big 10 Bowl Games

Stolen from a Purdue fan, is a list of the bowl games the Big 10 is eligible for. For those holding out hope that Illinois will go to a bowl game, check out the potential sites at

2009 Illini Basketball Recruits

Looks like the 2009 recruiting class for the Fighting Illini is going to be a good one! We got several top states, including a Sterling kid. That will give me a favorite player right off the bat since I lived there for awhile, still have family there, and know many friends that are originally from Sterling. It's always nice to get the top recruits in the state to come to Illinios. Maybe Weber is turning the recruiting around. I think hiring Jerrance Howard to come back to Illinois could be the best thing Weber has done so far. Check out our recruits at Illini Board.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

IU's Sampson breaks the rules (again)

I swear I wrote my previous post about Eric Gordon before I knew about the latest rules violations by IU Basketball Coach Kelvin Sampson. See the ESPN coverage of the story at Wouldn't it be nice if Gordon left for Illinois now to avoid all the corruption? mind is wandering at the thought...

Illini sports

I got the chance to see Eric Gordon at Midnight Madness on Friday night. Of course, I am in mourning with my fellow Illini that I saw this at Indiana University and not the University of Illinois. All I can say is that I am sad he will not be wearing orange and blue this season because he is awesome! Seriously, probably the best freshman player I have ever witnessed. From the three-point arc, he is amazing! He also had some pretty cool dunks! Now, how he plays when the Big 10 season starts is yet to be seen, but I think he will do fine, especially after the first few games when he learns to adjust to the play style of the Big 10. But, he is really, really good. The only light of hope at the end of this sad, dark tunnel is that he will probably only be at IU for a season or two. I mean, if you're that good, why not make millions in the NBA? Heck, I would sign up if I had any talent. Did I mention he is amazing?!?

In other news, I am still keeping out hope that the Illini football team will make a bowl game. It would be so awesome to go! I didn't get to go to the last bowl game due to work, but I am motivated to go this time around. I've already talked to several friends that want to make a trek to wherever it is we would play. However, I am a little worried about playing OSU at OSU and some other games. Unfortunately, I may be donning my cream and crimson to see IU in a bowl game if the Illini don't make it. IU has the same record as the Illini, but definitely a much, much easier schedule. They don't play OSU or Michigan this year. Don't worry, my allegiance remains to the Illini, but it is followed by Indiana (hey, what can I say - they pay the bills around here) and then the Big 10 Conference in general.

So, much like my Cubs, I am keeping faith that the Illini will make the post-season in both football and basketball!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Christmas in October?

Yes, it is true. Christmas in October is least for one area radio station. My friend Lana pointed out earlier this week that 93.1 in Indianapolis is switching from a contemporary music radio station to a talk radio station at the beginning of the year. So, for the 93 days between now and then, they are playing Christmas music 24/7 (nice 93.1 and 93 days of Christmas). While it seems totally ridiculous to listen to Christmas music before Halloween, I have to admit that I got sucked in on the way home from work the other night. I do love Christmas music after all. So, for all of you living or working around Indy, or passing through while traveling, be sure to catch some Christmas tunes on your way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Running Blahs

I love to run, but lately I have gotten the running blahs. I am not sure why, but I just don't have the motivation to go out there and run anymore. But, the weird thing, is go anyway. I just complain about it more and feel more fatigued, instead of energized when I am done. I've come up with several reasons why I am feeling this way. I hope the blahs pass soon, because this is the perfect season for running!

  1. My most favorite running shoes that I have beening purchasing and repurchasing for the last two years is no longer. The Asics Gel Landreth II has been replaced by the Asics Gel Landreth III. You might not think this is a big deal, but it is a huge disappointment to lose access to your most trusted partner in running...your shoes! I am not sure what they were thinking, but version III sucks! It is no where close to version II and I didn't find any upgrades when I tried this pair of shoes on. I have since been trying to find a new pair of shoes. I bought the Brooks Radius 6 and had no luck. I turned that pair in to my wear-around shoes. New Balance and Nike do not fit my feet right. So, now I am back to Asics and I am going to give the Nimbus a try. I am cautionally optomistic they will work. I have searched high and low for more Asics Gel Landreth II's, but I cannot find them anywhere on the internet, even from foreign countries. So, if anyone runs across a pair of 9.5 version II's, let me know!!

  2. My knee has started hurting again. Looks like I need to go back to the doctor where I am sure they will tell me it is due to overuse and that I should take a break and stay away from exercises where my knee takes the impact. Yikes! I can already feel the pounds coming back on!

  3. I ran all spring and summer training for my two half-marathons. Todd tells me I am just burnt out and need to do something else for awhile. I have cut back on my running some and I am trying to do other things instead. But, when you are in a windowless office all day long, it is hard to go to the gym after work or take a night off. I need to get out and get some fresh air! Maybe I need a new race to keep me training and give me something to look forward to.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lucy Takes 1st Place!

This past weekend we went to the at the Monroe County Humane Association Walk for the Animals. This is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the local shelter. They set up one of the area parks with dog events, dog play areas, and all sorts of dog treats. Lucy had a great time despite the 90 degree weather with 100% humidity. In the doggie water park, she took over one of the baby pools and laid down in the water. A few other dogs tried to get in and share with her, but she kicked them out and laid back down to cool off. She really thinks she is something, as you can tell by the picture of her in the pool!

They also had this crazy dog cake donated by a local bakery that she devoured faster than anything I have ever seen her eat. Lucy is a picky eater and won't eat unless she is hungry or we give her one of her favorite treats. But, she loves this cake. It is the second year they had the cake and she ate the heck out of it last year, too (last year we even got them to give us some to take home) . They also had some doggie events and competitions. Lucy is a competitor. Seriously, she knows the difference between playing and competing. Todd and I were talking about how funny she is when she puts her game face on. This year, she competed in the Recall Relay and took first place. The relay requires the dog to stay about 30ft directly across from the owner. When called, the dog that gets to their owner the fastest wins. There were three heats and then the top three dogs from each heat raced in the final round. Lucy was by far the fastest and one of the better trained dogs in the competition. She stayed without restraint and ran straight to Todd when called. No distractions, no hesitation. She definitely had her game face on. Here is a picture of her with the grand prize. We missed taking pictures at the race!

There's Always Next Year

Yes, as painful as it is, I am a fully devoted, die-hard Cubs fan since birth and by choice. I wear my Zambrano jersey with pride and root on the Cubs whenever possible. This includes paying for upgraded Cable to get WGN in southern Indiana, watching all the games not televised on WGN at a local sports bar when our schedule allows, paying for to catch the play-by-play from day games while at work, and several road trips to watch the Cubs in action. This year we saw them play a Wrigley three times and in Cincinnati once. But, the season ended in a three-game playoff series sweep by Arizona this past weekend. All I can say is that I am heart-broken. Not only does this signify the end of baseball for the year, but my Cubs are not going to the World Series. It is devastating! Sure, baseball will be on TV throughout October, but it won't include my Cubs. I guess this means I'll have to default to watching my AL team, the Indians and root for them. This also means that "There's always next year" will continue to be the common theme that unites Cubs fans worldwide. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of their last World Series Championship, which keeps my hopes high for the future (I'll just store my "It's Gonna Happen" sign until then)!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Cubs @ Cincinnati

Most of you know that baseball is one of my favorite sports. Thankfully, Todd and I are both die-hard Cubs fans! We have been to Wrigley several times this summer and also enjoy watching the Cubs play on the road (heck, they have a better record on the road)! This past weekend we went with my parents to watch the Cubs play at Cincinnati. They had never been to that ballpark, so we invited them to come along. Unfortunately, we had tickets to the Saturday game and they clinched the division title on Friday night, but it was still a good day to see a game. We got to see a few homeruns and watch the game with thousands of other Cubs fans. Cincinnati never draws a big crowd, but there were about 39,000 in attendance on Saturday and I would guess a good 30,000 or more were Cubs fans. You can see the pictures I took of the crowd and it was a sea of blue. After the game, people were singing the "Go Cubs, Go!" song and flying "W" flags everywhere. We walked around downtown Cincinnati and Cubs fans were out like in downtown Chicago. It was awesome!

As far as Great American ballpark goes, it is a really nice park if you are in to comparing parks. Depending on your seats, you sit in padded seats, can get in-seat food service, and even have access to private lounges (which can come in handy if you are at the ballpark during college football season). My parents were floored at how crappy the 7th inning stretch was at the park. The Reds don't have anyone come and sing; they just play the sound track for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and end it at that. Fans sing, but it is not the same and they don't insert their team's name in the song or shout for more runs at the end of the song. Lame. Trust me, nothing compares to Wrigley and downtown Chicago, especially if you are a Cubs fan.

That night we went out to eat to an upscale small chain restaurant. It was good, but we were there for 3 hours! During that time, my mom had to send her steak back twice. She ordered medium rare and it came out well-done twice. Normally she would eat without complaining, but her order was so wrong it had to be corrected. By the time they finally got her order fixed, it was almost 11pm and we were all full anyway. But, we got free dessert, she got her meal free, and Lucy got a good doggie bag out of the deal.

Now, on to the playoffs...Let's go Cubs!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The busy last weekend - Christan's version

My weekend was less eventful than Todd's weekend, which is probably a good thing. I started off visiting Decatur to attend the wedding of a high school friend. I also got to see one of my oldest friends from high school, Tim. We used to do everything together junior and senior year. I was never allowed to ride out of town, like to away basketball games, unless Tim was driving. It was good to see Tim and Sara, my friend that was married. After the wedding, I headed North to visit my high school friend and college roommate, Heidi. She had a baby about 8 months ago and I had yet to see Koen. I got to see Heidi, Kris, and Koen on Sunday. On Monday, Heidi, Koen, and I haded to Brookfield Zoo for the day. It was fun, but hot and humid. Koen did great for a baby that was teething and in and out of the stoller all day long. Here is a picture of him out like a light just before we headed home. He is adorable and loves to play with toys and be around everyone. He is definitely an outgoing little guy, even at 8 months old! For those of you considering a visit to Brookfield Zoo, I would suggest you reconsider this. Heidi and I thought the zoo was okay, but a little expensive. Also, the exhibits seemed to be spaced far apart, which is not the best idea to keep kids entertained. When we lived in Ohio, we had a chance to visit the Akron Zoo and I would say it is a much better zoo! After the zoo, I headed home and back to work!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The busy last weekend - Todd's version

So this week has been a little crazy and I never got to post about our adventures from last weekend. Being a week behind isn't so could be worse. Last weekend Todd and I went our separate ways. He had planned a hunting trip for the opening weekend of duck season in Iowa. I gave up my tickets to the Illinois at Indiana football game (the Illini won, of course!) to attend the wedding of a high school friend and visit my longtime friend and college roommate of 3 years, Heidi. Here's how the weekend went for Todd...

Todd and Lucy arrived in Iowa on Friday night to go hunting with Todd's longtime friend Scott Judd. They were supposed to attend a cookout and stay overnight at Judd's cabin on the Mississippi. However, after scouting out some potential hunting spots, they discovered all the good ones were already taken. So, they decided to take some boats out on the Mississippi and find another spot to hunt. Of course, they went out after dark (I warned Todd to be careful about mixing men, dogs, boats, water, and guns. I worry a lot, so you can only imagine what was going through my head. Anyway, they ended up finding a spot, pulling their boats on to some land, and sleeping on the ground. Apparently, Lucy got up every 15 mins and wandered off only to come back smelling more and more like poop. Todd, who was too cold to sleep, said the smell worsened throughout the night. In the morning, he went to investigate what she was doing and found a fish that had been rolled in so much it had turned to mush. That's our little Lucy - always rolling in something!

They had a great time hunting Saturday morning and got 12 ducks. Lucy had the opportunity to retrieve several birds and even had a picture-perfect retrieve on one. One bird she went to get wasn't fully dead. She pawed at it and nosed it for several minuted until it died (probably from the stress of getting shot and attacked by a dog) and then made her retrieve. So, all in all, it was a good morning. You can cee Lucy in this picture looking on as they pack up their boat to head home. Todd went back to his parent's house to sleep for the day since he hadn't slept since Thursday night.

But, that's when the real drama started. He and Lucy showered off and got something to eat. However, he noticed Lucy was not walking very well and when he tried to touch her in the hind legs and tail area, she tried to bite him. For all of you that know Lucy, she can lick people for hours, but has never ever tried to bite anyone. So, this was a little weird for her. He left her alone for a bit, but she started yelping and biting her hind area. He tried to take her outside to go to the bathroom, but she wouldn't go and wouldn't lift her tail. So, he and his dad loaded her into the car and drove to the emergency vet in the Quad Cities. Turns out that Lucy had "cold water tail" which is a common affliction in sporting dogs who swim and hunt often. When they swim, dogs use their tail like an otter tail to navigate in the water. There are many tendons and muscles in that area of the dogs body and she apparently had a sprained tail. Unfortunately, Lucy's sprain was very severe. Some dogs just can't lift their tails for a day or two, while others have a worse sprain to the point they cannot walk or lift their tail at all. So, Lucy was given a shot of anti-inflammatory, sent home with pain killers, and put on bed rest for a few days. Thankfully, she seemed completely healed by Tuesday, although we kept her calm all week to make sure it will fully heal. Anyone that knows Lucy should not be surprised that this happened - she always gets weird afflictions. You can read more about cold water tail here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Whiffleball Update!

There has been lots going on, so I'll post more later. But, the exciting news is that Lana and I have decided to form a whiffleball team. Apparently there is a league on campus in the fall. Who knew?!?! Anyway, Lana did all the leg work (thanks!!) and we hope to field a team of 7. The rules are a little odd. I'll post some info on those after I digest them, but I think it will be a lot of fun. I am sure there will be stories to tell and pictures to post after our first game on October 10th. We are going for a playoff berth! Now, we just need to come up with a team name. Suggestions are welcome...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Whiffle Ball

Seriously, how cool would it be to have a whiffle ball league. I think it was be great fun and produce a lot of good stories for this blog! I found several leagues online while searching one day. They even had the rules and other information posted! It would be so easy to get started. Hmmm...this could be an idea for next summer!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Busy Weekend!

Surprisingly, we were home this weekend, but that didn't mean that we weren't busy as usual. I started Saturday morning out with a 5k. It was a cold morning!! The race started at 8:30am and the temp at race time was about 50 degrees. A far cry from the 80 degrees and 100% humidity at the start of the half-marathon the previous Saturday! Now that I have finally mastered running in the heat, I have a feeling it is going to get cold, which forces me indoors. My friend Lana ran the race as well. It was her first competitive 5k and she did awesome, even getting inspired to run a few more this fall!

After the race ended, we hurried home to shower and head back to campus to tailgate with Lana and her husband, Tristen before the IU-Akron football game. The game started at noon, so you can see there was little time to fit everything in, but we did and Lana grilled some fabulous hamburgers! Here is a picture of Todd and Tristen enjoying the tailgate before the game. For those at those you who have never been to an IU football game, tailgaiting is huge here - for every game, not just homecoming. In fact, this was just one of two pre-game parties we were invited to. So, I am sure there will be more burgers to have this season. For those who actually like football and keep tabs on the score, IU beat Akron and has a 3-0 record so far this season. Hopefully we'll play 13 for Hep!

We went to bed early Saturday night to get ready for the Dock Dogs competition in Terre Haute on Sunday. The Dock Dog competition was being held in conjunction with the local air show. Lucy loves to do dock jumping and this is her third competition this year. We hope to do more as she continues to improve her jumping distance. Also, it is supposedly the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country, so there are more competitions every year. We could only get Lucy into one wave this competition because there were so many dogs, but she still had fun. Maybe I'll make another post in the future and explain all the rules and how the distances are measured. Anyway, she had her personal best jump this time at 16'5". Not enough to get her into the finals at this competition, but still excellent for her. This competition was being taped by the Outdoor Channel and will air sometime in early October. So, no guarantee, but Lucy may be on TV. Todd wore his Cabela's hat to try and get them on the show, as Cabela's was the major sponsor of the event. Here is a picture of Lucy running down the dock. When I post on how the rules work, I'll post some other pictures of her jumping.

Friday, September 14, 2007

IU Mini Marathon Race Report

Last weekend I completed my second half-marathon. Thankfully, I finished and didn't do too bad. I ran it in 2:15:22.1, which is a pace of 10:20. While this may sound amazing to some of you out there, it really isn't anything fabulous. I am always surprised by the people that pass me along the way (see below). I am just glad I finished, which is always my goal. I am less concerned about the time, especailly at mile 9 when my legs are hurting!

The morning was cool, but extremely humid even at 8am. I was soaking wet by the end of the race - wetter than I have ever been after running. It made it hard to wipe off my face while running and it didn't help I got water spilled on myself in the water stations and a spectator on the course hosed me off even though I was trying to avoid the water to stay dry. Oh well!

The course was ridiculously hilly. I can't believe how many hills we had run up, and it seemed we hardly ran down any hills! Anyway, when the race started I had to go pee before the end of the first mile despite going 5 times before the race. I kept looking for a port-a-potty on the race course, but there were none, so I ran off the race course, hit the Villiage Panty on 10th Street by Eigenmann Hall to pee. This all happened between mile 4 and 5. Of course, they started having port-a-potties at the mile 6 water station. Ugh! The water stations were okay. They had a lot, but sometimes you had to wait for them to fill the water in the cups because they ran out of filled ones. Some people said they completely ran out of water last year, so I am glad they fixed that problem this year. I think they just need more volunteers to fill cups to make the stations go faster. (Note to self: volunteer for a race someday to help out.)

I was fine until mile 9, but then started to get really tired and started getting side stitches. I walked a lot of the last 3-4 miles and had to keep stopping to stretch out my side stitiches, so I actually thought I did worse than the Indy Mini. I was shocked when I beat my time even with all the walking. But, even with beating my time, this little grey-haired lady passed me just after mile 11. She ended up beating me by a few minutes and I looked her up on the list of finishers. She is 67!! All I can say is that I hope I can run that fast when I am almost 70!!! She rocks!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What's in a name?

So, this is the first post for our blog, The Royer Report. I recently felt compeled to start blogging since so many of my friends have a blog. But coming up with a name proved to be a process. I brainstormed for a few days, but nothing exiting came to mind. Then I decided that I wouldn't blog without a catchy name and gave up the idea of creating one. Although Todd is not into blogging, he wanted to me to start one for some unknown reason. So, he came up with this blog name to be like The Colbert Report on the Comedy Channel. Other considerations were Royer's Ramblings or Christan's Chronicles. But, I decided on The Royer Report since the others were a little cheesy. I think he did a good job. Maybe this will be a joint effort afterall.