The Odd Body

One of my lifelong good friends Ryan Hunt has a helpful, informative blog about health and wellbeing.

Check out his fancy new blog here.

Hockey bandwagon....

Help me out, I think I might be that guy.

Ok, so I get home for 3 months in the winter for the past few years, and end up sitting behind the tv every 2 to 3 nights to watch two and a half hour hockey game. I don't think I'm that guy. I hop right on the Canucks bandwagon, try to watch all their games, cheer them on and become as much of a fan as possible while I'm here. Does that make me a loser bandwagon jumping guy? I used to make fun of people like myself but.... well in my own defence, at least I'm not one of those real douches that only backs a team if they're winning or make it to the playoffs, I think those are the real bandwagon jumpers.

Go Canucks.

Holy cold...

Holy crap it's freakin cold here. -11.4 celcius right now is about the coldest I've ever experienced in Vancouver. The temperature hasn't popped it's head above the freezing mark in about a week now, and we've had one snowfall of about 6-7 centemeters. Tonight and tomorrow we are forcast to get 10-20 more of the white stuff, which should pretty much make it impossible to commute around this very hill + valley area.

I'm up right now at 7:30am on a saturday morning watching soccer (voetbal fot the dutchies), and I'm not sure why. Shorty took off about 30 minutes ago for a 8 hour stretch of personal softball coaching in Abbotsford. I'm going to take advantage of this very early rise, and hit up the gym for my earliest morning workout of the season.

X-mas... 5 days away. I'm done all my shopping, have been for about a week actually, and now I'm just going to enjoy the holidays, and my crispy new job. It's quite a step down from what I should be doing with a bachelors degree, but I'm going to be working 40 hours a week, and making decent steady money, so that's that. And that's all I'm going to say about that :) Yes I'm a stripper.

Time to have an energy drink and hit up the gym for some cardio, and light weight baseball specific weights.

Incase you weren't sure, I'm not a stripper, but maybe I should be...


Right back at it

Welcome back.

We're in the midst of our stay back in White Rock my Canadian home for the winter. Enjoying our stay so far, and finally getting into the christmas spirit. Getting shopping done is seems to be easier this year then others, probably the fact that Shorty and I shop every day or two, so we have plenty of time to see the malls and get stuff done.

Looking forward to Christmas this year... as always, and the blogging will pick up. promise.

Some semi-recent pics from hanging out with friends...


Blog breakage

Yea, as you can probably tell I've been slowing consistently with my blogs, the amount and the consistency. Not to worry, when I get more computer time I'll be back and blogging, and when more blogworthy stuff happens, I'll be here. Not to say my life over the past couple weeks hasn't been blogworthy, it's just slowed since our amazing road trip, and I can't use Shorty and my computer right now because it's effed up, and we're sending it back for repairs. That pretty much includes our pictures (it would be a bitch to try and download them on my folks old PC here).

Not to worry, the blog may slow for now, but will continue another season. It will follow us from here, to the World Baseball Classic in Florida/ Puerto Rico back to Holland for another season. And many experiences in between.

Till next blog.....


Home sweet home

We made it.

8 days of driving, travel, and good times, and we've finally made it home to little old White Rock, BC. It was a greater time, and smoother trip than I could have ever imagined. We took a bunch of pictures, but will have to wait to post those for a few days until our computer gets fixed of quits screwing up.

Will be posted soon... a photo-blog of an epic road trip.


Coming up...

86 degrees, sun, huge cowboy posting up against a building, the Bellagio, and potentially some amazing couple days over Halloween in Vegas. We then move onto a couple national parks in eastern Cali, San Francisco, wine tastings in northern Cali, Oregon coast, parks, massive trees, mountains, Portland clubs, I-5.... and so much more.

My sister is joining us around 2:30 today in Vegas for the rest of our trip. We have made it nearly 1300 miles over the past 2 days seeing the Grand canyon, a La Quinta Inn in Albuquerque, the best Borrito's I've ever experienced at a little seafood/mexican place across the street from us here in Kingman Az, and some of the stranger restaurant experiences ever.

Time to head an hour or two north over the Hoover dam (I'm gonna check if they really have the frozen Transformer in it), and onto Las Vegas for a night in the Bellagio (Oceans 11,12,13), and plan to just walk the strip and watch the fountains for hours and hours...

Time to check out and get this trip really going.


Gettin' ready to head...

We're heading out tuesday morning on our 5000 KM, 45 hour drive trip home to White Rock. We're meeting up with my sister in Vegas on thursday, and are currently working on creating a rough draft of our figure it out as we go trip. Today was dominated by packing, cleaning the car, watching the world series (starting in about 5 minutes), and more packing. We're pumped to go, and see a lot of stuff, things, and places we have never seen.

We have 3 atlas's redy to go for this trip, just incase 2 fail, you never know. We are currently working on ironing out our rough schedule for this 8 day trip,

I've lost count of what day the beard is on, but no big deal, I've trimmed it already because it was turning into a wiry bird's nest all over my face and neck. It's now a well groomed sexy thing.

Keeping s list for the border with all that's in what so they don't give us crap about not being prepared to bring all our stuff across.

My suitcase is about 3428799 pounds, filled with all my shoes, and other random heavy stuff.... It will be taking up the backseat, and we're even going to buckle it in.

My mother-in-law drove our civic hybrid while we were in Holland, and now that were taking it with us, she went out and got a new one because she liked it so much. Her's isn't a hybrid, but is a brand new '09 where ours is an '08... but after we washed it cleaner then when we got it, it's as good as a 2010 version. Damn right.


2009 World Baseball Classic

We're heading back. In February the Netherlands team is planning to head to Florida for a 2 week training period before the 2ND ever WBC. The tournament is the real world series. All the best players in the world playing with their countries on their chest. It's divided into 4 1st round pools, held in Mexico, Toronto, Japan, and ours, which will be in Puerto Rico. March 7-11 marks the start of this very very competitive tournament, specially because this time around it's a double knockout format. We are in a pool with perennial powerhouses Puerto Rico, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. All those teams will feature rosters comprised of major league stars, ours will have 4 or 5.

I can't wait to get an opportunity to get some big leaguers out, and if they do hit a bomb off me... their major leaguers, their supposed to, ha ha... It should be a nice trip, specially because they pay for spouses to come out and stay with their husbands during the tournament, awesome.

I'm pumped, just have to keep the arm in shape in the Canadian winter, which I've done before. I just have to throw around the raindrops.

A couples' love for pool

We love pool. We play 8-ball, which is the most common of all the billiards games. I've tried 9-ball a couple times, but it's just not the same. At least 1-2 times a week, while in Holland, Shorty and I made our way out to our favorite watering hole, which uncoincedentally happens to be the best pool hall in the city (to our knowledge). Last night we went out for the 3rd time to play pool since we've been here in little Dewey, Oklahoma.

Our journey took us from one of the better Mexican restaurants around, to 4 different little bars to find pool tables. The first was the place we managed to play 4 1/2 hours at last time called "Hoops". It's one of the more popular sports bars around, mostly because it's connected to the bowling alley. Also, Shorty used to work there, so it's a fairly familiar place for her. The 2 tables were taken, so we moved on.

Next was a smaller bar in Bartlesville (sister city of Dewey). We pulled into this little bar called "Snockers", a karaoke bar on Saturdays, and a tiny stage for a live bands on Fridays. There we're about 10 patrons in this little hub, including two old fellas sitting next to the table we utilized for about an hour, watching us play, chatting with us some, and giving some comments here and there on our play.

After that we moved on to a bar made up of a shed and lights pretty much, called "Icehouse", which happens to be the name of the malt liquor I used to indulge in when I was in college. They had 2 tables, and they were both taken, so we immediately took our business elsewhere.

We moved to the only bar in Dewey, "Hitchin' Post". There were 4 people when we first got in there, and one dirty little pool table in the corner open, so we gladly entered and started to play. The group of 4 left after about 20 minutes, and the bar became ours. Just one old bartender with a massive Rolly fingers, Wouter Kabouter mustache (waxy twisted ends), his buddy "Magic" (half drunk old fella with 3 teeth who busted out sweet magic trick at the end of the night) and us. We played about an hour, never keeping score because we usually forget after game 10 what the score is, just have some fun. Chatted some with the Barkeep and Magic, then mosied on our way.

We enjoy each others company, and others as well when playing pool. Our cousin Dan has become a pro in the past year since he started playing, and it's always good to mix it up and play others. Eventually, once we get our own place we are going to have a pool room, I think we might even invest in that before we get a bed.


Creating a memorable journey

Hey there, it's a beautiful Sunday here in Dewey Oklahoma, and I'm sore. I guess I took to many huge hacks yesterday trying to take down the old asbestos filled walls of the shed I wrote about yesterday.

Anyways, we are working, albeit slowly but surely, on builing our semi-cross country road trip we are embarking on in around 2 weeks. We are planning to get half the driving done in the first day or two, and enjoying the rest of the trip over the next week or so. It's looking promising that a special someone may meet us around the day 2-3 mark of the trip. We are really looking forward to the trip now. My sister is in the preliminary stages of planning to join us for the trip home. I'm excited, Shorty's excited, and so is my sister, we would have good times for sure. We'll be driving in our Honda Civic hybrid, and are hoping to only have to gas up once... but I think it will be more like 6 times.

Anywho... time to go visit Jack, my borther-in-law and his family for some pool, dinner and game 7 of the ALCS (american league championship series). Just another rediculous comeback by the Boston Red Sox.



Country... Double-U t... and cleaning up a collapsed treasure shed

Today was awesome. Here's my day...

9 am, woke up with a minor hangover after playing pool for 4 and a half hour last night, and drinking a handful of Boulevard wheat ale beer (fairly local beer from Kansas city).

930 am, showered, ate 3 eggo's (strawberry jam on top) for breakfast, despite burning the first 2...

10 am, left for double-U t walmart. If you hadn't gotten there yet, double-U t stands for white trash.... yeah, this walmart is about 10 minutes away from here, and is packed with the most stereotypical white trash people. Non-stop crying babies, larger than life people, and tons of fancy southern accents/english.

12 pm, headed home to eat one of the biggest burgers ever. A local drive-thru place called lot-a-burger makes a large double patty double cheese burger, and it was huge... filled me up enough, and hooked me up with enough energy for the unforeseen afternoon energy putout.

1 pm, went to grandma Short's house to help her out with some painting of her shed's upper ledge... then headed to the other side of the yard to help with a collapsed shed, actually pretty much a small house. It was built before my wife's grandparents moved in there... needless to say we ran into a number of crazy huge black, hairy, spotted, marked and quick spiders. We managed to tear down about 30% of this thing, and empty out a lot of the shed's content, including many of Shorty's childhood artifacts which was neat to see.

5 pm, dean tired, grandma cooked us some country bean soup with cornbread and sweet tea, about as country a meal as you can find around these parts.

7 pm, got really pissed off at TBS because they had technical difficulties for the first 20 minutes of the Red Sox - Rays game (Boston won 4-2, oh hell yea, game 7 tomorrow night).

11 pm, Game over after more than 4 hours of delays, walks, commercials and just slow but exciting baseball.

12 pm (now), blogging, and watching my wife create a 11 x 17 inch version of next years scorecard that she does for me every time I pitch.

1 am, slappen (sleeping... in dutch)

Tomorrow, YMCA, long toss, big dinner (Tex Mex), Boston game, sleeeep (about to execute that right now too...)...

DAMN I wish I had pictures of today's events, would have been some good ones, inclcuding pictures of our bonfire getting out of hand and about burning the neighbors house down, a spider that can bite you and make your skin eat itself from the inside, a super-plump person getting Mickie-Dee's inside walmart, and 3 different typed of hornets flying around me in a 2 minute span... maybe next time.


Day 18... and back in North America

Well, we're here. Flew into Tulsa international last night, and was up 26 straight hours until a fantastic sleep last night. We're going to hang around here for a few weeks, Shorty gets some family time, and we're going to help out with some manual labour that her folks need some help with.

After this, we are driving northwest to Vancouver. Currently we're planning our trip and have plans to hit certain spots on the way like Vegas (briefly), Grand Canyon (been to AZ 3 times, never the GC), San Fransisco (never been, and it's pretty much on the way), also the Oregon coast for sure.

On another note, my longest beard ever is happily on day 18. It's almost like a fleet of 1/2 inch long wires protruding from my face and neck. They grow in their own ways, I have cowlicks all over my body, including 5 on my head which completely confuse the hairs... so they appear as a wave of little black and red wires angled and flowing wildly all over the beardage area, it's sexy, I know.

Here's some recent pictures of our last few days in Holland=

Cousins Jess and Dan on the 2nd to last night before we left. We had some delicious mexican food, and then went on to play some pool, and just hang out some with eachother

Neat picture I took in Rotterdam as the huge bridge went up to allow a cruise ship or something through. But, we though it looked like the end of the world... I know, crazy

Shorty dominating

Shorty and I sitting in the back seat of Jess's car, about to get from our house downtown in 4.7 seconds flat... she can drive her little car like no other... no offence mom, it's probably just that you can't drive as crazy in Canada. Beard day 13

Someone trying to take me off my game during a shot...

Shorty, mayyyyybe a little tipsy (or straight up drunk). Posing in front of the apartment... crazy wife

Game time...


A year, an experience.... a look back on this season in pictures..

Heading to Tulsa tomorrow morning, then onto canada in a couple weeks. But before that I want throw some pictures in here from this year for me. A big season with tournaments like the Olympics, european cup, and the dutch league. We had fun throughout all of it, and here's some pics to show just some of the good times this year.

Before I post all the pics... I will be keeping the blog going while home... and also beard on day 16 is looking sweet... pics still coming!

Here they are....

Ramdoms of this year since coming to Rotterdam march 21... all pics in a very random order=




I/we had a really big decision to put away this week, and we are confident in our decision to return to Holland, and play one more season in the Headclass for Neptunus.

I have recently been contacted by several Italian league teams about playing in their professional league next summer. There were tons of pro's and con's... but in the end we are happy where we're at here in Rotterdam, and don't mind returning for another season at all. I know Italy has amazing weather, beaches, gelato, good baseball. But... the dutch league doesn't want to lose their top players, so any national team players who decide to venture south, and dabble in the Italian league will lose their A-status (monthly salary from the government), which can add up to 15,000 euro in a year.

ps- beard is on day 12... I'll post a pic soon.


Growing a beard in a middle of the road chapter

I haven't shaven since the day after we lost to Amsterdam, screw it, shaving is overrated. My wife doesn't mind, I have no one to impress right now, so screw it.
We're probably in the best shape we've been in since being Holland, so even with that, I still look like a tree-huggin hippy though. Which is kind of what you're supposed to look like in a period that Shorty and I are in. We have nothing to do right now, a luxury a large percentage of the world would wish to be in instead of what they have. We live with no restrictions, like this saturday night, we're going to stay at a 4star hotel, for no reason. We don't mind all that much at the time being, Shorty is somehow turning science into art, and working on expanding on her new tattoo creation she's got going on over her back. I'm working on emails with teams in other countries and cooking dinner at the same time.

We finally ended up having to book our own flight home for the 14th last night. It should have been moved a week or more ago, but some important people dropped the ball on the change. We're looking forward to heading back west, first to Tulsa for a couple of weeks to be with Shorty's family, and then driving to Canada from there. Time for some Canadian beer, and hockey?? oh yea.


Damn shame of a day

Today we got some stuff done. In the evening it was scheduled that the finals game from yesterday was to be played, so we go, knowing there is about a 50/50 chance the game will make it through rain. We drive to Haarlem, 1 hour on the road, we get there.... just in time to see people leaving after the game was cancelled. Shorty and I took it like champs, turned around and mosied our way on home. Had some quality Mcburger... and went home. Scrabblelooza ...

I get home to find in horror, a grave mistake has happened. I wanted to wash my favorite but sort of dirty Nike's, and also my olympic shoes which had been soaked a couple times completely through in the horribly drained olympic village. Forgot the temp was on high... and I ruined my favorite most comfortable shoes in the world, and a pair of ugly asics.

Some of the carnage photo's, parental discresion is advised=


My fav's. They are melted into some ugly shape, lost the paint... but damn they're clean

Asics came completely apart. Damn shame.


Bitter-sweet... nah just bitter

We're just about to head out and watch the game I should be starting. We lost out to Amsterdam who plays Kinheim tonight in Haarlem, Netherlands for the Holland Series opener.
We're living out our time in Rotterdam right now, and finding stuff to do. We've seen every single movie in the theatre, except for the dutch ones. We are boggle champs and have some heavyweight battles behind the boggle shaker, also scrabble... holy crap, we should tryout for the world championships. Those are also battles.

Time to see if the rain holds off long enough for a whole game.
If not... scrabble might be busted out later.


New month - New chapters unfolding

Happy october.

Over the past few days I've noticed via listening to a Vancouver radio station online, and through a internet homepage that give the current weather in Oklahoma, Rotterdam, and Vancouver that Vancouver is enjoying 28 degree sun during the days this week.

In Holland, we were greeted by october early this morning. Both Shorty and I were woken up by such a terrential downpoor/blustery storm that we thought the single pane glass that embraces every wall in our 4th floor bedroom might be in jeopardy for the first time. Welcome to falls' most stereotypical month. Rain, wind, cool, it's that simple here.

Got some stuff to do today. This involves getting dressed in something very comfortable and warm soon... walking to the field with Shorty (despite random downpoors still)... talking with the boss about next year... throwing long toss with Shorty (how many husbands can say they throw long toss and flatground bullpens to their wife?)... and later on relaxing after a hot shower and watching some Heroes season 3 and maybe the Olympic opening ceremony (bought it on DVD in the airport on the way out of China) which I haven't even seen yet.

Keep your eyes peeled for my sister's blog (Deanink). she said she was about to post some pictures from her 3 week solo adventure in Croatia... and I guess got some great shots, and had some amazing adventures I'm sure.

Time to get warm, and prepare for October.


On the ol' gray matter

The last couple of days have rolled by, as slow as they possibly can. Just thinking about how we did this past weekend, what could have improved, what we did well... then realizing, there's no point in analizing anything other than my own perfomance. I can only control what I do on the field, and trust the rest of the team will do what they can.

Some negotiations with other teams in other leagues are starting to pop up here and there, and I'm finding myself in the middle of it. Which isn't so bad, but I'm finding out new information here and there about teams and people that I am glad to know, but realizing they may impede on the idea we were starting to derive for next season. I don't want to mention teams, names or euro amounts as I don't think that would be very professional of myself.

In the next few weeks before we take off, Shorty and I are going to be making some pretty big decisions, regarding next season for us, but we'll be starting by dealing with the next few months first.

Our plans are taking us back to Tulsa (not sure when yet, going to try and move our flight up a couple weeks from oct. 24), then we will post up there and get some stuff done for a couple weeks. After that the semi-x-country drive starts. We finally get to take Sunny (our 08' civic hybrid) for a road trip, and are heading to Vancouver for the winter. I'm looking forward to making in back to north america, and of course am looking forward to being with Jeana while she's with her family, but I can't wait to see my family and friends also.

We are heading to the gym shortly, and will do so practically every day until we go somewhere, or are heading home.
Sorry, no comedy in this post, just telling you what's on my mind...


updownupdownupdown.... down...

Today was a rollercoaster, but both games went sour for us this weekend, knocking us out of the playoffs. Yesterday's game was close for 4-5 innings, and then we gave them 11 runs, and only had 3 hits ourselves. Today we pitched well, hit... more, and played a hell of a game defensively, but still wound up on the short end of a 3-2 decision.

This marks an early end to our season, it has shocked me already a couple of times since the game finished... this baseball season is over. For the past 2 seasons I've been playing ball in international tournaments up until the end of november, but this season my arm can rest for 2 extra months (which it won't).

This season was a unique one for myself, even though I'd say this year wasn't as good as last one, I can still say I had a good year. There were definetely highs and lows this season, high's being the no-hitter vs. Amsterdam in June, the combined no-hitter in Korea, and obviously participating the in the Beijing Olympic games. Some lows would be our level of play at the olympics, some of my sub-par post olympic outings, and not winning the championship (even though it hasn't even happened yet).

Overall, a solid year with good numbers, an olympic win, a marriage to my best friend, living in europe for free with my wife, Olympics, and tons more... you just have to read back a few months and blogs if you want to get more of a painted picture of my season.


Feyenoord, true european voetbal (soccer)

Last night I had the opportunity to finally see my first european headclass soccer game. It was amazing. A lot less crowded than I had imagined it may be, but none the less it was quite an experience.

I would say there were about 15,000 people in a stadium that could easily house 2 times as many people. Meaning, it wasn't nearly as loud and shaky as some playoff game would have been. Either way Roo (check previous post) and I enjoyed it. It was supposed to be a dominating game for the home club Feyenoord over some smaller team called TOP Oss, it wasn't, they went into extra time 0-0. Then Feyenoord exploded for 3 goals in the next 30 mins to win 3-0, in overtime.

Not sure if many people know, but I have roots with the Feyenoord soccer club through my mother's background. An article featured me in a 2 page spread in the pitch (field) of Feyenoord. It was published in one of the main dutch newpapers last year because of my unique story playing for Netherlands, and having my grandfather and great-grandfather who they are in the Feyenoord family. Leen Vanzandvliet, my great grandfather, was the originator of the architechture of the Kuip (The Cup (stadium)), he took the idea for Yankee stadium and innovated it into a soccer stadium. Leo Vanzandvliet, my mother's father, was the president of the club for during 2 long terms, making all the big decisions, and finally retired around 1983. They both have statues in the stadium, and even the main road leading into the stadium is called Vanzandvliet straat (street) after my family.

There's your history lesson for the day. Now some pics...