Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Duct Tape-Water Bottle Chair

Now for a story that few have ever heard.

It is a true story. Ask my freshman roommate Danny.

During my freshman year of college, I got really interested in recycling. Well not so much for the environment but more as a weird kind of arts and crafts project. During my freshman year, I had saved the 20 oz. Sam's Choice water bottles that I drank every day in class. Feeling creative in my free time, I decided to make something - a chair to be exact.

So, using just duct tape and the water bottles, I made a chair for my room. It worked. Well enough that I almost thought about changing my major to engineering.

Unfortunately, after about two or three weeks of the chair, someone came into my room and broke it. It was not built for lateral motion.

Unable to part with my creation and unwilling to walk down the stairs to the trash room, I opted for the next best thing - leaving the chair in the hallway.

Flash forward something like a month to the end of the school year. Somehow, my roommate Danny came into the possession of some flowers. Not wanting them any longer, we decided to try the time tested method of leaving them in the hall. Sure enough, just minutes later, they were gone.

The next day, Danny was walking down the hall of another floor in our dorm when he happened to look into the open door. There in the room of girls that we did not know was what can only be described as a shrine to the stuff we didn't want any more.

There in that room was the duct tape water bottle chair, the dying flowers, and everything that we had left out in the hall over the course of several weeks.

There you have it. A shrine to our freshman year. By some girls that we didn't know.

True story

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cosborne's Magical Mystery Tour

I know what you are thinking.... What has Cosborne been up to for the last week?

Well, ask and you shall receive....

Let's start Aug 7:

Friday: Stephanie arrive in Northern Virginia. I had to drive over to Baltimore to pick her up which was a blast. Unfortunately, earlier that day was my last day with PF. It was a pretty sad day. It is amazing how fast you get attached to a job and the great people you work with. I just hope that I will catch up to them again one day soon.

Saturday: Whirlwind Tourism: Steph and I set out for DC to conquer as many sights as possible. We started at the Holocaust Museum before heading to the National Mall. We checked out the World War II Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin, the FDR Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial. We then made our way to the Reagan building to partake of their food court and much needed AC. Thankfully, Stephanie managed to bring some of that good ole Texas heat with her to DC! After visiting the Smithsonian American History Museum and an aborted effort to visit the National Archives, we headed down to the Washington Nationals game. I have been to three games in Nationals Park and I must say - Stephanie was by far my favorite company to go with. Sorry everyone else.

Sunday: We woke up early to head to Pennsylvania. My second epic showdown with the Mason Dixon Line. Fortunately, Gettysburg was only about an hour from my house. Unfortunately, the brand new museum was wicked overpriced. So, instead, Steph worked the map as my navigator as we headed out on a driving tour of the battlefield. The entire loop was 20+ miles and took us nearly 2 hours to drive without the CD accompaniment. I want to say that it was because they were not narrated by James Earl Jones. Really, I was too cheap. Anyway, it was a difficult sight to behold - the epitome of the war that nearly tore our nation in two. I have to say that Arkansas had a very impressive monument. After a brief stop at the hosue, we drove down to DC to walk around the White House at night. It is nice to be able to drive around DC at night without traffic or tourists. Got to love Sunday night.

Monday: Steph and I went down to see the attraction she most highly anticipated: The International Spy Museum. I was actually pleasantly surprised by what they had to offer - a great variety of gadgets from US and Commie spies. We had a great time. However, after this adventure, we realized that this was the end of our tourism - we were exhausted. We went back to my house for me to pack up and get ready for the great road trip.

Tuesday: We got up at 6 AM Eastern time for the great adventure. It was nice to see the sun rise over the mountains - a fitting goodbye to the beauty of Virginia. At a quarter til 9, we stopped in Lexington, VA - home of VMI, Washington & Lee University. More importantly, the town is the final resting place of General Stonewall Jackson and General Robert E. Lee. On this morning, we stopped to pay our respects to General Lee. Upon arrival, we stopped to take a picture of the resting place of Lee's faithful steed Traveller. We then snuck in to the unlocked basement to see the masoleum where Gen. Lee and the rest of his family is buried. Here I might or might not have taken an illegal picture of his burial place. That is still up for debate.

Resuming our roadtrip, we keep up a good pace only being slowed by a horrific rainstorm and light hail near Knoxville, TN. That was pretty appropriate. Don't worry. Neither hail nor unruly Tennessee fans can deter Neil Diamond.

Finally, by 10 PM Central, we rolled into Little Rock. Something like 17 hours of driving, stops for gas, one dinner in Memphis with Vanculen, and some horrendous storms. All in one day.

So, it all came to an end. The great summer adventure bookended by roadtrips to and from DC.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Moments I should have known...

Moments I should have known....

...I would never make it as a baseball player.

When I was in 6th grade, I played on a more competitive Little League team. The step up in competition was a good way to prove my mettle as a player. This was when I learned to play third base and a few other things about life.

Two instances told me I would not make it far in the baseball world.

1. Once during a game, I decided to go for the "high sock" look. You know, the old school baseball look where you pull your socks up to your knees. Trying it out the first time, I felt confident and cool. Until my coach walked through the dugout and said, "Caleb, not with those calves."

It was 2 years before I tried the high sock look again.

2. Late in the season, my team was fighting hard for first place in our division. We had our main rival down big. Before the team went out between innings, the coach called us over to the huddle. Here is how it went down:

Coach: "Alright guys, we got them down. And what do we do when the other guy is down?"
Team: "Kick 'em!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Me (at the same time): "Help them up!"
Coach: "That's right! Kick 'em! Keep 'em down!"

Probably should have known right there that I wasn't going to make it...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This One Goes Out to My Big Brother

After a long summer here in Northern Virginia, I made up my mind to settle down and take it easy for my final weekend here. I bought the first season of Friday Night Lights on DVD and planned to relax while watching it. However, that all changed when I talked to my big brother the other day.

To understand why I paid so much attention to what he had to say, you have to understand our relationship. See, when I was a kid, I pretty much worshiped the ground he walked on. Still do, it is just a little more awkward now that I am 24.

Anyway. I have made it a point that if my brother every gives me a specific recommendation about something I do it. That is how I started listening to Counting Crows - to this day, it is the only CD he has ever told me to listen to. He was the one who told me I should watch Scrubs. The one who suggested that Twins Enterprises was making cool hats. I could go on with many more examples but that is not what you are reading for...

So, on Thursday, my brother called me to hear about my adventures up here and immediately honed in on one of the biggest omissions from my list - a Baltimore Orioles game. Well, not so much the Orioles but for Camden Yards. Since the ballpark opened something like 15 years ago, I have wanted to visit the park that was responsible for putting an end to cookie cutter bowls like Busch Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium. I had been to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington several times which was supposed to look very similar, but I was ready to see the real deal.

So, per my bro's recommendation, I set out for Maryland on Saturday afternoon. Because it was the Orioles vs. the Boston Red Sox, tickets were sold out. So, I did the next best thing - got Standing Room Only. I had actually looked for tickets earlier in the week, but seeing they were sold out, I figured it wasn't doable. Again, thanks to the encouragement of my brother, I decided to give the Standing Room Only a whirl.

Because I only travel alone when I have to, I put out the call and decided to take a buddy of mine along.

We got to the game just as batting practice was wrapping up and walked to the SRO section above the right field wall in time to have a ball hit by J.D. Drew land some 10 feet away from me - a good omen.

Things looked to take a turn for the worse when rain began to fall and grounds crew had to put out a tarp. Deciding to turn tragedy into triumph, my compadre and I stuck it out along the wall getting to the very front of SRO.

Having staked our claim, we didn't move for the next 7 innings.

On the way into the game, I had noticed that a surprising number of license plates in the parking lot had been from Massachusetts. It was pretty obvious where the loyalty of a majority of the fans lay - with the Red Sox. The stadium was completely packed. I could not find a single empty seat. It made me wish this was an important game down the stretch in September. I bet the Sox fans would have been more rowdy.

There were two Sox fans behind us that were funny to listen to. Even funnier, the drunker they got, the louder they were. Made for a great evening

Now, my younger bro is the true BoSox fan, but I have been watching them for a long time and really enjoy the team. It was definitely one of the better games I have been to see.

Dustin Pedroia - the second batter of the game - got things started with a home run. It was great. Later in the game, the man with the ugliest stance in baseball, Kevin Youkilis, went yard. In the mean time, David Ortiz showed off some warning track power to the deepest part of the park. However, he made up for it by legging out a double.

By the 7th, the Sox were up 4-0 and I had 2 hours to go to get home so we took off. It was a great game.

So, this one goes out to my big brother who once again proved he knows best. Thanks for the suggestion. It was a great game.