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Archive for "Life"

Rain Cafe Revisited

Posted on April 9, 2022 by under Food and Drink, Life.    

Now that I’m back in working the office again, I’m getting to visit some restaurants downtown that I have not visited in a while. One such place is Rain Cafe and Lounge on Kellogg. My coworker and friend Chris Townley and I went there for lunch a few weeks ago.

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Chris got a burger and fries and I ordered the chicken skewer item, not because I felt like eating chicken, but mostly because the table next to us ordered it and, when I asked, our server mentioned it was the most popular item on their lunch menu.

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I’m glad I ordered it because it was really good. The teriyaki flavor was excellent. If we make another trip back, I would not hesitate to order this again. Until next time, GNG.

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Looking Back at 2021

Posted on January 27, 2022 by under Life.    

A bunch of friends at the PPA Carvana Desert Ridge Open this week which brings back memories of when I was there last year for PPA Foot Solutions Arizona Open, which this year is at the new Bell Bank Park at the Legacy Sports Complex in Mesa, AZ. Anyway, this got me reflecting on 2021 as a whole.

I am a little bit sad that 2021 is basically just a continuation of 2020 and I haven’t traveled out of the country at all since our Mexico trip in late 2019. I went to some tournaments out of state but we really didn’t get to do any international travel. We were going to break the cycle in January this year but the Jamaica trip ended up falling through — because COVID ruins everything.

Despite failed plans, 2021 wasn’t all bad. I finally got participate in some big tournaments, which I had originally planned to do in 2020 but couldn’t because everything was canceled when the pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt.

I also participated in some tournaments closer to home like one in Lenexa and another in Great Bend. I played with my friend Ramon Lozano in both who is the main reason I actually did them. The one in Lenexa is means a lot to me because it was my first 4.0+ tournament and we actually beat some really good teams.

I played in a couple of tournaments in Oklahoma, which I have decided is the state that runs the best tournaments because you get fed lunch and they provide lots of snacks. The first one was called Picklemania (at Lifetime Athletics) and it was non-sanctioned and the second was PC Smash (Gene Click’s tournament) and that one is sanctioned by USA Pickleball so even though it’s not a regional tournament, it’s totally legitimate one.

Speaking of tournaments, I intentionally participated in the ICT Tournaments last year (unlike in 2020 when I ended up playing because one of the guys mixed partners fell through, so I played as a stand in) and got my first ICT medal.

I think my entire year revolved around pickleball, which is not entirely unusual because when I get into something I really go all out — much like I did with Zumba. There was a whole decade of my life that was pretty much dedicated to all things Zumba.

Other pickleball-related things that happened last year include:

Speaking of hanging out with friends, late in 2021 (before Omicron happened), things were almost returning back to normal and I feel like people were starting to feel comfortable gathering again. I actually got to see my Leadership Wichita classmates a few times last year. Tallgrass Film Festival was back and had in person viewings and parties. Zach Hyatt (Brian’s cousin) and Krystle (now also Hyatt) finally had their wedding.

I think with more people getting vaccinated, people started feeling more comfortable and maybe even a little complacent. After my bout with COVID in 2020 (natural immunity) and getting shots 1 and 2, I have to say, I was feeling pretty invincible until some of my friends started getting COVID. Some of them were vaccinated.

By the way, as paranoid as Brian is about getting sick, he was super reluctant to get vaccinated and only got his shots because he wouldn’t be able to leave country. So even though we didn’t get to go to Jamaica this month as planned, at least Brian got vaccinated as a result. I got my booster shot a few weeks ago to protect myself because it seemed like all of my pickleball friends were catching COVID. Brian still hasn’t had his booster and I think he’s still on the fence about it.

So far, we managed to get through 2021 without catching COVID again (that we know of). I think one encounter with COVID is enough for me.

Nothing too exciting happened last year, other than I got to play a lot of pickleball. After ringing in the new year at pickleball tournament in St. Louis this month, I’m not joking when I say I have even more pickleball planned this year.

Stay tuned! GNG.

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New Year’s Eve

Posted on January 15, 2022 by under Life, Travel.    

What do you do for New Year’s Eve when you have an early wake up the next morning for a pickleball tournament? You stay in and drink in the hotel lobby and play Mexican train dominoes and Uno all evening.

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I set up in the lobby and started making drinks from my Shaker & Spoon cocktail kit while we were waiting for Tiffany and Donnie to come down. This random guy comes over and asks if it’s the “manager’s special” because he wants a drink, I guess. I’m like, “Sorry, dude. This happy hour is private.” LOL.

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I made drinks for both me and Tiffany.

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The four of us enjoyed some cocktails while playing Mexican train dominoes. It’s nice to be able to drink and not have to worry about driving home (or anywhere for that matter). The guys looked quite serious because Brian was seriously losing and Donnie was hot on my heels (I was the points leader for most of the game but Donnie ended up winning at the end by a mere two points).

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Everyone was in it to win it. Except for Brian because, after his triple digits in the first round, he didn’t have a prayer.

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I’m so disappointed that we didn’t get to drink these shots. They came in the cutest jars. However, the size of them was somewhat intimidating. I mean, the jars are cute but they are a good size so there’s a lot of alcohol in those shots.

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Tiffany won at Uno on NYE but I owned it the next night.

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I think one of my favorite memories from the weekend was when Tiffany and Donnie and Brian all banded together to help Brian win the round and keep me from winning. I think I had 4 wins, Brian had 3, Tiffany had 2, and Donnie had 0 wins. We were in the 10th round. If Tiffany, Donnie, or I won the round then I would be the winner. The only way they could prevent me from winning is if Brian won the round and tied me at 4 wins, which would force a sudden death tie breaker round. So even though, Tiffany and Donnie were both ready to go out, they weren’t going out because because they wanted Brian to win.

It was three against one and I still won! That was definitely one of the weekend’s highlights for me. Of course, winning gold in mixed 4.0 with Devon was nice too.

That was pretty much our NYE weekend. Until next time. GNG.

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A Special Saturday

Posted on December 20, 2021 by under Life.    

Brian and I had a fun but busy day the Saturday before last. I started with my Aqua Zumba class and then met Brian at the shooting range.

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We had a quick lunch before parting ways. He had his things to do and then I went to Riverside to play some pickleball with Greta Siemens, Ian Carr, and Devon Fuller. Devon drove down to Wichita specially so we could practice.

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While there we ran into Tara Snyder who was gracious enough to stop for a photo. Tara was a professional tennis player from 1995 to 2006 and reached her highest individual ranking in the WTA Tour in 1998 when she was ranked #33 in the world. She is quite famous among the tennis players in town and Greta was super excited to see her, and for our photo.

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Later that night we went to Chad and Laura’s beer (and wine) gift exchange. It’s one of our favorite Christmas parties. We missed it last year because of the whole COVID thing so we were super thrilled that they were having it this year. Chad and Laura are such wonderful hosts.

Check out the highlights from the party in the below video montage.

Until next time, GNG.

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Another EPIC Night with PB Friends

Posted on November 29, 2021 by under Life.    

Brian and I went out with the pickleball peeps last weekend when EPIC had a gig at Mordecai’s. EPIC is a favorite among this group.

I’m not into going out these days because I just want to play pickleball but Donnie sold it to me this way – Mordecai’s is only five minutes from our house. Also, I did want to get Brian out because he’s been staying home too much lately. He needs to show his handsome face every now and then just to remind people he exists.

It was our first time at Mordecai’s even though it’s so close to where we live. Not a surprise since we don’t really do the going out thing anymore. I think the last time we were out there was over ten years ago. The place was called the Lizard’s Lounge and went probably because another friend’s band had a gig. That’s usually the reason we go out to these things — peer pressure. LOL.

Here are some pictures from that epic (pun intended) Saturday night.

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It was Tim Hereen’s birthday weekend so everyone was in a festive mood. These wild picklers spent most of the night on the dance floor. One of my new friends Mitch Spencer, lawyer by day and dance floor king by night, was dancing his heart out and showing off his awesome dance moves.

Brian was like, “I didn’t know Mitch was like THAT.”

“Like WHAT, babe?” I ask him, “An avid dancer?”

It’s so much fun to hang out with people off the pickleball court because you get to learn so much more about them and get to know them as people and not just as targets to body bag. I’m kidding about that last part. Maybe.

Seriously, though. I learned that night that most pickleball people also love to dance. It explains a lot. It does require a good amount of coordination in order to play doubles pickleball. That cat and mouse at the non-volley zone (kitchen) is kind of like a dance. Odds are, if someone is graceful on the court, they probably have some funky fresh dance moves to go along with it.

That is all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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