Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, thanks for These Finds...

2008 had lots of interesting events, and I am sure you can find them all over, top ten's of everything. But there is only one place you can get Peltgrande's best music finds of 2008. Here they are, in no particular order:

Download These:
"Furr" (title track)
"Dark River Killer"
-thanks to Chad Fields for introducing me to these mesmerizing and lyrical geniuses


Download these for a delish taste of Fruit Bats:
"Union Blanket"
"When U Love Somebody"
Mouthfuls actually came out in 2005, I just ran across it a few months ago. They have actually had a hiatus as the main frontman, Eric Johnson, played with The Shins the last couple of years, but now The Fruit Bats are back touring.


Narrow Stairs is Death Cab's 2008 album, and is great, but if you haven't listened to them before start with Plans, also from 2005, which is even better. I just started listening to Death Cab this summer and fell in love quickly. Benjamin Gibbard, lead singer has a great voice and his lyrics keep you interested.
"I Will Follow You into The Dark"
"Carolina" (solo by Benjamin Gibbard)


A little uptempo from some of the above bands, which have been described as a mix of "suave sound that incorporates ska, New Wave and Afro-pop "...ok, I don't even know what Afro-pop is, but I like it. Download these:

"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", "Oxford Comma"

Consolers of The Lonely was one of my most listened to albums of 2008. I actually won it by calling into an XM radio station right when it came out. It's hard for me to even pick which songs to tell you to download. It's an album experience. But, if you need just a taste:

"Salute Your Solution", "Old Enough" and "The Switch and the Spur"

Here are a few other songs I recommend downloading:
He Doesn't Know Why by Fleet Foxes
Back in Your Head by Tegan and Sara
27 Jennifers by Mike Doughty
Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns
No Sex for Ben by The Rapture
Night Vision Binoculars by Wicked Man's Rest

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NORAD Santa Tracking

Recent Santa dropoffs shown above. NORAD's official position is that, yes, there is a Santa Claus. "Based on historical data and more than 50 years of NORAD tracking information, we believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of children throughout the world," the agency said in a formal statement. Santa Claus was over Japan early Wednesday and heading south toward Guam, the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, and ultimately Australia.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12 Inches of Snow

BLIZZARD! Ok, I think a little sensationalized by the weatherman, but we did have a foot of snow and lots of winds. Tonight the low is supposed to get to -18. Wind Chills even worse. Welcome back to Iowa Sam and Meredith.

I do love Christmas, and snow. We've been very busy at the Brownell household. Deer hunting in eastern iowa, lotsa working, christmas preparation and chasing Olivia.
Not much time for me and the 'ol blog right now, so I'll see you after Christmas. I really would like to share a couple posts I have in mind, including my favorites of everything of 2008.

My last thought I'll share is a reminder I had about a legendary rapper...

Thanks to mother nature, I was reminded of a mysterious part of junior high where I walked around like a zombie repeating a tune in my head for which I had no idea what the lyrics were...This was before the internet, at least for me and the internet. Tell me you don't remember, "Informer, blah blah blah, licky boom boom down."

Here's the real lyrics:
Informer, you no say daddy me snow me Ill go blame,
A licky boom boom down.

Glad you know, aren't you?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Medical Terminology Concerto

I found this video which explains a bit about the first 2 years of medical school, and how primarily it deals with learning a new language. It is presented in a nice concerto format, and will especially appeal to those in the medical field. If you're not, you might just be disgusted and offended. Unless you're Cullen. If you're not up for medical terminology, you can still be rewarded by visiting today by skipping down to watch the strangest musical compilation we have ever seen, an oldie but a goodie, Chocolate Rain by Tay Zonday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

1,000th Post!!!

Ok, actually that is totally made up. I have no idea how many posts I have done, but it's nowhere near 1000. I have been lacking on posts the last month, although the Obama post was fun. So, what should I post about today?

Well, I could post about Obama and the win. Nah.

I could tell you all about how the Hawkeyes win in Iowa City over #3 Penn St was the best football game I've ever been to. Fantasmal win. Superific ending....

But I want to bring you to the most important thing I could blog about today. My friend, Cullen, remade a local meat store commercial. He thought it needed spicing up a bit, so he did. I would be doing you an injustice as a human and friend if I didn't immediately direct you to go there now and watch it. You can click on The Oak Lair over on the side bar, or just right here to go to the Post.

The Warrior King prepares for battle.
Ok, yes, I thought about making a crack about a Pantene Pro-V commercial here with this pic, but this guy is a stud and can wear his hair however he wants. Now, get over to the meat vid if you haven't already.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Final Push- Obama for President

For the most part, ok for the whole part, I lack the rhetoric and wit to write anything inspirational. But I wanted to share a couple of things I came across reading some articles these last few weeks.

I won't spend this time making fun of Palin. That's too easy, like shooting fish from a barrel. Or like chasing wolves with an airplane and gunning them down when they are too tired to run.

I am voting for Obama. I buy into his whole change thing. Sure, I have a few concerns, but I would with any candidate. I am not sure I want too much socialism injected into our country, though I point out McCain voted for the stupid bailout too. I don't think Obama is going to take away our hunting guns. Conversely, I don't think McCain could get Roe vs. Wade overturned. I think a lot of issues like that wash out for me. Here's the thing though, McCain is the same thing we've had. He is everything Washington stands for. Maverick? No.

Not too long ago I thought and told some of my friends that of the Republicans out there I thought McCain was one I really respected and could vote for. He seemed inspirational. He'd had it with dirty politics and negative campaigning. If we didn't stop our partisan bickering, he was going to turn this car around. Well, WHAT HAPPENED?

The last few months have brought about character assassination and political attacks like no other. If McCain had less time attacking Barack, I think he would have been better off. Remember the celeb ad? I loved this tidbit I read in GQ referencing it:

"As character assassination goes, the Celeb-ad was about as subtle as the old pretending-to-cough-while-actually-saying-the-word-asshole trick. But our real problem with it isn't the creepy subtext. It's that Britney and Paris are so politics-of-five-minutes-ago. McCain is fighting a firecrotch war in a topless-Miley Cyrus world. Like, whatevs."

Tell me fellow Wingnuts, why have you waited to release the story about how Obama likes to kick dogs and club baby seals?

One thing that comes up a lot is the tax issue. I don't really see how either candidate is going to not raise taxes to dig us out of this hole, but lets compare. McCain says Obama is going to raise taxes and spread the wealth like a socialist. Here's a great article in the New York Times this week, a study of the tax plans by an independent source, The Tax Policy Center. Below is the jist:

"Independent analyses of the presidential candidates’ tax proposals show that those who make less than $250,000 a year would not see their taxes raised under Senator Barack Obama’s plans. Further, Mr. Obama would generally cut taxes more than Senator John McCain would for households with incomes less than $100,000 a year. Mr. McCain would cut taxes generally on par with Mr. Obama for those making $100,000 to $250,000 a year, the analyses found, but those making $250,000 a year and above would typically pay less in taxes under Mr. McCain."

Ok, fewer than 3% of households make 250,000$. I just don't like the same old Republican ways of giving breaks to the rich. McCain wants to extend Bush's tax cuts for the rich. And big business? On paper their taxes may sound high, but loopholes often require them paying much less. (Here's where I like Ron Paul platform and flat taxes!)

I won't go on and rant and make this post any longer, I don't want you to tune out if you haven't already. But, I want to hear from you. I am calling a few of you out. Tyler, Terry, Mom, Dad, Tim, and a few others- What is McCain going to do for you? How is he going to be good for you? Bad for you? How is Obama going to be good and bad for you? I want to hear both sides, the good and bad or I'll have a hard time thinking you are being objective. I will post my good and bad for both in my comments too.

In the meantime, make sure you get out and vote. On Wednesday morning, I anticipate an Obama victory, but if not, it will be fun to watch McCain ride around on his Rascal. Just make sure someone tells Palin that he needs to have his adult diapers on before they have a tickle party to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Big Sioux City Weekend

Saturday morning started out chilly. 36 degrees, here are Dr. Benzoni and I preparing to run the Sioux City Marathon. He has what I call real running genes. Different breed. He is 52 and can run me into the ground. His Marathon time was 3hrs and 20min, a 7:39 pace for 26.2 miles.
Forrest Gump. This guy has ran the marathon the last 3 years in full Forrest Gump gear. He registers as "Forrest Gump". No one has figured out who he is yet. There was an article in the paper about him. Oh, and he beat me too.
Coming into the finish line, I wanted to curl up and die for the last 6 miles, so I was feeling pretty good with 100yds to go.
Ahh, here I am crossing the finish line. Well, I finished. I ran the first half, (13.1 mi) in 1 hr 50 min, so I was on pace for a 3:40 marathon. Let's just say the second half got pretty painful. But, I toughed through it and finished. I am still paying 3 days later, hobbling around. But, did I mention I finished?

Posted by Picasa
I came home after the run and found my Hawkeyes whupping up on the Badgers. Shonne Greene was a total stud, tearing off 217 yds, 4 TD's including a whirling dervish of a 34 yd TD run the got him nominated for the All America Player of the Week.
That night was Olivia's 1st birthday party. Her actual birthday is Oct 31st, on Halloween, so we want to take her trick or treating that night. She had a cake with her best pal Daisy on it. There are lots of other great pics to share, but I'll let Nicole put them up on Olivia's site. Check there in a day or so and they'll be there.

My daughter likes Vampires.
Ok, so last year I picked up this vampire Halloween decoration. A couple of weeks ago I got it out of storage and as soon as she saw it she picked it up and gave it a hug. I was sitting there laughing to myself with no one else around to appreciate it. (And really, only those out there who know who Count Strahd von Zarovich is would really understand my delight of Olivia hugging a Vampire.) Anyway, at the party Saturday, someone got out the vampire and all the kids were afraid of it, except one. While the other little kids cringed at the creepy little rubber Vampire, Olivia just grabbed it and gave it a hug in front of everyone. I'm not sure what this means, but I think it's because she was born on Halloween. And maybe something to do with the fog that Cory and I had to get rid of by shooting a shotgun over our shoulder while looking into a mirror.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Noah arrives for the Fields Fam, OG Visits the Pumpkin Farm

Superchad the Dad. It was great to meet Noah.

OG was loving the pumpkin farm. Lots of pointing to do.

Family photo op.

We let Olivia sit in a pile of pumpkins. I wish a pile of pumpkins brought me that much joy so simply.
Jordy and OG went for a wagon ride.

They had a petting zoo too. This guy seemed like the leader. Also, with the long hair and nice horns all the girl goats want him.

They apparently love pumpkins. Convenient then, living at a pumpkin farm and all.

Olivia got to meet Noah. She didn't know quite what to think, but she liked sitting with Papa Chad.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

For all of us Iowa Fans, here's the hard truth:

Keeler: It's not Christensen's fault his coach has too much faith in him


Pittsburgh, Pa. — Let’s make one thing clear: This is not Jake Christensen’s fault. He is what he is. He’s short. He’s inconsistent. He’s inaccurate. The next pass he throws with any touch will be his first.

It’s not for lack of effort. Or toughness. Or heart. Christensen is a stand-up kid. He’s faced tough questions from the media. He’s been booed at home by his own fans. He’s taken it like a man.

But, by God, if he’s the quarterback that gives Iowa the best chance to win, I’m Brad Pitt.

“I just thought that Jake had more of a feel for what they were coming at us with defensively,” Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz said of Christensen after Iowa fell today at Pittsburgh 21-20. “And what we needed from our quarterback to win the game.”



“Just a feeling I had,” Ferentz continued.

No, this one wasn’t on Christensen. It’s on the coaching staff that kept trotting him out there, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.

The Hawkeyes’ other quarterback, Ricky Stanzi, had completed 7-of-10 passes against the Panthers in the first half, including a 48-yard strike to tight end Tony Moeaki. Christensen in the first half? Two-of-six. Conventional wisdom says you ride the hot hand in the third quarter, right?

Not Ferentz.

He had a feeling.

Stanzi never played again.

Hey, if it works, you’re a genius. If it doesn’t, you lose to Dave Wannstedt. And you have to live with it for the rest of your life.

“This game could be a blessing or a curse for us,” said Christensen, who was sacked four times. “We can either get better or fold. I think everybody in our locker room thinks we’ll get better.”

They might. He won’t.

It’s time to turn the page on Christensen. Isn’t it? For his sake and yours. It’s time to cast your lot with Stanzi, the skinny sophomore from Ohio. It’s time for him to get his feet wet in the Big Ten Conference, to see what you’ve really got.

“Going with only Jake Christensen in the second half,” Ferentz explained, “was more of a gut thing than anything else.”

Don’t trust your gut, coach. Trust your eyes.

Yes, there will be roller-coaster moments. Stanzi forced some throws against Iowa State that nearly cost the Hawkeyes dearly. Yes, he’s prone to the occasional brain cramp. At the end of the second quarter, time running out, he completed an 8-yard pass to tight end Brandon Myers on third-and-9. That forced the Hawkeyes to punt the ball back to the hosts with 17 seconds left, and offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe looked none too amused.

Still, sitting on the young man isn’t going to speed up his development. Is it? He’s not going to get any wiser standing on the sideline watching Christensen throw balls at his receivers’ ankles.

It was there. There for the taking. That’s what should gnaw at the Hawkeyes. Iowa had the ball three times in the last 9 minutes. When Pitt punts the ball to your 1-yard line with 2:19 left and no timeouts and all you need is a field goal to win, it shouldn’t smell like the game is over. It shouldn’t smell like 2007.

And yet it did. A short pass on first down, a sack on second down, a third-down fumble and good night, nurse.

Another 100-yard game by Shonn Greene, wasted. Another chance to make a statement on national television, to nab a marquee nonconference game on the road, gone.

Somewhere, an Insight Bowl scout is crying. Again.

He had a feeling.

So did you. Deja vu.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Iowa over ISU

Today was the annual big game between Iowa and ISU. You probably know Iowa won, and W is all the counts in the end, but it was an interesting day. Mike Galles, Nicole and I met up with our old crew including Tate and Amy and had fun cheering on the Hawks in the rain.
Stanzi started, much to the fans delight. The pregame feel? Pumped. I think everyone expected us to run Shonn Greene, (above) about 35 times today. He did end up with his third straight 100 yd running game, but we let Stanzi throw the ball a lot.
STANZI TIME! Well, I hope this guy sold all his shirts before the game. Stanzi was benched by the end of the third quarter. I still think he will end up being the better of the two QB's, but he just wasn't ready today. Jake came in and led us to a 14 point lead and ultimately the win. Now, I think the fans were left with more questions about the QB position than answers.
Rain made things interesting, including the running game on the field. End result? Iowa wins, great day. I guess we'll learn more next week in Pittsburgh about this team.

Monday, September 08, 2008

As Tate said, Stanzi is The Manzi

This is how I feel about Rick Stanzi. Just consider me the guy in the white shirt and suspenders dancing and professing my love for him.

The Press Citizen just reported he got the nod for the start on Saturday against ISU. Cyclones beware, Rick Stanzi, Shonn Greene and DJK are going to eat your D up.

You just got Ricky (Stanzi) Rolled.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Rove, O'Reilly and Other Conservative Liars

Take 5 minutes and watch this video, it is well worth it. More examples of blatant lies from the likes of Rove, Bill O'Reilly and their conservative cohorts. Conservative might be the dirtiest word I know.

Tsk. Tsk. They're all liars. I think my favorite ticket for President after Obama/Biden would be Bill Maher/Jon Stewart.
Go Left.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Barack Obama hit 50% in national polls for the first time today, with the McCain-Palin ticket down to 42%.
The InTrade futures market is now offering bets on Palin dropping out.
Other tidbits lingering, her supposed "Troopergate" and a connection to the AIP, an Alaskan Independence Party who wants to secede from the U.S. I think Alaska should be allowed to secede from the U.S. after they invade Canada and take it over.

I heard Fred speak tonight. I liked Fred better on Law & Order.

Also, I ran 17 miles tonight. Why? Because I can.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend at Okoboji, Part 1

The Fam took a little trip to Okoboji this weekend, and we are still up here for a couple more days. Olivia, Daisy, Nicole and I came up thursday. Jeremy, Gina and Jordy joined us friday. We have been taking in all 'Boji has to offer and having a blast. Yesterday we went to Arnolds Park and Olivia rode the merry-go-round. She had a grand time on that, lots of smiles hollers of glee.
WATER BABY! Friday afternoon we got in the indoor pool at the water park here at Bridges Bay. Olivia loved it. She cruised around in her little floatie turtle, splashed and couldn't get enough of it. She also swam the lazy river with us in her turtle and was smiling the whole way. Clearly got mom's genes for the water, as her dad is sort of a sea cow.
Joe Liewer let us use his boat for the weekend, (thanks Joe!), and so we went did some cruising on East and West Okoboji. Here's Jordy loving it.
The Sitzmann Family
Daisy loves the boat, as she always did in Iowa City, too. By the way, try getting a dog and an infant to look at the camera on a boat at the same time. Good luck.
Jordy and Daddy
It didn't take long for Olivia to be put to sleep on the boat. Loud white noise and rocking? She was cashed.
To end off Saturday night here's Jordy serenading us. Mainly she was rocking for her mom, which at 11pm after a long day Gina was really enjoying. We were ready to go to bed, Jordyn was ready to head down to Bracco's and party.

**Update**: Today I turned 30! Goodbye 20's, it was fun. Today I celebrated my thirtieth birthday by: 1. Running 15 miles this morning 2. Boating in Okoboji 3. Stuffing myself like a pig 4. Hanging out with Mom & Dad here in Okoboji 5. Going to stuff myself a little more before I go to bed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Real GenCon post

This last weekend I went to GenCon in Indianapolis. Complete Nerdfest fun. Here are five of us that went, all friends from undergrad in Cedar Falls: Paul Gorecki, Cory Scanlan, Chad Delp, Michael Devin and I.

For those of you that don't know what GenCon is, it is a big gaming convention. Everything from D&D to Halo to Board Games. Many are played with a 20 sided dice, just a wee bit smaller than the one Chad is showcasing here.


Here's Hans House, he joined us for a few gaming sessions. This was the Tower of Gygax, DM'd by Cory, and in honor of Gary Gygax, the creator of D&D who died this year.

This is the infamous COUGAR. Much different than the cougars Devin fancies in California, but equally open to trying new things. He was a bit creepy. I initially feigned fright and asked:
"Are you a bear?" ...His response, best put by Cory over on Scantabulous, was this:

The Cougar responded in a thick effeminate southern accent "Nawww, Ah'm a Cougar, can't ya tell from the looong taaail?""

I no longer had to feign my fear. A real furry.