Go Pack (and Swim and Fish) Go! And Good-bye Charter!

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Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I can't believe it's Sunday night already - almost time to return back to work... the weekends definitely go by too fast. This weekend was a pretty good one - lots of things happened, so let's get started.

I've decided to enter another triathlon, which means I have to start swimming again. Argh. Biking and running - no problem. I'm regularly biking 70-ish miles at a time, averaging just around 23 mph, and my runs are doing great as well - I just finished a 13-mile run today, at an average of 7.5mph. So, those are fine. But swimming? I hate it!

So, I started taking swimming lessons. I found a great swim instructor who lives in Portage, so I snuck out of work early on Thursday and drove up to see if she could help my horrific swim stroke. We hopped in the lake and she took a look. The initial verdict? She claims I'm not that bad, but I'd disagree. We worked together for about an hour and I learned some great drills, tips, tricks, and exercises from her. It was well worth the drive - she was super knowledgeable and helpful, and I think I'll be making a few more trips before the race.

Friday brought about another fish fry, this time compliments of The Mid-Town Pub. It's located just a few blocks from the apartment, and it got decent reviews from people, so it was worth a try.


They have an odd menu/system - there's all you can eat fish offered from 3:00pm - 7:00pm; otherwise it's a "one plate" dinner. Got there at about 6:00pm and ordered some cheese curds; they weren't anything special - typical "drop n fry" frozen curds that probably come from Sysco. Sad, but I'm becoming a curd snob...


Look familiar? Yeah. They're pretty much the same exact curds as one can find at: The Avenue Bar, The Oakcrest, and Paul's Neighborhood Bar. Decent curds, for sure, but once you've had great curds it's hard to get excited by run-of-the-mill curds.

The fish came out after a lengthy wait, and it was decent. Beer-battered cod with fries. No other side options. Very mild flavor, decent batter. Better than some, but not as good as The Avenue Bar or Jordan's.


Unfortunately the service was so slow that there wasn't much chance to take advantage of the "all you can eat" offer, as it took nearly an hour for the first batch of fish to arrive and another 25+ minutes for the second batch. By then the window for all you could eat fish was closed, and I was bored and aggravated, so it was time to leave.

Saturday morning saw a welcomed change: I got rid of Charter and got AT&T U-Verse. U-Verse is "TV by IP" - everything comes to your home via a fiber optic internet connection. So, my television comes via fiber optic to my phone line, and then into a mini computer/gateway. The gateway then transmits the TV signal to the television. It also broadcasts a wireless internet signal for my laptop (so I get my internet connection via fiber optic - fast!!!), and if I had telephone, it would go through the same device.

The signal quality so far is fantastic, and the services appear to be much better than Charter's. Charter was a disaster from the start, so I was glad to make the switch. It's slightly less expensive as well, so that's a bonus.

With U-Verse installed, I went for a quick bike ride and run, and then hit the road for the Packers vs. Browns pre-season football game. Mark, my friend from work, has season tickets and wasn't able to use these tickets, so it was the perfect opportunity to see a game.

Did some tailgating before the game with Dan and Tara:


Scored a decent parking spot near the stadium for just $20, and traffic was light, so we had time to enjoy some snacks and beverages prior to the game. Our modest tailgate was nothing when compared to some of the other set-ups at Lambeau field... this one was particularly "interesting" -


Once inside the stadium, Dan's alter ego came out:


They had handed out pom-poms but Dan, not having spent time as a cheerleader, obviously didn't know how to properly use the pom-pom. That's ok - I think his interpretation was just fine!

The seats were awesome. We were in the south end zone, in row 60, but, our seats were on the aisle and, they were the very last row in our section, so we had a built-in seatback, thanks to a concrete wall. We also enjoyed a wonderful breeze; the weather was in the low 80's, sunny, and humid, so the breeze was definitely welcomed!

The Packers more or less dominated the Browns (go figure); we saw a touchdown early in the first quarter - it happened in "our" end zone, so that was cool - here's the touchdown (not that you can see much, but it gives you an idea of where the seats were).


We were also seated next to some younger folks; I think they said they were from Utah, but I could be wrong - maybe only one of them was from Utah... They were cool guys, and it was fun to hang out with them during the game. Here's a shot of the rowdy bunch:


With the game well in control of the Packers, we were desperate for some additional entertainment, so when the opportunity to Polka struck, Dan and Tara jumped at the chance:


And after the game ended, they fired-up some "YMCA" by The Village People, so here's Tara and I doing our interpretation of that timeless classic:


The Packers won, 17-0, and rather than sit and fight traffic, we decided to hang out and tailgate for a few hours to allow for the roads to clear. Since it was a night game, that meant we didn't get back to Madison until well near 3:00am... a late night indeed, and as a result, today was quite lazy, aside from going for a 30-minute swim and the 13-mile run (as mentioned earlier).

That's it for now. If you're able to take advantage of it, check out AT&T UVerse - so far, so good. Great picture, great internet signal, a small DVR, flexibility, and decent pricing.

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