Friday, February 26, 2010

Break is Over! and Trivia

I left you all hanging because I needed a little break. Too bad it wasn't much of a break but more of a jam packed couple of weeks. I worked and practiced and cooked and organized and who knows what else in my "break" time. Where to about Valentine's Day weekend...

I went out to lunch with my Mom, sister Brandi, and niece Alexia to the Tea Room in Mackinaw, IL. It was awesome food and a fun time...a couple pics for you.. After a nice lunch and shopping with the girls I had a date...woohoo. Jason and I went to Jim's Steakhouse here in Bloomington for a nice dinner. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of that. Overall it was a pretty full day, literally!
I also decided to try my hand at cooking. It isn't my specialty and I have been known to burn water. Usually I just stick to things like pop tarts, toast, you see the point. Thanks to the Klatt family at Christmas, I fell in love with eggs benedict. And thanks to Germany, I fell in love with crepes. I had to try to make both of course. I didn't take pictures of the crepes because one, I forgot and two, the weren't all that beautiful to look at. That one is a work in progress. I am pretty proud of the eggs benedict though. Forgive the lack of makeup!
I also decided to go arts and crafts for a bit too. I had a request for a baby Heartbacker t-shirt. So I decided to try that out. I think it turned out great! So if you have a little one that would like a t-shirt, just let me know. I can do pretty much any color you like since it is on a white shirt.

I also made a bet with my buddy Chris Bartram that I would practice a lot before the Amway Cup in Taiwan. So I decided to put in at least an hour everyday. It has been strange actually putting in a little work but with my coach around to keep me focused, it was a little easier. Now I am on my own to keep it up. Only a few days left until I leave!

Last weekend I went to Olathe, Kansas for the Midwest 9-ball Tour tournament. It was held at Shooter's Billiards which is one of the most awesome places for pool in all of the United States. It is home to some of the biggest action, biggest tournaments and best players. I would be willing to bet that it is hard to find a top player that hasn't made a trip through Shooter's at least once in their life. The tournament was held on bar tables, thank god it was 9-ball not 8-ball! I played decent, not great, but decent. I had some rough matches and some good matches. Overall though, I played just well enough to win! The men's turn out was also great, 100 players with quite a few top names. Jesse Bowman won, James Baraks got second and the one and only Jason Klatt got third. I have to say it was a great weekend for us! Even Frank got to go along this time.
The other great part about visiting the Kansas City area is the food. For those of you that don't know, Kansas City is famous for Barbecue! Last year when I went I tried a place called Arthur Bryants. This year I decided to try a different place, Gates Barbecue. My buddies Kyle Odell and girlfriend Connie and Chris Jeffers went along for the adventure again this year. Thanks guys! After two Presidential Platters, we were all stuffed!!
One of my favorite shows is Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. Not too long ago they did a show in Springfield, IL. Luckily, I just happen to go right through Springfield on my way back to Bloomington! We had a plan to stop at both places, Cozy Dog for the corndogs and Joe Rodger's Chili for the chili, but of course, the chili place closes at 4pm and I got there at 4:30. Geez, don't they know who I am?? Just kidding. I did get pictures though!
Now it has just been back to work for the last week. My other half went back to Canada so that was pretty sad, as always. Good thing I have my little buddy at work with me to keep me company...introducing Leo the dog. Yes, that is my messy desk.
I also need a little help from my readers. I am an avid reader and since I have the big long trip to Taiwan coming up, I need some suggestions on good books to read. I'm open to reading a little bit of everything but mystery, horror, crime, etc are my favorite. Please help!

Also, a big thanks to everyone that has become a Heartbacker this year so far! I really appreciate all of your help!! I am very excited for the trip to Taiwan and I will do daily updates to keep everyone in the loop. I will also try to find the link to the live stream.

And last but not least, PoolDawg trivia!!!!!!! I am going to change it up this week and do a photo caption contest instead of the usual trivia question. I am going to announce a winner on Sunday night. Please be sure to include your email address along with your answer in the comments. Here is the picture. Thanks to Markus Hoffstaetter for taking the funny pic and sorry Oscar, this was way too good to pass up!

The winner will receive a $10 PoolDawg gift code! Remember, you can always save 5% at PoolDawg by using the discount code ROUSEY.

Thanks everyone for the long wait for a post. I appreciate your patience!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'll Be Back

Sorry I have been gone for about a week. I will be back later tonight with a post. Thanks everyone for checking in and waiting for something new!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Changes, Europe part 2 and Trivia!!

I'm sure that you noticed the changes as soon as you came to visit my blog today. With the help of my friend Jay, the site has gotten a face lift! There are now different tabs at the top of the page. If you click on those you are taken to a new page with different features.

The first page, Home, is obviously my ramblings.

The second page, Heartbackers 2010 has a donate button and an example of what the t-shirts look like. I am also planning to add some other features, but I need a bit of help from all of the Heartbackers. I would like for everyone that has decided to donate this year to take a picture either wearing or displaying your t-shirt. I am going to post those pictures (with your permission of course) on that page. I am also planning to make a map of where all of the Heartbackers are from. Here is an example of the Heartbacker pictures I am talking about. Thanks Dad, Mom and Jason for modeling!
The third page is the Media page. Here you can find all of the videos, interviews, pictures, and articles that I have done over the years. I will be adding more to that later, but for now, it has been started.

The fourth page is the Question and Answer section. A few people have asked if this section was possible. There isn't a way to directly ask the question on the page, but if you email me the question ( and I will post and answer the question ASAP on that page. Feel free to ask anything. I really enjoy the interaction!

The last page is my schedule. I haven't done anything yet, but I will soon add places that I know for sure I will be playing or watching.

Alright, enough business and on to the German fun that took place last week. I got a chance to do some site seeing after the guys were eliminated. We took the train to Hannover, which took about 15 minutes to get to the city center, and began our wandering. One cool thing about Hannover is the red line that goes through town. You can buy a guide and follow the red line to all of the interesting things to see. Each one is numbered and the guide explains what you are seeing. It seemed like a good place to start!

The main reason that I wanted to visit Europe was to get the chance to see the architecture. In the United States we have some really cool places, but we don't really have any places that were built as far back as the 1300's. Here are two churches that were built in the 1300's, Aegidien Church and Market Church. The third picture is the inside of Market Church. I really liked the high ceiling and I was in awe of how this church was built so long ago.

Next we moved on to New Town Hall. It was pretty elaborate as well!
We also visited Old Town. To me it was traditional German architecture. There were little shops and outdoor markets...
All throughout the city there are different sculptures. Some of them were very old and others were pretty new. Here are a few of them that I thought were interesting...

Now on to the food and drink portion. I know everyone has been waiting for that!! There were some things that I thought were essential to try while in, pretzels, sausages, and what I really fell in love with, crepes! And I can't leave out McDonalds. I have pledged to try it out in every country I visit. First up, beer! My only complaint was that the beer is served a little warmer than it is in the States. Other than that, it was all good!

I tried a pretzel from a vendor on the street. I did notice though that everywhere had pretzels and they weren't served warm.
Perhaps the funniest thing that I saw was this brat vendor. I didn't try one from him, but I did try one at the expo. The bun is about a quarter the size of the brat!

As for McDonalds, it tasted exactly the same as at home. The one big thing that I noticed a huge difference was with this sandwich, the big toasti. It is hard to tell anyone that this isn't an instant heart attack!
Now for dessert...crepes! I've never really tried them but the entire USA team was raving over them. I had to try them. I have also never tried Nutella. It is warm chocolaty goodness!!

I mentioned before that the tournament was being held on the grounds of the 2000 World Expo. There were a ton of cool buildings. We tried to get a little creative with some of them.

There were also other expos going on including a Harley show, car show, home show, outdoor show and a travel show. Here are some of the interesting things that I saw...

Did I mention that there was a pool tournament going on??? I have to say that this was probably the most awesome tournament that I have ever seen. There was excitement and upsets. It was well run and on time. There were plenty of tables and practice tables. The promoters really went all out. In my opinion, I think this is a tournament that can really take off and I hope they continue to have this event. Hopefully more teams will be involved and rumors will not swirl just before the next event. Here are some highlights of the finals....the Philippines against Great Britain. I think everyone had Great Britain pegged as a real underdog. They showed a ton of heart and were the eventual winners! Congrats guys!

I have to say thanks to one person, Markus Hofstatter. He helped us when we needed translation or to find something good to eat. He is also an awesome photographer with a great blog. If you want to see more pictures from the event or other European events and places to visit, check out his blog! Thanks Markus! Here are Markus and Jason enjoying some smoked salmon and halibut from the expo...
Overall I think it was a really great trip and I am glad I didn't pass on the experience. I got to root on my man... and after all of the trips to Asia, I was really happy to have a normal bathroom with a toilet and toilet paper! Sorry no pictures of that. I am glad to say goodbye to Hannover.. simply for the fact that I don't like have to sleep both of us in a bed like this...!!!
Now I am back home with my family... and it is time to start practicing big time for the Amway Cup!!

Of course I didn't forget the PoolDawg Trivia! I am going to make it very easy this week because I am really, really tired!

Who was on the team for the winners of the World Team Championship??

Please remember to leave a comment with your answer and email address so I can send the $10 PoolDawg gift code to the winner. Remember, even if you don't win this week you can still save money on your PoolDawg purchase by using the discount code ROUSEY.

Good luck everyone and I hope you enjoy the new layout and pictures!