Bull Riding in Ohio

A student mentioned that he went to watch some bull riding about two weeks ago – this sparked my curiosity. They bull ride in Ohio? I wanna see!

I did a bit of googling and found the information I was seeking. Hat Creek Arena (www.hatcreekarena.com) hosts bull riding competition every Saturday at 7:30pm from November thru April. I mapquested the directions and off to Van Wert, OH I wandered. I do need to mention that MapQuest’s directions were an epic fail – however thanks to some intuition and the very nice gas station gentlemen I found the arena.

Apparently Hat Creek is the place to be on a Saturday night! It was standing room only in the little indoor arena (formerly a roller skating rink) – I managed to find a spot close to the action, and some very nice folks. From a photography standpoint, I didn’t get much. My experience with low-lighting situations leaves something to be desired but the gallery highlights my experience somewhat. 

Having been to one or two rodeos while living in Wyoming, I have to say that Hat Creek does a great job – maybe there is something to that Brantley Gilbert song “country must be country wide” – from the national anthem, taking a knee in prayer before the riding began, and veterans always get in free – the West and the Cowboy ways are alive and kickin at Hat Creek Arena. (And so are the bulls!)


The Favorite Resting Locations of Ruby

Ruby has several resting/viewing  locations in the house – all of which allow for “world watching” with various vantage points.

Position 1: The Chair/Guard Position – this is her normal location while I’m at work. I leave a front curtain open so that she can take in what is happening in front of the house. I tell her everyday when I leave that she is in charge, so I guess she feels this is the best location to guard from..


Position 2: Front door Open – While I’m home she will move between the back door viewing area and the front door viewing area 


Position 3:  Back Door with the Glass Closed – Here she takes in the sights but is unable to sniff or have immediate access to squirrel chase (this is her least favorite option, but it keeps my toes from freezing off)

Position 4:  In the Back Yard – She loves the cooler weather and will often go into the yard and just plop down in the snow (or she will sometimes sit on the deck, also prime squirrel chasing location)

Position 5: Back Door with Glass Open – There are a couple of variations on this position – however it is by far her favorite viewing station in the house for several reasons 1) She can sniff to her heart’s content and 2) (Most importantly) she is in prime position to explode from her viewing station to chase off any squirrels who dare cross into her yard – This would be my least favorite because I freeze to death working at the table


…As my mother would say, “It is All About the Rubes”

So Far, So Good

Surviving the first week of school is typically a monumental event regardless of where you are in the school food-chain. I have not only survived my first week of school but also my first Ohio snow days, first week of life in Ohio, first experience with a furnace/fireplace and the list could continue. What are my biggest lessons learned?

1) I think I”m really gonna dig this teaching thing!!

2) Owning an older house is the pitts and I’m glad I’m renting!

3) Ruby loves snow

4) Meijer is a store like Wal-Mart – but better (people are still weird but so it goes). The best feature is the international food aisle with all sorts of goodies from India to England.

5) The motor sports industry is really neat – having sat in on a talk by Nick Sutton, the jackman for Kenny Wallace, I have learned the following: there are 6 members of a pit-crew (2 tire carriers, 2 tire changers, 1 jackman, & 1 gas man), motor sports is a hard industry and to be successful you must network, work hard, and be professional at all times, and, last but not least, there are some pretty nice lookin’ fellows in the industry. (ok so that last part is really just a side note)

6) I forgot how much I missed going to basketball games.

…and lastly, having attended my first College of Business faculty meeting and listening to the President of the University (Dr. Jarvis) speak, I truly believe that I made the right decision in coming to work for UNOH. Which brings me to my last point.


To-Go in 2012

It is just amazing how time flies, I can’t even imagine that 2011 is over! The whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing doesn’t really work for me in the traditional sense of “start working out, eat less, blah blah” – very bland. So I have come up with a list of ten places that I want to explore in 2012. I’m thinking that with the amazing schedule of my new job – this should be rather do-able!

Top Ten Places to Visit/Explore in 2012

1. Explore Ohio – wine tours, Amish country, and nature retreats – might as well learn about the new state that I’m living in!

Spotlight Excursion:

Where to stay: Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls (they have pet friendly cabins and cottages!) – What to do: Explore Hocking Hills State Park (and the zipline!)

2. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail – This is just cool! (If possible do the “Urban Bourbon Trail” in Louisville as well!)

3. Blackberry Farms – This little excursion will require some serious saving, but absolutely worth it (and pet friendly!)

4. Chicago – never been and it is only 4.5 hours away now!

5. Shawshank Trail Tour – I’ve never seen the movie, so I’m thinking that this would be a great movie & excursion

6. Sandusky, OH = Cedar Point Amusement Park: I was told this is a must do and have a couple of friends plus a brother who are particularly interested in this little get-a-way!

7. Take a Cruise – the cruise is pretty much going to happen as it is part of a class that I’m teaching – however I’m going to make myself get off and go do some exploring of on my own at one of the stops (ie. not on a guided tour, just go get down with the locals)

8. New Zealand – possibly the most exotic (ok it is the most exotic) destination on the list. This is going to be my “big” trip for the year! Initially I was thinking to do Australia/New Zealand but I think I’ll leave Australia for its own little trip! December 2012 is when I’m targeting for 2 weeks of awesomeness of catching up with friends and tooling around somewhere new and awesome!

9.  New England – I haven’t really narrowed down where to go. Having never been to any of the New England states I’m thinking wherever I end up will be pretty neat!

10. “Wherever I Land” – This is the wild card section where anything can happen.

My “to-go” list is always changing and growing – I have people who I want to visit and places that have yet to be explored. With the exception of trips 7 & 8, Ruby will be my faithful co-pilot and travel companion. For those of you on Team Ruby, don’t worry about trip 7 as Ruby will have only the best of dog-sitters (my parents). For trip 8, Ruby will have her own vacation down in Florida at the “Titusville Dog Retreat” (a.k.a. my parent’s house) where she enjoys swimming in the lagoon, chasing squirrels, and hanging out in the yard with my parents.

So here is to 2012 and whatever it may bring! Cheers!