Balkman moved towards the bar like cows head towards the pasture. He does it solely on instinct. He purchased a long island ice tea, which is quite potent, as I've been told. I have yet to experience one for myself, but after 2 LIIT's, Balkman was ready to rock and roll all night long.




















It was soon day, and as Kevin Costner pointed out, this wasn't heaven, it was Iowa. Aaron offered to drive the first leg of the trip because this was common ground for him. His family hails from Iowa, and he still has relatives (including a Grandma) that still live there. He supposedly has traversed this route more often than the settlers that voyaged along the Oregon trail. I believed him, and rode shotgun in an attempt to keep him awake throughout the night. As it does on a daily basis, night turned into day. We stopped at a gas station to gas up on gas and snacks. For Balkman, this means grabbing some cigarettes. In Iowa, a carton of Gold Coast cigarettes only cost like $17. Needless to say, Balkman was overjoyed, plus it gave him the opportunity to begin his quest to smoke in every state that we drove through.



































This sign made me laugh, and it in fact accomplished something that the great state of Nebraska has tried to do in it's 139-year history - illicit laughter. Face it, you can't laugh with Nebraska, you can only laugh at it. The sign essentially states that no thumbs up is allowed. Ever.












This is one of the lamest tourist traps that I have ever seen in my travels, and believe me, I've been everywhere, man. When you can claim to have visited 90% of the locations in a popular Johnny Cash song, then you have really seen everything that there is to see in this great land.

World Series of Beer Pong - Drive to Mesquite, NV

The moment that we have been waiting for for the entirety of our young lives was upon us. Well, not yet really because we still had 30 hours of driving before we could arrive at our very own Graceland. If you were you were wondering what I'm hinting at, you haven't been paying attention to any of the recent content I've been posting, nor have you talked to me in the past 3 months. You should be ashamed of yourself. But wait! You have the chance to redeem yourself if and only if you look at every single picture and read every single trivial piece of fragmented thought that I transcribe on these pages. On your mark, get set, go for it!! I hereby present you with the adventures of me and my friends and our pursuit of $10,000.

The plan was to leave Milwaukee on January 1st at 2:00 am. Brodey had to work until 2:00ish am (he's a bartender at Steny's on 2nd and National) so we couldn't leave until then. I waited at home, spending New Year's Eve alone, yelling to myself as the clock clicked 12:00 and the year 2006 became a reality. I finished packing, then headed on over to Aaron's house. While walking along Oakland Ave, I met up with my friend and fellow WSoBP compatriot Matt Salmon. We walked on down to Aaron's house and waited for Balkman. Then plan was to meet at 1:30 am, so we could pick Brodey up from work and drive the necessary 30 hours to arrive in Mesquite Nevada for some all American Beer Pong playing. It took a long time for Balkman to arrive, but when he did, all was well. We finally packed up the minivan, and went to rescue Brodey from the environment that he's become too well accustomed to. But before we could leave, I needed my picture with this desk. This was no normal desk, mind you. It had this sweet rolling cover that made sure all of your office supplies would not be viewable to the guests entering and perusing your study. If I wasn't heading out at that very moment to the land of opportunity, I would've grabbed the desk and carried it to my house and used it to write letters to the people back home.

Salmon was man enough to admit that he's never been to Steny's. I respect Salmon because he has character. I also respect him because he's of Irish descent and he can drink with the best of them. Aside from that, he just rocks.

Even though we were still in Milwaukee, Balkman couldn't wait to get the party started. It's no secret that Balkman and gambling often walk hand in hand through the park. In fact, they've been sighted sharing a romantic boat ride followed by a picnic lunch. This blackjack machine pays out in cash (providing you actually win and turn in your receipt to the bar) but Balkman ended up $20 dollars in the hole after playing for what seemed like eternity. We arrived at Steny's a little after 2am, but didn't depart until nearly 4 am. See, on New Year's Eve, bars are allowed to remain open as long as they feel like it, and Steny's was still hoppin' (at least by it's standards) when Brodey was allowed to leave. We finally convinced him that a Beer Pong competition was more important that work, and he gathered his belongings and grabbed a seat in the minivan.

A rest stop in Nebraska. A man awoken from a deep slumber. A man with an addiction. A man in desperate need of a cigarette. A man at the brink of disaster. A man commonly referred to as Balkman. Three states, three cigarettes. We still had three more states to drive through, so I hope he'll conserve some of that $17 dollar carton for those well needed smoke breaks in Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Mr. Balkman - you are a god walking amongst men. Anyone who says otherwise will have to answer to me. I'm ready and willing to defend my boss whenever and wherever the need arises.