TrivialBob

I love how perceptive dogs can be. Every morning Sheila leaves for work wearing her badge around her neck and a gun on her belt. Ella simply waits for her good-bye treat but never tries to go out to the car with Sheila. The dog knows she can’t go to work.

This morning Sheila is not going to work. She’s wearing athletic pants and a t-shirt and no work hardware. She is trying to get out the door to go to Target and Ella is blocking the exit, whining to go with.

Different people have different events as life’s milestones. Graduations, marriage, the birth of a child and retirement are among those major life moments. To that list I also include the beginning and the end of my sons’ youth sports.

In 2000 Matt, my oldest, started playing t-ball and hockey. Over the next 12 years he went on to run track, play baseball, softball, soccer and hockey. Two years later Jack started sports and I was a busy parent. My work schedule permitted me more time for this than Sheila’s did.

This past weekend Jack, my youngest, had his final softball game. In the preceding 12 years Jack played hockey, bandy, softball, t-ball, baseball, soccer and football. Now Matt’s in the Navy and Jack’s going to college in a month.

After 14 years my involvement with youth sports is over.

I’ve been to countless practices, games and tournaments. Most of them I enjoyed in one way or another. I coached soccer one year and helped with hockey when the coaches were shorthanded. I’ve tied skates for plenty of little kids and gone over equipment checklists so often I could recite them in my sleep.

At early morning weekend hockey practices, inside barely heated hockey arenas, I drank hot coffee and read newspapers while whistles sounded and pucks hit the boards.

During summer practices I might go for a run or read a magazine while the kids threw baseballs or kicked soccer balls. When my boys each turned 16 they drove themselves to practices and I had a little more free time in my life. I still went to all the games.

At the winter games I watched and cheered. Sometimes I kept score or worked the penalty box which I liked doing. Summer games required a cooler and lawn chair. There would be Diet Coke for me, a bottle of water for whichever dog I brought with and extra ice for any player’s bumps or bruises.

My favorite sports moment of all time was the day Matt and Jack were on different softball teams and played against each other. In one inning they were both at first base chatting with each other and smiling. (Oh no, is dad taking another picture of us?)

Now I will have more time and money than ever to ride my motorcycle and bicycles. There won’t be any more scheduling training runs around the kids’ sports.

No more sports equipment to buy

No more stinky equipment to clean

No more fund-raisers

No more sports fees

No more overpriced team photos

I’ll miss it.

Ella had a blast at the family reunion yesterday. There was another blue merle Aussie in attendance. He was a little older and smaller. Ella liked him, especially because he wasn’t able to catch the Frisbee and upstage Ella.

Do you ever have one of those weekends where you wish there were two extra in the week to recoup from Saturday and Sunday?
The last three days have been wonderful. And so busy. Matt has been home visiting us and we love having him here. Saturday saw a wedding of a cousin. We were out late for that. There was an open bar. ‘Nuff said.
This morning Matt and I went to mass with my parents. Today the church seemed to be celebrating the holy day of the crying toddler. Several parishioners came over to say hello to Matt. Afterwards we had a nice breakfast at a restaurant I like.
In the afternoon Matt, Jack, Sheila and I went to a family reunion (Sheila’s side). Tons more food. We brought Ella. There were other dogs too. Ella, after playing hard and swimming in the lake, is now having unconscious sleep for the next 12 hours.
Thank goodness Matt rented a car this weekend. Among the four of us we’ve been doing a lot of driving around. Quite oddly, at this moment I’m home alone for a while as the others are winding down their weekend with last minute tasks and such.
Which is my opportunity to enjoy a beer of the night. This is Lucky Buddha Enlightened Beer from the Cheerday Brewing company in China. Hold the textured bottle with Buddha facing away from you and you’ll find your middle two finders resting comfortably on the top and bottom of Buddha’s tummy making for a bottle that can’t slip out of your hand. This is important after a long and celebratory weekend.
The icing on all this cake is that my beer of the night came to me when my neighbor snuck into my house while I was gone and put a few Buddha’s in my fridge!

Do you ever have one of those weekends where you wish there were two extra in the week to recoup from Saturday and Sunday?

The last three days have been wonderful. And so busy. Matt has been home visiting us and we love having him here. Saturday saw a wedding of a cousin. We were out late for that. There was an open bar. ‘Nuff said.

This morning Matt and I went to mass with my parents. Today the church seemed to be celebrating the holy day of the crying toddler. Several parishioners came over to say hello to Matt. Afterwards we had a nice breakfast at a restaurant I like.

In the afternoon Matt, Jack, Sheila and I went to a family reunion (Sheila’s side). Tons more food. We brought Ella. There were other dogs too. Ella, after playing hard and swimming in the lake, is now having unconscious sleep for the next 12 hours.

Thank goodness Matt rented a car this weekend. Among the four of us we’ve been doing a lot of driving around. Quite oddly, at this moment I’m home alone for a while as the others are winding down their weekend with last minute tasks and such.

Which is my opportunity to enjoy a beer of the night. This is Lucky Buddha Enlightened Beer from the Cheerday Brewing company in China. Hold the textured bottle with Buddha facing away from you and you’ll find your middle two finders resting comfortably on the top and bottom of Buddha’s tummy making for a bottle that can’t slip out of your hand. This is important after a long and celebratory weekend.

The icing on all this cake is that my beer of the night came to me when my neighbor snuck into my house while I was gone and put a few Buddha’s in my fridge!

Sheila and I are getting dressed for her cousin’s wedding. Do you see my short sleeves? Never in my adult life have I worn short sleeves to a wedding.
She assured me she consulted with relatives and confirmed the event is casual dress. The ceremony is outdoors in a park and the reception is on a river boat on the Mississippi River.
I’ve asked Sheila a half dozen times this afternoon if she’s absolutely sure I can dress this way. Now don’t get me wrong — I love the idea of no tie and no jacket because it’s warm and muggy today. The weather page says it’s 85 but feels like 86!
But short sleeves. I’m so conflicted. If I’m the only guy without a jacket and tie tonight Sheila’s walking the plank. I called ahead to make sure the river boat has one.
Oh by the way, I had these clothes hanging in my closet. [A big shout out to LL Bean for their no-iron cotton shirts; they’re awesome. Men, you need these!]
My wife, on the other hand, purchased new shoes and a new dress just for tonight. It’s going to take a lot of energy-efficient light bulbs to make up for that expense.

Sheila and I are getting dressed for her cousin’s wedding. Do you see my short sleeves? Never in my adult life have I worn short sleeves to a wedding.

She assured me she consulted with relatives and confirmed the event is casual dress. The ceremony is outdoors in a park and the reception is on a river boat on the Mississippi River.

I’ve asked Sheila a half dozen times this afternoon if she’s absolutely sure I can dress this way. Now don’t get me wrong — I love the idea of no tie and no jacket because it’s warm and muggy today. The weather page says it’s 85 but feels like 86!

But short sleeves. I’m so conflicted. If I’m the only guy without a jacket and tie tonight Sheila’s walking the plank. I called ahead to make sure the river boat has one.

Oh by the way, I had these clothes hanging in my closet. [A big shout out to LL Bean for their no-iron cotton shirts; they’re awesome. Men, you need these!]

My wife, on the other hand, purchased new shoes and a new dress just for tonight. It’s going to take a lot of energy-efficient light bulbs to make up for that expense.

Due to my deeply held respect of a small carbon footprint I switched to fluorescent light bulbs in my house years ago. (Truthfully, it’s because they save me money since I live with people who only know one position of a light switch: ON.)

Now all those bulbs are wearing out. In some fixtures with two bulbs one was dead and the other was getting dim. The bases on some are turning yellow. What’s the deal with that?

Similar to the legend of the frog and boiling water I hadn’t really noticed the house was getting darker over time. 

Sam’s Club has a good price on the 100w equivalent bulbs. They’re “energy smart.” That alone makes me tingly inside. I’m saving $81 dollars per bulb according to the package. The $9 packs of six bulbs are really going to pay off.

But here’s the most fun part of all: Now that I replaced the bulbs the house is really bright and cheery. When I walk into the kitchen I now know what a star feels like crossing a stage. I hear the applause in my head.

This is so awesome I’m thinking about getting some colored lights. Perhaps a mirror ball too.

I haven’t rented a car in a long time but what I remember is that the cars typically had low mileage, were well serviced but were somewhat stripped down models unless you paid extra to get a SUV or luxury model.

My son Matt flew home this morning from New York where he’s currently in training for the Navy. He rented a car at the airport so he’d have unfettered access to wheels all weekend.

In addition, one of my wife’s cousins stayed at our house last night. He and his wife flew in from Florida and they too rented a car at the airport.

I’m pretty sure they didn’t pay extra for luxury models. Yet both of the rentals in my driveway are 2014 Chevys with aluminum wheels, leather interiors, fog lamps, remote start and so on.

My filthy Camry, with a cloth interior, plastic wheel covers and no fog lamps, never felt more cheap. Maybe Matt was just too embarrassed to be seen in it.

Throwback Thursday. 1980. 8th grade. Not only is my hair uneven, too long, and asymmetrical it’s probably greasy too. I probably wore my best old hockey jersey to school that day for pictures.
Ah, junior high school, I miss you so much.
This is why today I don’t mind even one tiny bit being bald. I’m atoning for past hair sins.

Throwback Thursday. 1980. 8th grade. Not only is my hair uneven, too long, and asymmetrical it’s probably greasy too. I probably wore my best old hockey jersey to school that day for pictures.

Ah, junior high school, I miss you so much.

This is why today I don’t mind even one tiny bit being bald. I’m atoning for past hair sins.

It was a fantastic day for my bike ride. Sunny with a nice temperature and little wind. I chose a scenic route that took me past two beaches full of appropriately attired women soaking up the sun. Sorry, no pictures because I don’t use my phone while driving a car or a bicycle. Well that and some people get a little creeped out.

What I liked about today’s weather report was the honesty of it. The thermometer read 82 degrees. The feels like temperature was 82 degrees.

Hey, if I enjoy seeing 82 degrees on the thermometer you bet I want it to feel like 82 degrees. I don’t want it to feel like 71 or 146 nor do I want it to feel like a rotten pumpkin or indigestion. When I eat strawberry ice cream I want it to taste like strawberry ice cream, not chicken.

The feels like number starts with a simple measurement of temperature using a thermometer. Then people who have the AMS seal earn extra money by calculating a few other things.

People in the rain forest boast of surviving air that feels like 120 despite the mercury saying it’s 90. Those in cold places can brag how hearty they are. “Well Jim, it’s 30 degrees but it feels like 15. Yeah, I realize there’s a TWSS joke in there somewhere.

What affects the feels like number? Wind speed matters. I hate wind like warm beer. The weather guys also factor in the dew point. I can describe what a dew point is as well as I can explain the ingredients in Mountain Dew. There may be some dice rolling too. And not Monopoly or casino dice but some of that Dungeons and Dragon crazy dice.

I’m a simple guy. When 82 feels like 82 I’m very happy.

The cables I ordered on eBay get 5-star feed back from me: accurate description, fast shipping, great name

The cables I ordered on eBay get 5-star feed back from me: accurate description, fast shipping, great name