Tuesday, June 24, 2008


"Stormy Monday"
We have officially entered storm season. With the dark clouds and wind gusts, I expect to see a house and witch on bicycle to go flying past my window any day now. At least a Storm Chaser van or two. I thought the previous storms we bad. We hadn't seen anything yet. The amount of rain and the sheer intensity of these thunder boomers have been incredible. The amount of the water in the short period of time is bind boggling. I have not seen it rain that hard.
With all this inclement weather, the boys have had to be very diligent about picking up after themselves. They need to make sure everything gets inside or it's going to be wet at the very least, or outright ruined. Baseball gloves, bikes, hats, helmets, balls, frisbees, all the tools of summer vacation that the boys use throughout the course of the day, need to be back in the garage at the end of the day. And we thought just getting the boys into the shower at the end of every day was a challenge.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clinic '08

The first foray into football for some. Coco's first attempt with the pigskin. It's only camp. No pads. But it is still an opportunity to get the kids prepared for the fall season. At the very least, we can get the rookies firing out into tackling dummies to get some of that fear of hitting, out of the way. For some, it's the first time catching and throwing a football (not that we do a lot of passing at the Mite level, but it is inevitable that they all come wanting to be the next Tom Brady. Who wouldn't?). They are learning to take hand-offs, to catch with their hands, to run through football drills, to know the positions, and to even learn a snap count. It has really been a fun week. The kids seem to be having fun too. And at this level, fun is what it is all about. If they don't have fun, they won't want to play. I really look forward to seeing Coco in his uniform this fall.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Storm Chasers

Thunder and lightning. And no, I am not talking about the DYF JV Mites. It has been a crazy storm week. The sky has gone black. The winds pick up out of nowhere, from zero to hurricane force gusts in no time. The thunder has been loud. The lightning has been spectacular. I really expected a couple of middle of the night visits from the boys, because they storms woke me up. But so far, so good. They have slept right through them. Storms don't really bother the boys. They shrug it off. It may be that Demi and I make a positive fuss about the storms. We are always interested in seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder. We make it a sort of event.

I would expect them to wake up and have trouble going back to sleep. Especially, with the A/C window units in each their rooms. Even Gizmo doesn't seem to mind. I think the first morning of storms brought a puddle to the kitchen linoleum but at only 11 weeks old, it could still be the house training. We have been fortunate, all the way around.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Last Hurrah!

Playoffs. For the first time. It's win or go home. It's no longer all about the learning. This should be interesting. I will equate it to Caz's first time trying out. He's nowhere near as nervous as that though. I take that as a positive. Even though the focus on winning has shifted a bit, the kids are still having fun. So the main goal (the kids having fun) is still in tact and within reach. If it wasn't, I would worry. I would like to win at least one round. But I am also a bit anxious, ready for the end of a long season. We are seeded towards the bottom of the barrel, so we face a pretty big challenge right off the bat. No pun intended. But never the less appropriate. We get tagged for a maximum 5 run inning pretty early on. And then another max out a few innings later. The AAA Bees would not recover. But we finish strong. Rather than giving up and going home quietly, the boys mount a 6 run, 6th inning. Caz had a tough pitching inning just prior to our at bat. But he finished with a bases clearing triple. So while the boys lost, they put up a good fight and went home happy. Another successful season in the books.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day 2008! To all my friends that are first time Dads, have a great day. Best wishes for the first of many auspicious Fathers Days. To my Dad, thank you for continually, inspiring me to strive to be better. To my sons, thank you for doing the same.

The boys made me some personalized stepping stones for the garden. They are really great. Demi has started a great tradition there. I am hoping it will get me to make to attend my rock garden. It may sound corny but I really do enjoy seeing those stones around the yard.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gizmo the Glue

Gizmo has quickly becomes a central point of happiness for the family. Who's Gizmo? The cutest 10 week old shih tzu you have ever seen. She's only been a member of the family for a week or so, but she has fit right in. Everyone dotes on her. I think she's been great for us. She is a common denominator that we all are passionate about. The boys love playing with her. They are so thoughtful where she is concerned. I think it has been great that we all focus on her well being and happiness. I think it give the boys a sense of what Demi and I do for them. Not that they get it all, but I think it may be sinking in. They do understand that a dog is hard work. They have been feeding and walking her. They take her out to do her business. The fact that Gizmo is cute and playful is icing on the cake. She really does have the perfect personality for the family. She loves to be held and scratched. She has a unique routine for each family member. It is definitely better that the two fish we had.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book 'Em Dano

The boys have really taken to book making lately. Caz created his first book between ages 4 and 5 - "Batman in Historee". The boys collaborated on some other books in the past. When I recently visited Coco at school, he couldn't wait to show me a book he was working on with a friend in their spare time. " The Best of Tom & Jerry". It was a mystery. Very Scooby-Doo-like. My Dad would greatly appreciate it. Coco and his pal, Bruno spent an afternoon making another book. They had a list price of $3.99 with plans for marketing and distribution. They were really cracking me up. I love that the boys are so into books. I love the creativity. I love that they like to read and write. All illustrations are hand made as well. The stories are original, even if the characters are not. They have a clear beginning, middle, and end. It is great practice. I really hope that they keep it up. To that end, I gave them both a couple of my old briefcases. They can put their pens, pencils, crayons, and notebooks in there. They can travel with them. I do hope they take it the encouragement and run with it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pool or Pond

"Pond would be good for you. Natural spring water."

One of the annual rites of the season is the opening of the pool at my parents house. It is a highly anticipated event, especially by my boys. Each year, I try to get my Dad to open it a little earlier. He got into a bad habit when my brother and I were at school, of opening the pool after Memorial Day and closing it on Labor Day. A few years ago I was successful in lobbying my Dad to close it later in September and a year or two ago, almost into October. But the opening has yet to be substantially before Memorial day. Weather has made it tough. But when it's hot over Memorial Day weekend, you want the pool open, whether it was warmed up or not. The boys will at least jump in to say they are in.
This year I noticed another interesting phenomenon. Every year when my brother and I helped to open the pool, it was an all day project. There are long rubbery plastic bags with two chambers, that you fill with water to weigh down the pool cover. We had to empty those and them scrub them clean. My brother and I spent hours with scrub brushes, getting the dirt and grime that had accumulated over the winter, off those bags. Then we scrubbed both side of the pool cover. I took Caz and Coco over to help open the pool. Karma was in my favor and Dad was making a dump run when the boys and I started on the water bags. Love my Dad, but for things like that, it's best to keep him out of the way. The boys and I emptied all the bags, laid them out on the lawn, and were ready to scrub them down. As I was collecting the scrub brushes and uncoiling the hose, my dad came home. He saw me grab the brushes and he said to the boys, just "use the hose and spray them off. Don't worry about scrubbing those." I wanted to push him in the pool. And I told him so. His answer? "I can't work my grandsons that hard." That and it only took him 30 odd years to realize that it didn't help preserve them at all. Talk about your circle of life.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Well, we finally moved closer toward the national average. We took the plunge and picked up a pooch. We are still short the .5 kid though. Demi and I had toyed with the idea for some time, before launch an exhaustive search. We used Petfinder. We scoured the shelters, far and near. Many times we received no response at all. Our needs (OK my needs. My allergies.) dictated the type of breed which was more robust that I expected. But the breeds that fit the bill were the small dogs. Typically, that would not be my first choice. However, the dogs that bother my allergies are all the bigger dogs. As chance would have it, right when our spirits were being dimmed, we came across an unexpected opportunity to see a litter of Shih Tzu puppies. They were 9 weeks old at the time. Caz was at a birthday party, so Coco was the lone child with us. All three of us got on the floor to play with the puppies. I can usually tell within minutes if a dog will set of my allergies. After 15-20 minutes, I knew I was in the clear. Gizmo was the largest of the females. All she wanted to do was snuggle with Coco. They hit it off instantly. So we walked out with a new dog. Caz was so excited he screamed when he got in the car and saw her. It seems this national average life, is off to a great start.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


The classic match up is back. The Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers in the NBA finals, for all the marbles. It takes me back to my childhood. Thin black leather neckties. Parachute pants. Mullets. The short shorts. Both teams had them. Embarrassing really. We basically had the same uniforms as the Celtics, in high school. Those are going to be some fun videos to look back at. Bird. Magic. Kareem. Chief. McHale. Worthy. The Clothesline. Showtime. Beat LA! Jack Nicholson on the sidelines. Those were the good times. Even if the Lakers did beat us in the last two series. Those were the match ups that brought the NBA back to life. I remember sitting in the AC of my living room on a Sunday at 1 PM, watching the Celtics and Lakers play in the Boston Garden in 97 degree heat. Larry still running in the rafters to warm up. Kareem's goggles fogging up and sucking tanks of Oxygen.
Now we have KG. Kobe. The Truth. Ray Allen. Rondo. The New Garden. The new Big Three. The anticipation is almost too much. I am really looking forward to watching this series. Especially for the inevitable tributes to the 80's.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June Swoon

The first of June. There are three weeks left in the school year. It is still fairly cool for the season. It's time to see if we limp into the end of the school year, or fire on all cylinders and cross the finish line full speed. Hard to believe the school year is just about done. The boys are looking forward to it. So they say. But I think they will miss it when it is through. I know they like to act cool and talk big about school being over. Demi and I can tell by the way they talk about their days, that they are having a good time there.
The kids are definitely noticing that it is light a lot later at night. Although they haven't complained much about going to be while it is still light. It might be because they have baseball games every night of the week, and therefore end up going to be a whole lot later than normal.