Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coco's First Practice

Coco finally got to play real football today. He was very excited. He could not wait to put his uniform on and run around. I really enjoyed myself watching him. It was very comparable to Caz's first day. There is something fundamentally joyful about watching kids play and enjoy sports. Its the enthusiasm and innocence. Very Norman Rockwell. It's that feeling that all is right in the world. Enjoying your kids is what life is all about.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The Baseball Hall of Fame. Doubleday field. They built it. And we went. It was really great. So much history. It was a mass infusion of all things baseball. Cooperstown is a quaint little town. The set up reminds me a lot of Newport, Portland, etc, with all the little cafes and shops lined up on Main Street, USA. Of course they were all baseball themed in Cooperstown. Baseball card shops intermingled with a baseball cafe, or t-shirt store.

It took some doing to find appropriate parking (we finally ended up at Doubleday field). But once we did, we were on our way. The Hall was just around the corner. It was really something. The statues of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. The movie - The Baseball Experience - was a great starter. It included all kinds of classic highlights that got you excited about baseball. From that point on, it a great trip through trivia, displays, statistics, and memorabilia. It was a lot to take in, but I think the boys got a lot out of it. I took great pleasure in watching Coco search the display of baseball from all the no hitters over the years, looking to see how many belonged to Red Sox pitchers. He was very dismayed not to find Jon Lester's, but I assured him it was around somewhere. Sure enough we found a big display in the team section, (each team has its own locker in a clubhouse locker room set up) complete with Varitek's gear. Caz loved seeing all the stats, and using all the interactive displays. He spent a lot of time at a computer looking up baseball cards on all the HoF members.

The Jackie Robinson display was very inspirational. We watched all the footage, complete with pictures of Ebbet's Field. The boys and I had a very good talk about discrimination and all the hardships that Jackie faced and overcame. The All American Girls Baseball section was equally inspiring. I don't know why it's not as obvious as the Jackie Robinson display, as to the historical importance and struggle against adversity. But I made it a point with the boys to draw the correct parallels.

This was a great family trip. I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dad's Summer Vacation - Version 1.2

Well, I managed to get the base of my brick BBQ/Smoker down, in between period of rain. I took advantage of the dry afternoons we seem to get so far. It's been a really weird week, in terms of weather, so far. During the rain, I have managed to get our movies in. I gave the boys a choice: Hulk or Space Chimps. They chose the latter, to my dismay. However, to my surprise, it was an enjoyable flick.
I am enjoying spending time with the boys. We are doing little projects with each other, playing games, reading together, and working (chores) together. It's been fun for me. We got their football pads. That was exciting. Coco could not wait to put the whole uniform on. He kept everything on, so Demi could see him when we got home. It was all I could do to keep the two boys from lining up and knocking heads in the front yard. Coco had been waiting all year to get this football pads and play football. I am excited to see how he does. He is so eager. I think my problem will be reigning him in, so he doesn't get to far ahead of himself. Practice for him starts next week, so we will see then.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dad's Summer Vacation

Well, I finally got some vacation time. Originally, the main purpose behind taking this particular week off was to cart the kids around to camp. I think it was going to be a kayaking class/camp. That's pretty typical. I have taken off weeks in the summer before for football preseason and baseball camps before. When doesn't life revolve around the kids?
The start of this vacation was great. The family attended the Futures at Fenway. I think this is the third time the Red Sox have done this. During a road trip for the big club, the ownership has two of the minor league affiliates play a double header at Fenway to showcase the farm league talent and potential futures major league stars. It is really a great take. We had the best seats that we have ever had at Fenway, behind the home plate area, to the third base side, just past where the netting stops. We were not the first area by the fence but the next section up. We had all four seats in our row, so no one on either side of us. All day, both games, $20 a ticket. That is great. The Sox put in extra activities out on Yawkey way, pitching cages, batting cages, and even a rock climbing wall. Talk about your family friendly event.
A lot of folks will consider vacation a disaster if it rains. The rain moved in on Sunday but no worries here. There is plenty of inside things to do. And I can get caught up on movies. I wanted to start my pet project outside, a brick BBQ pit/smoker. That may not happen with the rain but I can get a start anyway. I went to Lowes and got the makings for the base, some 4x8x16 patio bricks, some base sand, and some concrete. A stone mason, I am not. I am about to be self taught. Ought to be interesting. Hopefully, I do not cement my shoes and sleep with the fishes like Luka.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Believe it or not, it is equipment hand out day. It is that time of year. Football season is upon us. I think it comes earlier every year. Not that I am complaining. Entirely anyway. The preseason? Man, it's a drag. Caz's team is going to go 4 nights a week until school starts. At least the Might Mites (Coco's team) is only going 2 nights a week. Fortunately, the weather is not the typical hot and humid August, Dog Day atmosphere that you usually see this time of year. I know I will end up eating dinner (as well as the rest of the family, but this is just about me....) late, around 8:30. I have to adjust my work schedule and work early and often. Coaching adds another layer of complexity. But I wouldn't change it.
Coco could not wait to get his equipment. He has been smiling since he got up. He almost tripped going up the steps and into the house, decked out in all his gear, to show Demi. I think he may try to sleep in it tonight. At least he will be well protected if he falls out of bed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GH - Aerosmith

Personally, I have been a big fan of this game. But I have also enjoyed watching the boys take such an interest in this game as well. It has really sparked an interest in them about the music. Admittedly, Aerosmith is one of my all-time favorite bands. The boys and I have had discussions about the band, their local roots, touch on the Toxic Twins era (never to early to talk about drugs and the effects on health and lives), and guitars. The game also includes music by Aerosmith's favorite bands like, the Kinks, Cheap Trick, Run DMC, NY Dolls, Lenny Kravitz, and others. Oddly, there is no Led Zepplin but I assume it was due to licensing issues. I recently read an article about Guitar Hero saving Rock & Roll. I don't know about saving but reviving and interest, yes. I do enjoy the fact that the interest in "classic rock" is surging. I will sound like a bitter grown up adult here (Buddha help me, I just turned into my parents) but most of the tunes on the radio today are crap. I was the happiest kid in the world when the Black Crowes put out a new album. They help sparked a R&R revival back in their hey day. I really get a kick out hearing Coco sing along to each song. Of course I had to explain to him that the line was "sweet emotion" and not "sweet ocean". But you know what? We had a discussion about what emotions were. Another win.

Movie Review - The Dark Knight

If you are reading this to gauge whether this movie is appropriate for the young kids, you can stop here. It's not. At least not without some serious talk up front. The movie is intense. My boys are now 7 and 9, and still have not seen Batman Begins. I have toyed with showing them, that one. But again, we need to talk first. There were just a few scenes that I think may be just to scary for them. While it is not Friday the 13th violent, the images can certainly be violent. I thought the original Michael Keaton Batman may have been too much for them.
The review? This movie was fantastic. Put the comic book and special effects to the side, the movie was still great. It is not often a movie lives up to or beat the hype. It is also not often that a sequel equals or betters the original. The Dark Knight did both. And not only that. Heath Ledger was even better than advertised. He really deserves an Oscar, aside from the sentimental notions. Christian Bale is still a great Batman. And the side kicks of Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are fantastic. Tons of action. A great story including some great twists. This is the best movie of the summer so far. I can't imagine it being topped.