Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hazy Shade of Winter

The Bangles version of course.

It's been a long winter. I do enjoy the seasons. But really? Haven't we had enough snow now? I am running out of places to put it all. Just as we start seeing bare ground, we get another snow storm. So you get that great frozen crust under fresh snow fall. It certainly makes walking and driving a challenge.
The boys only concern is that they don't want snow days to prolong the school year. I can't blame them. I remember wanting to get out earlier in June. I do recall the Blizzard of '78 wreaking havoc with our school year. We missed a week of school without power. Now we get the same conditions and it is business as usual. How times have changed.

Letter to the President

Coco had a class project to write a letter to the new President of the United States. I think it is a great exercise and love that the school is placing an emphasis on our country's government. I also enjoy a child's innocent perspective on life. I think most adults will get a kick out of this (abbreviate excerpt):
"Dear President Obama,
Congratulations on becoming President........I hope you are as good a President as George Bush.
From - Kyle Chin"

Democrats everywhere are rolling in their graves.

Wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple? Everyone just stops their b*tching and moaning and just wish a new President good luck and do a good job.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mantown 2009

This weekend is Boys weekend. Demi is off the the Island to her annual weekend with the Real Housewives of Long Island. I know, I know. Where do I begin? I know you just want to shout out @#$%^ (rhymes with "stores"), but they are actually very nice girls. Mostly.... Just me and the boys. And I have a raging head cold. Not a good start. But we had the beach party at the school last night, where the boys got to do the limbo, arts and crafts, dancing, moon bounce, run around with their friends. And I. I got to hang with some of the football moms. The boys both have basketball and Coco has a birthday party. I score bonus points with organizing a carpool and play dates (for the boys, not for me).
I got the boys fired up for NHL All-Star Weekend. They are rooting hard in the Futures Stars games for the Bruins Representative to the Rookie Squad, Blake Wheeler. Editors Note: Here is the first representation for the B's in this blog, and is a positive sign of how well they are doing this year, it is not followed by a curse or outburst of disappointment. Unfortunately, Milan Lucic was not able to play for the Sophomore Squad. I pointed out to the boys the fact that Zdeno Charra took it upon himself to turn his role in the hardest shot competition into a way to fund raise for charity. And how it snowballed from just the entrees in the competition, to their teams, to the NHL and then to the NHL Players Union. So not only an opportunity to get the boys excited about hockey and the Bruins, but a good message as well. The boys went wild when Charra set a record to win the event.
At one point, while the three of us were sprawled out on our new sectional couch, each having plenty of room to sprawl out, stretch, scratch, etc, Caz turns to me and asks, "Hey, at bedtime, can we take Mantown upstairs and have a Mantown sleepover?" I lost it. I am sure it was inspired by all the commercials during the All Star Skills Competition for the new show with the Goose, Tony Siragusa, "Mancaves". Highlight of the weekend.
In order to comply with by full disclosure policy, or fair and balanced, or whatever you would like to call it, I must confess that I was not on my A game all weekend. I could hide behind my head cold but I just need to fess up and say I did not have the energy to be as patient as I needed to be. There was an inordinate amount of yelling on my part and not because I was trying to be heard from one floor away. The boys are of the age where they can be extra helpful when they choose, so maybe I expected more help than I got. Maybe my expectations were out of skew because I expected more help because I was sick. There were a couple of moments that were not my proudest. Not to worry Lefty, I don't think the boys will be in a clock tower over it. Scared Straight or not, they should pull through.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Battle of Evermore

Well, I can certainly report that I was much more vociferous at this past Board meeting than the last one. I think I did my part in getting folks talking about the needing to address certain inequity within the program. The teams with the larger rosters need to figure out how to manage playing time. We can't have another season like we did last year. We already know that we are going to lose quite a few kids to the other programs in town. That shouldn't matter. The reason they are leaving is the issue. I don't claim to know what the correct solution is. But at least I have the Board talking. We talked about JV teams, controlled scrimmages, and capping teams. We do have to figure out. Between 9 adults, I would hope we can do that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TV Nirvana

24 is back after an extended hiatus. The first 4 hours over 2 consecutive nights got us off to an exciting start. Fastest four hours on TV. 2 LOST premier tonight using the 24 format of no repeats during the season. Does it get any better than this? Almeida looks like he went to the dark side, only to be deep undercover. Chloe is still a pain in the *ss. Jack still doesn't miss a shot. The Island is traveling in time. Jack Sheppard wants to go back to the island. The perfect storm of TV shows. Winter just got brighter.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Movie Review - Bedtime Stories

When Adam Sandler was on SNL, I thought he was a comic genius. I loved his skits: Operaman, The Fresh Peppah Waiter, etc. When he started doing movies, there was a promising start, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison. But then things like 50 First Dates and 8 Crazy nights came along. Time I will never get back. This performance was in the classic Sandler mode, but with a twist. It was family appropriate. This was a really great family movie. All four of enjoyed it thoroughly. Plenty of laughs, and a good story. Courtney Cox and Keri Russell were funny in this too. I give it 4.5 Chinnies.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Crud

Well, we made it until the middle of January before our clan came down with the crud. Coco got up in the middle of the night vomiting. He continued every couple of hours until mid-afternoon. Poor kid started getting the dry heaves too. We laid him out by the fire on the couch in the den. I had moved a half of a cord of wood the previous morning. The kids and I had shoveled yesterday and again this morning. My back was tired and finally crapped out. My stomach seemed a bit off and I feared I was catching the crud too. So I laid on the floor with a heating pad by Coco and kept him company. The little champ made the bucket or the toilet every time. He finally perked up about kick-off time of the first game. I think he was thrilled he got to watch back to back games, even if he did fall asleep during half-time of the second game. I know I was happy about watching back to back games. I would say we successfully managed our first bout of the crud.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Family Movie Night

All day I thought I would come home and propose a family movie. It was a very long week at work and I could really use the down time. Demi and the kids must have been reading my mind. When I walked through the door, Coco called me, "Dad, come look!" Demi had started a fire in the den. Coco had set up a nest on the floor. Every pillow, blanket, sleeping bag, and comforter, were sprawled out on the floor, in front of the fire. It was the perfect set up and end to the day.

We watched Nim's Island. Our run of good family movies seems to be in tact. It stars a couple of big names, in Clive Owen and Jodi Foster, but it is the young girl (Abigail something or other) and the animals that steal the show. Nim and her animal friends interacted as if they had grown up together. The story was simple and maybe a retread but it was really well done. We watched the deleted scenes and concurred that they were best left out. It would have completely changed the movie. The boys really seemed taken with it. So we will give it 3.5 Chinnies (out of 5).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Super Bowl at The Blade

This is a post I owe from the first week in December. DHS took its undefeated season and #5 state ranking into Gillette against last years Champion, Gloucester. I have to start with a huge Thank You to Bob Kraft. Having the MA High School Super Bowls at Gillette Stadium is the best thing to happen to the sport in a very long time. What a great experience all the way around. The teams got to use the actual team locker rooms. They got to do walk throughs the day before, where the local TV's got to interview the kids. All teams warmed up in the Bubble (the Dana Farber Field House, where the Patriots have practice.
For the spectators, it was just a great family event. Parking was a breeze. It is probably the only time that I will be allowed in the Club Seat Parking. Signs pointed the towns to their side of the field. The boys and I got to sit about 10 rows off the field. The Jumbotron was going. You could see Tanguay and Zolak broadcasting behind us. The boys got souvenir mugs with the hot chocolates. Yes, it was a brilliant marketing move for the Krafts. It was a 2006 season mug, so they were depleting the overstock. And it was Christmas shopping season, so most spectators had to pass the new stores and restaurants at Patriot Place. But it is really nice of Mr. Kraft to let the MIAA hold the Bowls there. We had such a great day. And the Dragons won to top it all off.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cooking with Gas

Coco started his cooking class this week. He has been waiting for it to start with enthusiasm for weeks now. I wouldn't be surprise if he challenged someone to a Throwdown right off the bat. He actually got a bit nervous. Not about the cooking. About being the only boy in class. I don't know why he would have thought that. He sees guys cooking all the time on Food Network. He sees me cook. He sees Caz cook. He sees Yaya (My Dad) cook. It might have had something to do with the class being held at the Girl Scout Meeting House. He felt better after I told him that it was a general meeting place and they hold all kinds of activities there, including my all day football coaches clinic.


The normal course of events for the transition of Fall sports to Winter sports, usually goes something like this: Football, right into Chess and Basketball. Yeah, you read that right. The boys have both taken up Chess with their classmates, in addition to Basketball. Both the boys have been playing Chess since they were two years old. (See previous posts) They are quite the little strategists. OK, yes. You could say little Napoleons. So far they have been very successful. I really like that they are well rounded. Regular Renaissance Men. Just like their Dad. Coco has even taken to reading about the history of the game. I really get a kick out him reciting his little Chess fun facts. The next Bobby Fischer? No, probably not. But I do believe they are benefit ting from it. And they are having fun. Which is what is really the most important thing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winter Sports

This winter will be the boys first foray into basketball. In an organized fashion anyway. Caz was a bit hesitant when I brought it up a first. He doesn't react well to change. However, he was all smiles after his first practice. He showed some good natural instincts. Coco has a few weeks to wait before his starts. He is thrilled because the guy running it is an ex-NBA player. A local guy that Coco's day played with growing up (he gets a kick out that). I am looking forward to see how they like it. It is a good winter sport and will keep them active. Tire them out for bed. Everybody wins.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year 2009 - Post Script

Post Script - The actual election and annual meeting was an interesting event. My whole rationale for throwing my hat in the ring was to work to ensure that the kids involved with DYF walked away with the same positive experience I had when I played. I certainly wasn't running to prevent someone else who was running from being elected. There ended up being 4 candidates for 2 open positions. And the annual meeting had more attendees than I had ever seen. That is a nice problem to have.Even is some of the reasoning was misguided and the inevitable small town politics reared it ugly head. All I ask is that if someone is questioning my actions or intentions that they ask me directly. If I can't say something directly to someone that I shouldn't say it at all.And I will be honest. Maybe painfully so. But the grapevine stuff is just so ridiculous. Have we reverted to junior high? People made assumptions about alliances and allegiances. As far as I know, there was no negative campaigning done. A few folks took it upon themselves to send supportive emails on my behalf to those they felt had similar ideals. Isn't that the true democratic process. But really, arguing over the order of the candidates on the ballot. Having an angry spouse berate another board member over some of these emails when she hadn't in fact seen the text of the mail is ludicrous. Or another spouse crying and ranting uncontrollably after the results are announce? There's no crying in football. Ever. Which is why Brett Favre should have never been allowed back to play this past season. And I am not just saying that because the Jets would have still had Pennington and Miami would have probably been mediocre at best. Discussion for another day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

Happy 2009. One of my New Year's resolutions is to be better about posting to my blog. I have a few back postings to complete for December but I needed to get this one out there now. This week will be my first official meeting as a DYF Board Member. Yep. You got it. I went and got myself elected to the Board. If you have followed previous posts,you know that 2008 was a tough season for me. Admittedly, I was emotionally invested in Caz's team, having coached them the two previous seasons. And Caz was one of the players not getting a lot of playing time. So throughout my 2008, I tried to remain as objective as possible. I feel that I was successful at it but I need to publish my disclaimers for you to be the judge. Demi and I put a lot of effort into DYF through coaching, team mom role, fund raising, and volunteering. But I felt that in order to fix the things I saw needed fixing within the organization, that I needed to put up or shut up. Had I done all that I could do? I attended Board meetings and participated in discussion. But as a Board member, I could have more a say in the direction of the program. My parents had done the same for me and my brother. Could I do less? The situation is not as bad or one sided as it may seem. One tends to report on the hot topics and not dwell as much on the things that go right. It was really a successful season overall. But there were some growing pains with the new team divisions.There are always growing pains. And I felt I needed to act to help resolve them.