Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
AROUND THE HOUSE FOOTBALL
(cue song and read)
Continuing the series on games from my childhood, I bring to you the grand daddy of them all. I wanted to wait and save this game for the last post but I kept getting blinded with stories from it. We were a huge football family and our group of friends loved playing any form of the game we could think of. The actual origination of around the house football is a little foggy to me, maybe brad can help clear up how it started.
Most football games are played in a straight line, wide open grass, not this one. At our house we had a pretty decent sized yard all the way around. We had a few trees, bushes, basketball pole, and a pool. Instead of torn up turf marks, we had dog droppings. Instead of first down markers, we had consecutive completions. Instead of out of bounds lines, we had sidewalks, fences, and brick siding.
The game went like this, you started on our driveway and going counter clockwise you had ten plays to get around the house and back to the driveway for a touchdown. I'll pause and let your mind wonder..........We had receivers dart around our yard like the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Guys would use the trees as a pick to get open as long as the 8 steamboat didn't run out and the quarterback was being rushed. I must say though the classic move of the game was the bomb over the house. If you had the arm for it you could send your receiver on a dead sprint around the corner where he vanishes out of sight. Using your best guess you let the ball fly overtop the roof and wait......everything goes silent until you hear one of two things...if it was a catch you would hear the defender "get him on the other side" and the rest of his buddies would take off to try and head the receiver off going clockwise. If he dropped it, you typically heard something like "AAAHHHHH I almost had it" or a splash...because you didn't throw it far enough and the pool monster just ate your hail mary.
We once had an all day tournament my senior year of high school. We had 8 teams of 4. It was everything that was right in this world.
I hope brad or martin share their personal accounts of this fine game. Or even our dad, to give us some insight on seeing his crazy kids playing football in a giant circle. To everyone, if you have kids, teach them around the house football. It's the greatest game ever invented by the Tecumseh trail crew. Snow or summer, catching a football that bounces off of a roof a few times and coming down on the driveway never felt better.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I have been known to tell people that I would put my childhood up against anyone else's. I swear I had the best of every world. I had an older brother that let me hang out with him without question, he would include me in almost everything. We had parents that provided us with everything but instilled in us the difference between a want and a need. Our house had a yard built for two boys and a wide open basement to match our creative minds. We lived in a "U" shaped neighborhood that had 4 of my closest friends living on the same block (3 others just a short bike ride away). We lived for the outside and for playing games together. I started to think about all of the different games we played and figured, why not share them with you all. I swear if there were an ESPN Kids we would have been it's sportscenter. So stay tuned as I will discuss a different game each post.
Game #1 - Mini Baseball
You know those mini baseball bats you could get at big league baseball games? Sure to the non-athlete out there they are a collectors item, something to hold onto. But to the guys of Tecumseh Trail it was the building piece of mini baseball. We decided that since the bat was mini the entire game needed to be mini. So, in the front yard of our buddy Gase we made a mini ball diamond (roughly, 8 yards to each base). The ball was a wiffle golf ball (of course we had several disputes on the allowable speed). We lowered the number of outs needed per inning and enforced the rule of throwing the ball at eachother to force an out. Gase's house was positioned in right field, so naturally if you hit the roof it was a home run. It took quite a shot to achieve a home run and usually was celebrated with some sort of yell as you rounded the short base paths.
Ghost runners were used as were various names when hit with a stinging ball. Different techniques were used for batting, one handed swing, two handed if you wanted to stay true to the real game or the opposite hand. Different strategies were used for playing the field, none really proven to be better than one or the other, we of course argued that point.
It might not sound great, but when the crew divided up to play this game we entered into our own fantasy world where we took on the profile of our favorite players.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
For those that do not know I joined our 8th graders this week for a week long trip to our nations capital. 5 days, 4 nights. One might be asking why? I at first answered that with "Because I get a week off teaching"
but I now think so much more.
There is something to be said for the amount of pride that fills that city. It's like a snow globe (minus the snow) of a town that you look at all of the time and it seems so fake and magical. Let me tell you that after years of teaching American History I have looked at pictures and video of these monuments and sites multiple times, but there is something that happens when you walk up to a giant Abraham Lincoln, your breath is taken away. I walked a group of twelve 13 year olds to every major monument, museum, and landmark that city has to offer. Did they see the importance? I hope so. I worry they were more interested in where "judy" was or where they could buy another overpriced DC shirt. At first I was frustrated by this, but then realized, i didn't really get it either when I was that age. It's now that I look at the real tribute we are paying each of these people. Washington was such an important figure we have a .10 mile statue shooting into the sky with an elevator in it. FDR was such an amazing public servant he gets 7 different waterfalls and bronze statues with his words etched into marble ever step of the way. Jefferson was so honored that he gets a monument that is a clear shot view right into the south lawn of the white house so that every President can see his example from their window. (trees were removed so the memorial could always be seen).
And how about the changing of the guard. Are you kidding me? Our troops dedicate so much honor to a fallen unknown soldier that they guard it 24 hours a day and perform a ritual every hour (every half in the summer). The ritual in itself is honorable enough to all of the soldiers. Amazing.
I could write for hours about this trip, seeing the memorial walls, the fact that our bus broke down on the way (sat on the highway for 2 hours) , and standing in the same spot that Dr. King did when he said "I have a dream".
In 8th grade your mind isn't capable of grasping the power this city holds and all of the great people that came through it and left their mark. If you haven't gone since 8th grade, and you care about your nations history, I highly suggest you go back and not worry about where the girls are and buying a DC 09 shirt. I leave you with this video of a street performer on constitution avenue.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Thats the question I wish the breeder would have asked when we brought emmy home a week and half ago....but no, he didn't mention anything about this cute little bundle of chewy-ness bringing such a world of pain on yours truly.
Turns out this parasite she brought with her can transfer to a human.....enter me.
I guess the first time we noticed something was when after a week I still couldn't eat without feeling like I wanted to send it back where it came from. I went to the doc. He took blood. He asked me for a sample (editors note: I don't want to type that type of waste). Have you ever had to give that sample? you get the little plastic cap to put on the toilet and.....nevermind. It's the most humbling experience bringing that sample back in. I feel like Tom Hanks in the "Green Mile"....with that crazy guy that keeps saying "walkin' the mile.....walking the green mile".......
did I mention they found nothing from all of these tests? Or the part where we took emmy to the vet, she tested very positive for the parasite Giardia. I called previously said Doc and asked if that sample was examined for Gia...His response "Oh...no....you'll need to come in and give us another sample"
so here I sit. Nearly two weeks after picking her up and I'm still not right. Imagine waking up every morning and you have a personal midget that kicks you in the stomach while you're trying to eat....it's extreme eating. He gets happier and happier with every kick because you're about to give in and just stop eating.
I'm starting a new diet program, forget Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and that froot loop Atkins guy. "Go buy a pup with a parasite and you'll lose plenty of weight!"
editor would like you to know that the dog is just fine. Of course she is.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I have a proposal for all of major league sports, so you so called kings of your sport listen up. There should be an offshore bank account, I am guessing it would be in Switzerland, that will hold all of the "broken money". I propose anytime an athlete breaks a rule and is fined, his money is automatically wired into this "broken money" account in the land of swiss. Think about it, the 7.6 million that Manny is being fined is deposited into this account.
Now, instead of the superstar laughing it off and this money disappearing, I suggest we make a right out of the wrong. The broken money account will go to fixing anything that needs a pick me up in the United States. Lets play with this idea....
Manny, we would like to thank you for your 7.6 million dollar contribution to our account. More importantly the 82,000 homeless people in LA county would like to thank you for putting them up in a hotel for the night at 90.00 rate/night. Go ahead Manny, be Manny.
Mark Cuban, your open line to our account showed some recent activity upwards of $25o,000 for complaining about refs. The inner city basketball league of Dallas would like to thank you for bank rolling their referee staff for the next 41,000 games at $50.00 per/game.
Mike Vick, we only get a part of your contribution slice, 2.4 million for your abuse of the dogs. The blind would like to thank you for funding the cost of 6 guide dogs at a rate of $380,000 per dog.
Chris Kunitz of the pittsburgh penguins, you were recently fined for hitting a goalie during your playoff game, so now you're hitting our bank account with $2,500, but more importantly the Pittsburgh city school system appreciates the increase in funding for their after school bullying program.
Serena Williams, tennis star with a bad mouth, you were fined $1,500 for obscene language, our account manager will be happy to spend that for you as a donation to the cure of breast cancer.
Kenyon Martin, you were recently fined $25,000 for a hard foul, your deposit is going towards the purchase of 20,000 cheese coneys to be delivered to all of the UC dorm rooms around 3 a.m......courtesy of their favorite alum.
There is a lot of good that can be done with broken money. With so many athletes earning their biggest contract ever and signing huge bonuses, don't you think even their mistakes could be turned into someone else's bonus?
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Hoggy's is a central ohio pork favorite. Recently Delaware was lucky enough to land one. I saw this van today, I couldn't help but take a picture. Read it and you'll see why.
Do you think the marketing guru that came up with this tag line for Hoggy's is really kicking himself right now? I mean, who doesn't want to go with Hoggy's for their fine catering when their van goes rolling by with "Nothing could be swiner"......ouch.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
About 2:00 May 2nd lindsey and I pulled up to the breeders house in Delphos, OH. To make a long visit short we met three little 'doodles, two walked in like it was a saturday night WWE bout sideswiping her sister and one just came in as being the smallest of the three. Knowing lindsey well enough this was the one that captured her heart from the get go. After a dog dissertation from the breeder we set sail for Delaware. Now I've heard the horror stories about the drive home, the wailing, the whining, and worst of all the pooping.
There was zero of that. 2 hour drive and maybe a whimper that seemed to serve more as a goodbye to her first family.
Our first day was a very good one with Emmy, she adapted quickly to her new home eating her first hearty meal of dry cardboard petals like a regular at any waffle house. Then like it was second nature, she went outside and deposited those petals in our grass. We played most of the day, with her taking occasional naps, and rushing her outside to use the restroom.
The martins came over that night and Emmy decided biting Matt's ACL was the best way to spend a few hours. We played through the evening until midnight when it was time to put her in her "house". Surprisingly she went fine from Midnight to around 2:30 without a single whimper. Lindsey had shift one and had her outside and back in her "house" by 3:00. Emmy went strong through the night until 5:00 or so when it was yours truly time to shine. She was extremely scared and wanted nothing more than to just snuggle up with you. So we laid on the floor for about 20 min until I thought it was ok to put her back in. She went strong for another 45 min, and it was enough of that. We slept for the next hour and half on the floor together and then it was eat and poop time.
She is great in so many ways and we've known her for less than 24 hours. Time to go, this blog has taken me a good 4 hours to write because Emmy keeps biting the computer screen, thats her way of saying "hey idiot chase me".