Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RFL- 4th of July

RFL. Rocky Fork Lake. Every 4th of July we head here to meet up with our family for a weekend of boating, eating, drinking, yard game playing, and of course celebrating America.

The crazy thing is that for a couple of days we pack near 17-19 people, 5 dogs, and now one baby into our cabin. These 17-19 people see each other mainly 2 times a year (aside from the family wedding etc..). We are cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc... and we love being around each other. We can't get enough. I used to think that the mystique around the lake and the 4th of july was all the "things" we did. It's not. It's the people. It's picking up conversations we put on hold for 6 months. It's sharing what has happened and genuinely caring. The funny thing is we are so close, but physically so far. Our family is spread out by states, hours, and/or cities but are closer than most cousins I know.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it doesn't matter if you live in the same city, state, or time zone. If you care about each other you are going to be close. I have friends that live minutes from their cousins, and they don't say two words to each other when they are together. It blows my mind. Maybe we're unique and it's the magic of the lake, but I like to think it's because we're a family that cares about each others lives. So happy 4th to all of you, and if you're with your family, take the time to care about what is going on in their life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


One year in college my roommate asked me if I was interested in going to Toledo and watching a high school basketball tournament game. Typically I would turn this offer down, however, this game featured an up an coming star, Lebron James. At this point we knew very little of this kid. When we arrived at the University of Toledo apparently thousands of others had a similar interest in young 23. It was crazy packed, wall to wall people. We grabbed our seats and watched what I will now refer to as, "the most entertaining pre-game ever". On one side of the court you had an entire team full of white boys doing two line layups, slapping the floor for defensive slides, and a stoic look on their faces. On the other side were a group of brothers that were throwing alley oops, shooting half court shots, and dancing. Two approaches to the game, two very different starts.

As the ball was about to be thrown into the air for the Tip, I kept counting the number of players and the result was 9. There should be a total of 10. So I started to scan the floor when I found the missing tenth player, Lebron James. While his team was getting ready to play he was off in the corner dancing with his mom....yes his mom. Gloria James, all decked out in her 'Bron jersey was bopping back and forth, Lebron weaving and dipping with his back to the game that has now started. The school ( I can't remember who it was, some catholic school) started with an easy bucket to go up 2-0. Lebron now must have gotten tired of dancing and decided to join the game. St. Vincent St. Mary's went down and missed a shot, without Lebron touching the ball. The catholic team went back down, scored again, 4-0. By this time the crowd is going absolutely bananas. The Lebron watchers are wondering what is going on, it's been 4 possessions and the KING hasn't even touched the ball. St. Mary's comes down, misses another shot, still no Lebron sighting. The catholic school takes the ball back down the floor, scores, 6-0. The crowd is pulling their hair out they are so excited. They make the fans from the film Hoosiers look like boring enthusiasts.

The King decides it's time.

Calling for the ball, Lebron dribbles to the top of the key, stares down the pour little white kid clinging to the false hope that is his 6-0 lead. With a couple dribbles Lebron blows past the kid and throws down a rim shaking dunk that sends the crazies into a T.V. mute style sound. He calmly looks at the student shaking that was just questioning his royalty status and raises a finger to his mouth with a "ssshhhhhhhh" .

The score at the half. Akron S.V.S.M - 36 - catholic school - 6.

Lebron decided it was time to end the doubt. I wonder what day in July Lebron will hold his finger up to the rest of the NBA and send one group of fans into mass hysteria.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I started to write a long blog about how much I hate smoking. I deleted all of it. That argument falls on deaf ears. So I'll summarize. I saw a sign the other day offering free pack of cigg's with the purchase of 3. I got super angry. If I had a sign that said buy 3 asbestos inhalers, get one free, who would actually purchase it? Breathing asbestos would kill you right? Yet getting a free pack of smokes is a fantastic deal. I'll never wrap my head around the simple fact that the government allows the sale of something that is proven to kill you, and people will spend their last paycheck on it. This reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from a great movie.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12th, 2010

McKinley apparently loves 12's. Today is June 12th and at the strike of midnight, she figured it was time to really muck up our world. I was playing a riveting game of Modern Warfare 2, probably talking back to a 12 year old when Lins pops down the stairs with that face of "I got an alien inside me, and it's ready to come out".

We whip out the iPhone to calculate the contractions, because yes all you smart ass people, There is an App for that. I'm no baby genius, but all the movies say when they are close together and the women you love looks like midgets are punching her square in the gut, it's go time. Luckily, intuitive thinking from the previous day provided us with our bags already packed and the car seat fully docked like an X - Wing fighter ready to attack the deathstar.

Foggy drive down 315, the whole way Lins handling the contractions like a champ, one after another, like clockwork they come. I can't help but to be honest at this moment and say that I was nervous. I don't get nervous. I played a position in football that allowed for guys to rip your face off, and you are still supposed to sit there and make the throw. This made me nervous. Not because a baby is coming into our life, we'll handle that life altering change. What made me nervous was the fact that I am now involved. For all those to be dad's you will see one day that the first 9 months of this pregnancy you're like the fat kid in dodgeball, not an intricate part. Now all of sudden as I speed down this windy road next to the mighty Olentangy river, it's about to get real for me. These flood into my mind and I am sucked back into reality by my wife's pain and the oncoming set of headlights.

This is when I notice for the first time the song that is playing on the radio. Kenny Chesney, There Goes My Life. Take a listen while you read the rest.

How ironic and yet downright magical. We continue down this road lost in the images created in my mind by the song. Yellow Lot. Yellow signs. Don't screw this up. Pull in. Waive down the guy with "Valet" on his back. Gives me a weird look, like I could possibly want something other than this clown to move my car. Yellow Elevators. Floor 3. Didn't screw it up.

Monitors are hooked up to Lins, everything is great, 1 cm dilated. Which means, we are 9 steps away. Nurse says we need to walk around the hospital for an hour. Mind you it's 12:40 a.m. and we are both exhausted, not mention she is having contractions every 3-5 minutes. We walk the halls, in a strange silence. We talk some, but more so we are lost in our own thoughts of what is to come. We trek the halls for the hour. No change. The green suits decide to send us home at 3 a.m.

This is where the fun begins. We stop for gas on the way home. I'm sure I'll never live that down. The next few hours are very hard on Lins. Sever pain, vomit, and a sense of helplessnes on my part.

After vomit number 3, we decide to come in for an IV. Green suits have good news this time. 4 cm dilated. It's go time. So now we sit in the labor delivery room, lins numb from the waist down, me on an awful chair that is posing as a recliner in equally bad flower print. 6 cm, now 9 cm. it's almost time to meet the daughter we have been anxiously awaiting. It's funny all of those pre-conceived thoughts you have about her being an athlete, a singer, etc....doesn't matter at this moment. What matters is that the women I love more than anything in this world is about to give me/us the other girl I will love more than anything in this world. McKinley, your father is ready, and I'm happy to say, there goes my life.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Some people see that title and get all giddy, some get all anxious, and some get all pissed. The latter would be the people that talk about how ridiculous it is teachers have 3 months off. (Editors note: 3 months is a vast exaggeration by non-teachers, it's actually two months and maybe 9 days) I'm not here to write about how much I think teachers should get those months off. The honest reason is because I don't think we should. We shouldn't get 2 months and 9 days in a row, it's detrimental to our kids and dare I say to our teachers. If you think I'm going to say that school should go year 'round with no break, then you're nucking futs. All you haters that are pulling your heads back and letting out a "aaarrrrggghhh". Try being a teacher for one week. Try it, then see what noise you're making. I'm not complaining about my job, I love it. It's the most genuine and important job there is besides being a pastor or the guy that is sitting in the pentagon watching for nuclear weapons headed for the U.S.

The days of needing three months off for kids is long gone. None of these kids are working in the fields anymore (the original reason for this time off). Kids are leaving our buildings and becoming dumber, peeling back a large amount of the progress we just made. Combine a bag of frito's, a monster energy drink, and 14 hours of video games or facebook maddness and you have a more lethal drug than crack straight to the dome. So what is the solution? We have the majority of the workforce pissed because teachers are off, we have kids losing knowledge, and we have teachers that are getting bored. (I get kinda bored, I certainly don't speak for all teachers).


Go year 'round. Follow me here before you start burning textbooks in my yard. We go three months on, one month off. Still get the two months and 9 days, along with your christmas etc.. Kids retain more knowledge, teachers stay fresh, and parents don't deal wiht their kids eating the frito monster cocktail.

Why this will never happen
1) All schools would have to install air conditioning. Isn't happening, too expensive.
2) Teachers would revolt. They would burn their bra's, laser pointers, and globes in protest.
3) Higher education institutions would have to change also to accommodate the weird start times, quarters and semesters wouldn't work anymore. Gordon Gee and his bow tie wouldn't have it.
4) It makes too much sense. Our education system from government down is so screwed up they wouldn't make a decision that would help kids. Look at No Child Left Behind. Bin Laden probably bombed us just because of that.

Solution #2

Take out the summer vacation. Go year around or add a bunch of days to limit it to one month.

Why this won't happen

1) You would have to pay teachers more. If you want me to work more hours, I will gladly do it. Honestly you want to tack on 30 more days, do it. Pay me another 30 days wage and I'm on board. Districts can't afford this. They can't even afford the petty salaries they pay teachers right now so they are cutting them left and right. I love it. When a fireman is being cut by the city they hold city wide protests to keep their protectors. When a teacher is cut, that same city says "ah, it was probably needed". Whats more likely to happen, your house gets burned down or your kid going to a school with class sizes that are too big for your son/daughter to get special attention because a teacher was cut? I would guess the latter.