Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's quick takes ...

... I will never run the Crazylegs class 8k in warm weather ... ever.
... my nose loves to get congested in the spring ... even though I apparently don't have allergies (whatever).
... it's no fun to have a sick kid. (Although my daughter had a fever last night, she's fealing much better already.)
... staying up until 2AM to finish your masters project is not the greatest idea when you're 36 years old, just ran nearly 5 miles over the weekend, drove 4 hours each way to Wisconsin and back home, and are congested like crazy.

... zzzzz

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rain is a good thing?

Love the song by Luke Bryan ... but I'm not too keen on the actual event of rain this morning. Especially when I'm suppose to run Crazylegs 8k. Oh well. At least I got to watch my alma mater win a good high school baseball game last night. My son LOVED being in the dugout with my dad. (I think the boys from the team liked having him, too.) Always good to be 'home' when I haven't been in a while, as well. Maybe a spring football game if the rain stops today? ... Maybe another baseball game - minor league style? Maybe some high school softball? ... We'll see what the day - and the weather - brings.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I think ...

I think that baseball is a GREAT game. I think that teachers are underpaid ... well, MOST of them ... (er, us?). I think that books can be windows to great adventures and sage wisdom. I think that walking barefoot all summer is ideal. I think that Minnesota drivers need to learn how to merge. I think that a smile given to someone else could possibly be the best gift ever given. I think that everyone thinks their kids are cute (but MINE really are!). I think that I couldn't go another weekend without my smartphone. I think that I should take better care of my back. And ... I think that I should thank God more often for my wonderful life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Still a baseball coach ... always a baseball coach

Last June when I resigned from the head coaching position at the high school where I had previously taught, I honestly thought that I would have a more redirected spring this year - one that included watching my son play some ball, going to some Twins games, finishing the first year of my masters program, and generally enjoying being a stay-at-home dad. While most of that is true, I am also very happy to be ... surprise! surprise! ... coaching baseball.

This week, I took part in my first practice as an 'official' coach of my son's baseball team. After my masters chat session on Monday, we ventured to the park and helped about fifteen (15) eight-year-olds work on some very important mechanics. After the practice, I talked to my son about some things. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this season, to which he replied, "I want to improve my left-handed swing."

This was interesting, because I was thinking more general - like 'have fun', 'win', and 'get better.' But, I encouraged his desire and we eventually talked about my 'general' ideas. It was surprising to hear him ask whether 'they' would allow us to think winning was important in this league (partially because there are no scoreboards at the fields where we practiced; partially because, besides the two games at the end of last year, the coaches wouldn't tell the players the score). I did affirm for him that winning is important - about on the same level as having fun, and getting better.

That was Monday. On Tuesday, I got to help out with B-squad practice with the local high school team (not my old school). It's been nice to be able to help out there for two days each week. I'm really glad the varsity head coach called me up and asked me to help out. It was definitely an interesting juxtaposition this week though - 8-yr-olds on Monday, 8th/9th/10th graders on Tuesday. So, I end up helping out with two teams this spring - my sons, and the local high school B-squad.

I thought I would just give it up and take a year off. Silly me. That doesn't happen when you ARE a coach.

My son summed it up pretty well after practice on Monday. I asked him why he doesn't always like practicing/playing baseball with his 'friends.' His response included the fact that they try to get him to goof around, and it's hard to tell them no and not goof around when it's his buddies. He said (and I am not kidding, this is his exact quote):

"For them, it's a game; it's just about playing and having fun. For me, baseball is life."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running man ...

So, I ran four (4) miles on the treadmill today ... in less than 39 minutes ... part of it uphill (6.5 percent grade) ... and I didn't dehydrate ... nor did I pass out ... which is good ... since I'll be running almost five (5) miles a week from Saturday ... well, 8k, to be exact.

Crazy for Crazylegs! On, Wisconsin!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"How then shall I teach?"

My discussion board question this week for my masters class. I thought that I'd submit a visual response:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Productivity goes up when Blackberry goes down ...

This was a good week ... and a bad week ... and a good one.

The weather us up and down, but I enjoyed spending time with the kids this week. I joined my daughter for a field trip to a local dam. Unfortunately, the paper for directions that came home with her was not to be found on the morning of the trip. We were all supposed to meet at the dam. No problem. We were there plenty early. Too bad we were on the wrong side of the dam. We did meet up with  her class and enjoyed the entire nature hike/talk, some snacks, and some free play time in the (correct) visitors center afterward. (See, the other side had a visitors center, too.)

I got to work with the local high school B-squad baseball team twice this week, as well. Not sure if I blogged before, but the head coach gave me a ring on the phone a week or two before the season started, and I agreed to spend a couple days a week helping out. So, I guess I was wrong in assuming this would be my first spring away from high school baseball in close to twenty years. The down part of working only two days a week might be how sore your can get when you do help out. (Ok, so part of this is my fault for agreeing to fill-in as the catcher on infield drills while the catchers worked with another coach on a seperate field.)

Speaking of getting a ring on the phone ... I won't be doing that again until at least Tuesday or Wednesday. See, apparently dropping your phone on a tile floor isn't such a good thing. My screen went nuts (even though the glass didn't break), and I had to shut it down on Friday morning. My daughter and I took it back into the store - and thank goodness, it was under warranty, so at least I get a new phone free of charge.

This weekend, it ended up being useful not to have the distraction of the phone, too. My wife and I spent all of Saturday cleaning and rearranging the garage. Not only are there no longer leaves all over, but there's indoor/outdoor carpeting on the set of stairs leading into the house (and to the fridge). And a couple of Rubbermade plastic cabinets add a tidiness factor that also allows for some work space for my tools and my wife's gardening.

Up and down, yes. Mostly up, though, in this life ... at least from my positive perspective ;)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Origins of April Fools Day (according to Wikipedia)

Precursors of April Fools' Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28, still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries.

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392), the "Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon. Thus, the passage originally meant 32 days after April, i.e. May 2, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean "March 32", i.e. April 1. In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1508, French poet Eloy d'Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally "April fish"), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as "Fooles holy day", the first British reference. On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to "see the Lions washed".

In the Middle Ages, New Year's Day was celebrated on March 25 in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year's was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Year's Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.

A study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK and those countries whose traditions derived from there, the joking ceased at midday. But this practice appears to have lapsed in more recent years.'_Day