Saturday, June 30, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012


[ˈaNG(k)SHəs/]  adjective:

1.Experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.


I'm ready! ...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

If you didn't know, the "Paw Pic of the Week" has been up because it's the picture my wife sent me from her first day in Venice, Italy. Thank goodness she is coming home today!

Just for fun today ... a little humor ... 'don't stop ... believin'

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win!

Streaking is fun!


Thought I'd let that simmer for a while. I'm talking about winning streaks, of course. And both Cubs - Corcoran and Chicago - have won at least two in a row now, so this household is feeling good!

The Corcoran Cubs finished their 'summer' season with two more victories this week, winning 11-2 at home on Monday, and 11-5 on the road on Tuesday. The two wins give the 'boys in blue' a final record of 9-4 (with one rainout). Your favorite #15 had a good week, going a  combined 5 for 6, scoring 3 runs, driving in another 3, and playing solid defense behind the plate, and out at first and short.

Those other Cubs - the ones in Chicago - have benefitted the last two nights from having the best Cub fans in the world - my parents - in attendance. Of course, it was nice to see Rizzo debut so well at 1B on tuesday, too. Keep it up, Cubbies! Let's try to get out of the NL central cellar!

Hey Hey! Holy Cow! Go Cubs Go!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

So, I moved some pews today at church.

Really. They're having the wood floor re-finished, so we moved 'em out for the next two weeks. Too bad I'll be gone when they want to move them back in a couple weeks. ;)

Honestly, though, it took all of an hour to move the pews and put plastic on everything in the worship space (to help save it from the dust/debris of re-finishing). It's nice to have a parrish in which so many people show up to help out. Thank God. :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

A little something to honor our parents ...

There was a Child went Forth
Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855 edition)
clr gif
There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there—and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads—all became part of him.

The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of him;
Winter-grain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and the esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover’d with blossoms, and the fruit afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the old drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the tavern, whence he had lately risen,
And the school-mistress that pass’d on her way to the school,
And the friendly boys that pass’d—and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek’d girls—and the barefoot (omitted word) boy and girl,
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he went.

His own parents,
He that had father’d him, and she that had conceiv’d him in her womb, and birth’d him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that;
They gave him afterward every day—they became part of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table;
The mother with mild words—clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odor falling off her person and clothes as she walks by;
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger’d, unjust;
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture—the yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay’d—the sense of what is real—the thought if, after all, it should prove unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time—the curious whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets—if they are not flashes and specks, what are they?
The streets themselves, and the façades of houses, and goods in the windows,
Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank’d wharves—the huge crossing at the ferries,
The village on the highland, seen from afar at sunset—the river between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs and gables of white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by, sleepily dropping down the tide—the little boat slack-tow’d astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping,
The strata of color’d clouds, the long bar of maroon-tint, away solitary by itself—the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon’s edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes, and will always go forth every day.

Dance Pictures

"There's nothing wrong with enjoying life ..."

" ... but when having the right car, the right clothes, the right neighborhood, or even the right partner becomes part of our identity, we're attaching our significance to things that won't last very long."

"I don't know anyone who says his or her mission in life is to choose style over substance, but that's how many people live. ... If we really want to live lives of significance, we need to value what God values and choose to live according to those values above all else. ... Either substance or style will come first in our lives. ... True significance comes by not only knowing what's worthwhile but also choosing it."

-Tony Dungy (UnCommon)

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Seek Truth. Live Your Purpose. Find Meaning. Love Life."
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” -Dale Carnegie

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Go Cubs Go!

The Corcoran Cubs had another game last night. A Wednesday night game was our first (usually we play on Mondays and Tuesdays), but we figured things out pretty quickly. After falling behind 5-3, the Cubbies staged a rally and won 11-6 before the rain came. We did get all six innings in and played some fabulous defense (except for the inning that our opponents scored 5 runs - that particular inning was a snowball fight ... but I digress ...). Since the rain was imminent, the camera stayed in the car; however, you'll find some nice 'after' pics below. Your favorite #15 went 2 for 3 with two clean singles and a hard-hit fielder's choice. He scored twice and drove in a run. He also played a nice first based, caught a splendid last inning, and faired well at short and in right-center. We're having fun and getting better. One more week left in the regular season. Go Cubs Go!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My daughter had a dance recital this weekend ...

... but we couldn't take pictures inside the auditorium ...

... which didn't prevent us from taking pictures of the cutie ... outside the auditorium ... of course ;)

... which I WILL post at sometime.

She was AWESOME, by the way!

Nice job, 'Peanut'!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Friday of this week was supposed be a relatively easy week. Vacation bible school in the morning, but otherwise, just tidying up the toy area downstairs. Well, that didn't work as well as I liked. The kids decided that each time I left to take care of other tasks, they were going to complain about not being able to tidy up appropriately. If that weren't bad enough, we needed to travel 20 minutes north for a dance rehearsal in the evening.

Have you ever tried venturing north out of the Twin Cities on a Friday afternoon/evening around 5pm?


It took us almost an hour to travel what would have otherwise been a twenty minute drive. That wasn't horrible. Seriously. Because once we got up there, we pretty much had timed it perfectly to get my daughter ready for rehearsal. My wife met us up there and took over once the first rehearsal was over, leaving my son and I to head home.

We should've taken a back road.

I guess the accident on I-94 wasn't 'on purpose', but come on! It's a six mile stretch between exits.

It took us over an hour!

Scotch was my savior when we got home.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baseball ... machine-pitch style

Here's your favorite #15 getting ready to hit against our friends on the Rangers this Monday.

It was a pretty good night at the ballpark. My son got a couple hits and it was a good game.

He seems to know what he's doing, so it's fun to watch him keep improving.

The boys know their positions these days. His? Right-center ...

.. and first base. At least in THESE pics. He also played short and caught on Monday. Our Corcoran Cubbies lost in the bottom of the 6th on this night, but came back to score a victory over some older boys at Hanover on Tuesday (15-6). Great season so far!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Long overdue end of school year pics ...

I think he's either glad it's summer weather ... or maybe that school is out for a few months.

Of course, he could be glad to see his mother ... and to have a fresh summer haircut - an awesome last school day tradition now.

Not sure if he thinks his backpack smells ... or if it stinks to not be able to go to school tomorrow.

No matter what, he's glad to have a good friend to walk home from school with - for at least another year.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gymnastics Mini Show

My daughter had a great time at her gymnastics mini show this Saturday. She was great. I just wish I could've done a better job of capturing it on video/film. (It would've helped if I had remembered the camera, of course.) Below, you can find her in the corner on the video 'vaulting' off a springboard onto a big red box mat. She also did a quick floor routine - forward roll, cartwheel, handstand, and backwards roll down a wedge-mat. Her final two apparati were the high bar - where she moved her hands and crossed the bar; and a lower bar - where she kicked over and did a basic dismount. All in all, pretty awesome. Love my little acrobat - er, gymnast :)

Busy, busy, busy (part 2)

I probably shouldn't even be blogging today ... but here goes:

The power went out for about an hour(?) last night. Water crept up the sump basin and scared the ... well, you know what ... out of me. Thankfully we didn't have to see if the back-up pump works because the power came on before the water reached the back-up height. As if that weren' enough, I was supposed to write a paper for my masters class. I put it off until the night before it was due, because ... well, because, among other things, that's when I work best. Unfortunately I was not in the mood with zero power and water levels rising. So, I wrote it today.

Also took the kids to vacation bible school, stopped at the post office, picked the kids back up, did a quick drive thru run for lunch, took my daughter to tee-ball, and came home to submit my paper for class. We will also be doing a grocery run, making dinner, attending my online chat session for class, and coaching a machine-pitch baseball game for my son tonight.

And ... deep breath.

This week also involves soccer (x2), another tee-ball day, dance rehearsals, dance recital, signing a remodeling contract, another machine-pitch baseball game, vacation bible school every morning, two swim lessons, a graduation party, father's day adventures on the lake, and possible camping out.

Did I miss anything?

... oh wait. I should probably post some pictures on the blog sometime soon ... I'll get right on that ;)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I should have pictures posted.

I really should.

Instead, I'm planning on going to a gymnastics 'mini show' for my daughter Saturday and then heading to church and another Cubs-Twins game on Sunday.

It was the last day of school for both of the kids on Thursday. We shaved my son's head Wednesday night and then headed to a high school baseball game. Unfortunately, our team lost in the section finals, but we thought that would be okay - as we have tickets for multiple Cubs-Twins games this weekend. Okay, I have tickets, not 'we', but who's writing this blog anyway?

Sadly, the Friday night event at Target Field didn't end the way my son or I wanted. We did have a blast - really, there were five home runs and five triples. Plus, the game went into extra innings and the Twins ended up winning on a 'walk-off' by Josh Willingham. But we were there to see the Cubs, of course. I donned my Sandberg jersey and my son wore his Soriano t-shirt. Wouldn't you know it? Just before Soriano's first home run, my son says, "I've never seen him hit a home run." Boom! Home run number one of the night for his favorite player. Then, later, Alphonso went upper deck - I'm talking third tier - at Target. Too bad the Cubbies couldn't pull it out.

Well, hopefully the rest of the weekend will be as fun - if not MORE fun - with a Cubs win or two mixed in.

And I'll try to post those pictues.

Especially the ones that include a new haircut.

I really will. ;)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Plain Talk: Losing good teachers hurts whole society

Plain Talk: Losing good teachers hurts whole society

The recall election and all its in-your-face attack ads and underhanded campaign tactics are mercifully behind us now, but I wonder if anything will ever be the same for Wisconsin’s teachers.

I worry about that because nothing is more important for the future of our nation and our state than the education of our young people. The Founding Fathers were keenly aware that the success of the American democratic experiment — a government essentially run by the people — depended on an educated citizenry. It’s why the country’s public school system became such a vital piece of the role government plays in the life of its citizens.

From the beginning, teaching was a respected occupation, even in the days when the “school marm” taught for little money, stoked the classroom stove with wood or coal, and swept up after the kids went home. Among the first actions of folks in even the smallest of new settlements was to scrape up enough money to hire a teacher for the children.

Although the face of public education changed dramatically as the country — and its many problems — grew, teaching was still among the most respected professions. To this day, nearly every successful man and woman will point to a teacher who had set him or her in the right direction and made a huge impact on their lives.

Here in Wisconsin, though, we’ve come through a nearly two-year period where public school teachers haven’t been respected at all. In fact, they’ve been made the fall guys by a governor and a Legislature that saw them as easy scapegoats for a supposed budget “crisis.”

No longer were the wealthy to be asked to help balance a state budget when teachers and other public workers could be made to shoulder the load. When teachers stood up to protest the move to denude their unions, they were met with a barrage of anti-teacher rhetoric that not only demonized their unions, but eventually focused on the worthiness of individual teachers. Nowhere did this play out more dramatically than in Janesville, just before the recall election.

The right-wing outfit that calls itself Citizens for Responsible Government produced fliers, and some were inappropriately stuffed in delivery tubes owned by the Janesville Gazette, listing more than 300 Janesville teachers and their salaries. The group filed an open records request to get the salaries, but claimed that local Janesville people — ironically, they refused to identify themselves — paid for the fliers and distributed them.

Supposedly, these were the teachers who signed petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker, and in the view of the CRG-backed people are not only overpaid, but unqualified to teach “objectively.” The fliers contained a coupon that parents were encouraged to sign and send to the Janesville school district, requesting that their children be assigned a teacher not on the list.

It was as if teachers shouldn’t have the right to either take part in American democracy or make a decent living, even though they must obtain at least a college degree and fulfill regular advanced educational requirements to keep their licenses. And that’s not mentioning the challenges they face daily educating our children, far too many of whom carry the burdens of society’s problems.

But Janesville wasn’t the only place in the state where teachers came under attack. Some were subjected to verbal abuse, others were singled out in letters to newspaper editors. Some districts reduced their pay and forced them to pay even more toward their pensions and health insurance than the governor and Legislature proposed.

Some people respond, “So what? Everyone else in society has had to take their licks in a bad economy and it’s time teachers did, too.”

First, not everyone has had to suffer. There are segments of our economy that have not only avoided cutbacks, but have been rewarded with tax breaks, too — $150 million worth just here in Wisconsin.

But what’s worse is that we may be tearing down our public education system by making sure that the best and the brightest of our young people forgo careers in teaching, opting for professions that not only pay more, but are free from the backbiting and daily tensions so common in schools today.

When our schools lose our best people, we as a society lose, too. And, sadly, so does American democracy and all that it has meant to this country and its people.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times.

Read more:

Ok, NOW it's three in a row.

I was reminded on the drive home from the machine-pitch game on Tuesday night that only AFTER Tuesday's game did the Corcoran Cubs' winning streak actually reach three games.

The double C's smacked the ball all over the field on Tuesday night. It might've helped to return to comfortable 'home' surroundings at Meister Field in Corcoran. Or that they got to hit off of 'our' machine. Whatever the case, 25 runs scored in five innings is pretty good - especially when most of them came on hits without major errors by the other team.

For anyone that's counting, that raises the win total to four - and brings the winning percentage abover .500 (4-3). Your favorite #15 (and mine) duplicated his Monday totals, with a 3 for 3 night and a double.

Oh, and the MLB Cubs decided to break out the whoopin' sticks, too. Nice job, Northsiders! 10-0

Go Cubs Go! (Both of 'em!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is that three in a row? Go Cubs Go!

I need my photographer to get home so we can get some more baseball pics; however, if my math (and memory) is correct, that's three wins in a row for the Corcoran Cubs (13-1 win makes them 3-3 on the year). Line of the night: 3 ABs, 2 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 RBI, 2B for #15.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Green Bay weekend

Well. The weekend went by quickly. Friday night was a beautiful evening. Kids played. Sun shown. Slept well.

Got up Saturday, got packed and left for Green Bay. Hotel with some water fun. Tent sale with Packers' sale items (son got a t-shirt; daughter got a notepad and pen). Junior Power Pack Clinic (pics here are from Packers' Website and last year's clinic).

Dinner and water fun with Appleton friends. More fun with Minnesota friends who joined us for the clinic. Then basically a sleepover in the hotel.

Long drive home Sunday with some relaxing and more fun with friends on Sunday evening.

We're ready for the week ... the last week of school! Then ... IT'S SUMMERTIME!

Saturday, June 2, 2012