Professional Sports

As you might know from reading my blog, I’m not much into sports.  I never learned the rules of football or had any interest in playing it, and you can tell by my blog’s “Categories” list that there’s nothing “sports” anywhere in it.  But I used to be a big baseball (Cubs) fan when I was a kid.  My mom was a huge Cubs fan and we’d often watched their games together.

Since my mom passed away, I hadn’t given the Cubs a second glance, but Sandy and her family got me a little interested in football though–particularly the Packers.  Her brother Dennis (aka “Bear”) was a huge Bears fan along with her brother Mike, which she, her dad, and her brother Rick are all Packers fans, so there’s some healthy football team rivalry right there within the family.  After watching a few games and learning some of the tech involved, I found it someone more interesting than I remember it being.

These days they project the yellow first-down line onto the field… On TV it looks like a painted line on the field, but the players can’t see it in real life.  With moving and switching cameras, this still works so great, it amazes me.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg though.  There’s a lot of new gear used all over the field, but you have to look closely and catch those moments to get a glimpse at it.  The on-screen details are another huge piece of tech, showing all the details of the game and/or play in progress, player stats, and just about anything else you’d want to know.

I now wear a Packers jersey on their game days, kind of a ritual thing… If I don’t wear it, they’ll probably lose their game and I’ll feel guilty for not supporting them, and Sandy will blame me.  It’s all in fun, but sometimes I just have to wonder, just a little…

This season, with the Cubs in the Word Series, I’ve been watching those games as well, and I’m finding the same fascinating tech improvements throughout, just like pro football.  You can see the speed of every pitch in the game on-screen as well as the status of men on base (or not), the balls and strikes on the current batter, etc., etc., etc.  I even learned that some players are playing with a “new style” of uniform.  I remember all of the players having their pants tucked into their socks and all having long socks almost to their knees.  The “new style”, however, seems goofy.  They wear their pants long, not tucked in at all, and even past their heels!  As they play, some of them are walking on the bottoms of their pants!  To me (and to one announcer who pointed it out) it seems like that could cause a problem with gameplay, but there it is, even in the World Series, and everyone treats it like anything else.

So far in the series, the Indians and Cubs are 1-1, both having won one game.  We’ll see what happens Friday night in game 3.  I’ll be watching.

Confirmation & Trick or Treat 2012

I have a brilliant teenager. While we were trick-or-treating my phone kept me updated on the football games. I told Kevin, when they were over, that both the Packers and the Bears won today. Kevin says “Sooooo……it was a tie???”

Walked 3.49 miles trick-or-treating.  I thought I’d be exhausted, but I’m fine.  Socks and Kevin, on the other hand, are beat.  Kevin was half frozen, with red ears and nose, and Socks was shivering pretty bad too.  Sandy picked us up at the 2-hour mark after we had a good Southbound walk, and dropped us at the house again so we could do the neighborhood North of the house.  Not too many lights on to the North though–we got our largest haul from the area South.  Shockingly, there was only one light on Christmas Lane!  I thought that block would be the busiest.  I guess when you go all-out on one particular holiday a year, the rest of them don’t mean anything to you.  Luckily, I didn’t get paged at all while we were trick-or-treating, so it all turned out pretty nice.

We also had Kevin’s confirmation today.  That was nice too, and he’s now a confirmed member of the church.  Here’s a few photos.

Cold Weather, Packers and Bears…oh my!

Well, we’re in the deep-freeze part of Winter here in Wisconsin, when we’re lucky if we see no temperature at all outside—a.k.a. “0 degrees”, and everyone debates the differences between “Wind chill” and “Feels Like” calculations.  The Kenosha Unified School District has a strict policy of closing schools when “Either -20 degrees Fahrenheit sustained temperature or -34 degrees below zero or lower Fahrenheit sustained wind-chill,” so there’s something to look forward to.

Socks got stuck in the backyard the other day.  He ran out to the back fence to argue with the neighbor’s dog, and when I checked on him he was walking back to the house and halfway across the yard he started slowing down, slower and slower, then he stopped, looked up at me sadly and just whimpered.  I called him a few times and he couldn’t move.  I put on my shoes and went out there and carefully pulled his frozen feet from the icy snow, then carried him inside.  It only took him a few moments to recover though, and he was back to normal again.

Our forever-crumbling sidewalk around our house constantly fills with melted snow water when the temperature gets a little warmer in the daytime, then freezes to a solid, smooth surface at night, causing us a lot of problems with trying to walk across it, and worrying that someone (either us or a stranger walking by) will slip and fall, causing an injury.  We salt it daily too, but the salt washes away when it melts in the daytime.  We’ve sure spent our share of money on 10-lb. bags of salt, and have even had to use table salt as a last resort once in awhile.

At least both cars have started every time so far this season.  The colder it gets though, the more we long to make our move to Arizona.  It’s going to happen, we just haven’t set a date yet.  It’s like getting married.  There are so many things that have to be done first, so many plans to make, and it’s a real commitment.  Every winter and cold day brings us closer to it though.  It will not only be a lot warmer, but it will greatly improve our health and well-being.  It will also be a completely new chapter in our lives, so I’m already excited about it.Sackboy and the Packers-Bears Cookie

For now though, bring it on winter! Let’s see what you got! And Go Pack/Bears.  I’m on the fence.  I have family members on both sides of the fence for the Championship, but I’m not a football fan, so I’m neutral.  We’ll be watching the game Sunday, but what I’m looking forward to the most is Sandy’s snack menu–Mini Pigs in a Blanket, cocktail meatballs in barbeque sauce, cheese & sausage & crackers, ham-cream cheese-pickle rollups, a giant Packers-Bears cookie, and chicken wings!