Friday, May 26, 2006

Always Next Year

The competitive season came to a halt yesterday, as the short one from the above picture didn't advance beyond sectionals. I couldn't be anymore proud of them, and think that they had a helluva season.

The three girls on the left are juniors, and the one on the right is a sophmore. So I'm pretty excited about next year, and expect big things out of them.

**best 'moment' of the day yesterday.... Jackie ( the short one ) and I were talking about expectations for this year, and next, when she asked me ( in complete seriousness ), if she was going to get a varsity letter. She broke the school record, and advanced to the meet before the state finals. Despite being the one that accomplished all that, she still wasn't convinced it was good enough to letter. I got a chuckle out of that one.**

But that question, combined with the thoughts taking an immediate turn to next year, sparked a bit of a debate between myself and the distance coach at the bar last night. He stated, and I do agree, that the vaulters had a great year. They got a new coach, a new system, and performed well. I won't disagree with that for a second.

So why do I still have a slight sting in my gut now that the competitive season is over? Why do I have to feel like I should say, "Yeah, they had a great year, BUT........"? I don't want to throw that extra word in there, except that's what it feels like. And I don't like that.

At what point can you truly be happy with sports performance? She qualified for sectionals, and came a helluva lot closer to qualifying for state that I would have put money on that morning. I do believe in my heart that we had a good season. BUT...........

And that's what I hate about sports. It's never good enough. Hundreds upon hundreds of vaulters in the state, but only one can win the state championship. Would I have been thrilled if she made it to state? Hell yeah. But I don't like the idea that even if she made it to state, anything short of a championship would have resulted in the same feeling in my gut.

But it's not just pole vaulting. Every sport I've been around makes me feel like that. And not just competition. It's never good enough in practice. Lombardi had the quote about perfection - something to the effect of 'you'll never reach perfection, you can only strive for it'. ( I'm sure Nort will post the actual quote - I'm too lazy to go look it up. ) And that's a brutal lesson in life. That sucks. It sucks that I can't just appreciate how they did this year, without thinking of what else I could have done, or how I could have prepared them better.

Sports can teach you every lesson you need in life - that's one of the thousands of reasons that makes sports great. All the cliche ones; teamwork, hard work, sportsmanship, handling change - all lessons that can be used outside of the arena. And this one is no exception. It's never good enough, because you're only as good as your next performance. You're only as good as that next project you finish, or the next sale you close, or the next surgery you perform.

It's probably best they don't lay that one out on the kids when their young. That's a pretty harsh reality to have to face. And it's one, at least for a couple of days, that I'm not to happy to deal with.

But at the same time, I loved every minute of this year, and am SO looking forward to next year. I do have high expectations for them next year - and yes, I do realize that no matter what the expectations for next year are, there's a pretty good chance I'll feel like this next June. So I'm going to go bang my head against the wall for a little while. ;)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another Celebration, Bitches!!

May 25, 1977. Time magazine hailed it as one of the 80 days that changed the world.

Famous for two reasons.


And something else you may have heard of. Star Wars was released on that day. Some of you may have seen the movie.

I'd post more, but I'm on a roll here at work so far today, and it's keeping my mind off the sectionals meet this evening....

Well, it WAS keeping my mind off it.

More tonight - unless she qualifies.... then I'll be too drunk to type!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"It's A Celebration, Bitches!"

We had our regional track meet yesterday. For those out of towners, or those that never paid attention to track and field - the state qualifying in Wisconsin goes through two meets. You're allowed to bring 28 athletes ( not including one relay team for each relay event ) to the regional meet. From there, the top four in every event qualify for the sectional meet. The top three at sectionals automatically qualify for the state meet. I won't get into provisional qualifiers, but that is a possibility.

So needless to say, I was a nervous nelly yesterday. But they finally came through and had a good day, with two girls setting personal bests, and one girl finally beating the school record by nine inches. Not a bad day.

So I did my little celebration dance last night - and now it's back to getting ready for the sectional meet on Thursday. A good birthday gift on Thursday would be for the one vaulter that qualified to make it through to state, but it's gonna take another foot higher for that to maybe happen. But we've got 2 days to work on it.

*wipes sweat from forehead*

On a related celebration note, the Mavs beat the Spurs last night in overtime, to win game seven, and the series. I almost jinxed it for Willy, as I called him with 7 min to go in the game, when Dallas was up 9 points. I haven't heard from him since, so I hope his heart held up last night!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Beatings Continue...

Will was shown this pretty cool flash project from the folks over at CareerBuilder. I agree with him that they've hit the nail on the head with the ad campaign, "Working with a bunch of monkeys".

So click here for my contribution to the internet.

They Have To Do WHAT???

In a pressure packed situation last night, my pole vaulters pulled through.

We had won the indoor meet by a VERY large margin, and won the relay meet by a more than comfortable margin.

With 15 of 16 events completed, we were trailing by 2 points. Guess which event wasn't complete at that point?

Yeah. No pressure or anything on my kids. Or me. My vaulters haven't really ever mattered in the case of an outcome of the meet. Now, the triple crown rested on their shoulders. Like I wasn't nervous enough as it was.

But while we didn't set any records... they did well enough to get us a victory for the team. They snagged 5.5 points in the vault when it was all over with. My blood pressure still hasn't returned to normal.

Next up, regionals.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Triple Crown Beyotches!!

Conference outdoor meet this afternoon. I've been nervous since about 10am this morning. They're prepared, and they've jumped well the past two weeks. Except yesterday. Yesterday they didn't do so hot.

But we'll see if current 'day before' trends hold up.

I've been busier than hell today, and today is still taking SO long to end. I'm sure they can't wait for it to get started either. No team has ever won the triple crown ( indoor, relays, outdoor ) at the school before, and we have a pretty good chance.

Coach Ferguson wouldn't order the shirts ahead of time though. He's more nervous than I am. The other coaches thought it would be pretty cool to order the triple crown shirts ahead of time, and right when the meet ends - bust out the box, and hand the shirts over.

So they'll have to wait on the shirts. And I'll keep waiting for this day to end, so I can go watch 'em jump, and get this whole day over with.

Plowed Into the Sun

What is this bright fire-like object in the sky? It emits this bright wonderful light, and warms the air around us....

I wonder if there's some place on this here earf where one can bask in this glow all the time? Cuz it sure as hell ain't around here!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Downhill From Here?

I recently became a coffee drinker in the morning. I'll now have one in the morning when I get to work.

This morning, I went to the coffee 'station', and touched the side of the coffee pot. We have one of those metal things, where you push the top lever down, and coffee comes out of the spout - as opposed to a normal glass coffee 'pot'. Upon touching the side of the pot, and feeling that it was hot, grabbed a cup and poured myself a cup of.....

Hot water.

Someone forgot to put coffee and a filter into the maker.

No one will own up to it yet.

Good start to the morning.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Run For Your Lives!!!

It might rain tonight!!!!

On the way back from practice tonight, Willy made mention of the comments that were made from MMSD today, on the hopes that the fine citizens of Milwaukee wouldn't use any water tonight or tomorrow. MMSD doesn't want us to use any water, because the deep tunnel that they spent eight bazillion dollars on doesn't work. So if God decides to host a bowling tournament in the great upstairs, MMSD ends up dumping tons of raw sewage into Lake Michigan. They have to dump even more sewage if we use any water during that period. Good times.

So, if that's not funny enough that MMSD has the balls to ask us to not use any water, the media here in Milwaukee thinks it's a good idea to instill FEAR into the populous. When I got home from practice, I heated up some food, and got all settled into the recliner. I was about to flip on ESPN, when the FOX6 news at nine started.

They opened with some dramatic music, and a voice over saying that 'if you haven't had your sump-pump checked yet, it might be too late.' Then, in very dramatic fashion, they showed a shower head running, and a booming voice saying
"and you don't want to take a bath or a shower tonight, because you wouldn't want to be the one that causes a massive sewer overflow tonight - that and more stories, here at the FOX6 News at Nine!!"

Are you serious!??!? There's a whole gaggle of old ladies that now believe the world is going to come to an end if they take a bath tonight!! Way to go on that one. Not only is it abso-farkin-ridonkeylous that MMSD has the balls to ask us to not use water because they fucked up over a decade ago.... but they have the media do their bidding for them, with fear tactics!! WTF??!?!!?

I'd bitch about this more, but I think my head might explode from trying to comprehend the sheer stupidity of the whole thing. Sometimes I'm amazed that our resilience. How have we survived this long as a culture, and as a country when stupid shit like this is allowed? How does MMSD not get thrown out on their ass? How is it okay that the local media can try to frighten everyone into action? How can a city have to lay off firefighters and police officers because there's no money to pay them... but they think they can afford a $300 million transit system? How come my vaulters will do a full turn in the air with no bar up, but when the bar goes up, they let go with the wrong hand first? How have the citizens of this town not bitch-slapped the Summerfest organizers for charging $8 a beer? We could keep going on this theme for a while....

Okay, the vaulter thing was a trick question. But really... it's amazing we've made it this far.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Nort Says

Friday, May 05, 2006

Why Do You Have To Bring Up Old Sh*t???

I had to go to our downtown location yesterday and today - don't even get me started on the clusterf*ck that is the construction - and I noticed a billboard this morning.

The billboard was for the sportstalk station 1250 AM.

"Still chaffed about
4th and 26?"

There was something else about being able to call in and vent about it - but I didn't really pay attention to that part.

Some things you just have to let go. Nort and Will started a joke about Bears fans - especially those that can't let go of the past. They were listening to the Chicago sports radio station, and Mike Ditka was a guest. A caller called in with a distinct Chicago accent, and started the call of with... "Tanks fer da '85 Bears coach.". Twenty years after the fact!

Did the 4th and 26 play suck? Yes. Huge donkey balls. And while there are some Packer fans that will stay chaffed about that forever - I don't like the idea of putting a billboard in the largest market of Packerland that reminds us of that play.

Would a Chicago station put up a billboard asking Bears fans if they're still chaffed about signing Kordell Stewart? Or would the Minneapolis radio station put up a sign asking fans if they're still chaffed about the two years in a row that the Vikings missed the deadline for the draft picks? Or how bout Detroit? Put up a billboard to get people to listen to your radio station because the listeners are chaffed about..... well.... about being Lions fans?

Well, actually that one might work.

But Packer fans have a different kind of relationship with their team ( see example Nort, G. ). They really don't want to talk about 4th and 26. Most will want to call in and talk about how the Pack has a playoff chance this year. While they don't have a chance- at least the fans are optimistic, and that's alot more fun to listen to than bitching about the past.

Whoa Nelly!!

After being in the broadcast booth for almost 50 years, Keith Jackson has called it a career. He is most associated with college football, being ABC's voice of college football for more than the last quarter century. He had stepped away before, but returned to call west coast games for ABC. Then, last year, they convinced him to do the marquee matchups across the nation once again. His last game was the Rose Bowl - quite possibly one of the top five greatest college games of all time. Not a bad way to go out on top.

He is known for his folksy type of manner, and his arcane vernacular when talking about football. "Whoa Nelly!!", his signature excitement call, had a simple, yet perfect ring to it when he used it. He referred to offensive linemen as 'big uglies'. It was a down home approach to broadcasting, and it fit him perfectly. He hardly ever talked X's and O's - and left that for the color commentators. But he could paint a great picture of the game and the situation without over doing it with the X's and O's.

I often said that he had the best job in the world, and I wanted his job. He got to go around and call the BEST college football matchup of the week - and did so for over half of his life. Despite calling an Olympics, two World Series, and even being the first voice heard ever on a Monday Night Football game - he is, and will always be THE voice of college football.

In his statement announcing his final retirement, he said that he "looks forward to being the shop steward of the porch sitters union". Only a sentence like that could have come from Keith Jackson.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

There's No Title...

that won't get taken the wrong way on this one.....

So here's a couple of pictures of me in the Italian Sausage costume from this past Saturday.

The first is me at the start of the party waving at cars as they drove in.

The second is funny because this group of women came up to have their picture taken with me. There was like six or seven of them, and they were laughing and having a good time posing for pictures. I was unaware that Bob snapped a picture when I was with this group.

Anyways, while I was posing for pictures with these ladies, someone grabbed my ass. I thought it was kinda funny, cuz I figured it was one of the girls from the group.

Oh no.

I turned around to see a 70 year old lady with a glass of wine in hand, grinning from ear to ear.

I almost threw up in the sausage costume.

Other than that, great time had by all - I'll get some more pics up soon.