Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cougs march on

WSU Cougars 26
(2) Oregon Ducks 51
CLink Stadium - Seattle, WA
September 29, 2012
PAC 12 Regular Season

Cougs still go, still cheer, and still support their team even a week after a brutally awful loss and against a team that should kick our butts.  In real sports towns fans are forever linked to their teams and endure.  Think Cubs fans. We are Cougs, not Huskies or Ducks.

This turned out to be an interesting game.  I did not think it would be five minutes in when it looked awful, but the Cougs turned it into a game by the half and showed other teams how to beat Oregon, even if they couldn't.  The adjustments and resiliency were only offset by some mistakes that gifted UO too many points.

And, I met Tony Dungy.

And, my daughter and I went to our first college football game together, which was awesome.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sports fan to do list

As this blog so clearly makes obvious, I love lists.

As I compiled and worked with old lists for Oxymoron and this blog I made some checklists.  So, I now have a to do or bucket list as a sports fan.  This is not one of those "Go to a Super Bowl" unrealistic list thing.  This is something I can realistically control and accomplish over a reasonable period of time.

I have had the great opportunity to be there at World Cups, a Final Four, etc ... but this is more a practical list of seeing games and teams and leagues and sports as a spectator at least once in various capacities. I would also love to see games in various stadiums, but that might just be another post since I do someday want to see games in various new and classic stadiums. I also want to see a Seattle U game at the Key with Jorge while he is in grad school there, that sort of thing.

Teams and Leagues to do to complete or see once:

MLS - Montreal Impact is the only team I have not seen.  I did not see the two contracted Florida teams.  I have seen MLS games in other stadiums, but would like to do a SSS tour some day.

MLB - Houston Astros - The week of April 8, 2013 the Astros will be in Seattle for a series as a member of the AL West and I will have seen all teams in MLB.  This list is actually 31 since I saw the Expos and the Nationals both.  I have also seen games in New York and LA in stadiums that are either gone or have since been redone. Fenway and Wrigley are stadiums I must see.

WNBA - Currently completed seeing all 12 teams.  There are some folded teams or relocated teams I did not see.

PAC 12 Football - Utah just joined, but I had already seen Colorado.  This one will be easy over the next couple years either in Pullman or Seattle.

PAC 12 Basketball - Colorado & Utah are teams I have not seen in either men's or women's or other sports.  This will not be too complicated, I just need to do it.

AFC West - Completed seeing all four old Seahawk division rivals, now I need to make a point to see the three NFC rivals.  I have only ever seen 9 of 32 NFL teams so it would not seem likely I would pull off a full 32 any time soon without suddenly getting several years worth of season tickets.

NFC West - Arizona, San Francisco, & St. Louis ... see above.

MLL - Never been and missed a game in Seattle a few years ago.

NHL - Never been, and tickets are hard to get up in Vancouver, but I have only ever made halfhearted attempts.  Almost saw a Coyote game in 2010 but it sold out on me. If Seattle gets a franchise then this is a layup, if not then a preseason or Vancouver trip or a game while in a random city could make this happen.

LFL - Seattle Mist game upcoming will happen, but I think going very often would be sort of creepy at my age.

TNA - Never been to the upstart (but now a decade old) promotion that has only been here in the Seattle area a couple times. Would love to see a ROH card too if the chance came up.

WWE - RAW live would be cool since I have been to Smackdown, Wrestlemania, a different PPV, and a house show.

NLL - Currently have seen a game and there is a local team I need to get around to seeing a game of.  There is a new Arena Football team I need to look into seeing too.

NBA - Many teams to see, but at one point I was close to seeing the entire league when it was at 23.  With all the relocated teams and expansions over the years I need to see about half the league.  It would take a while, but with an actual team in Seattle again at some point I would slowly chip away at this.

CFL - I am finding it hard to believe that I have never made the two hour trek up to see a CFL game with the BC Lions.  This sort of has to happen sooner rather than later.

PCL - I also find it odd that I have never bothered to catch a Tacoma Rainiers game.  Need to have a Tacoma Day where I finally do that and the Point Defiance Zoo.

I would however, love to go to a Super Bowl. Or, see the Cougars in the Rose Bowl. Or, see a game at Anfield ...

These lists could go on and on ...

Friday, September 28, 2012

I Heart my new button

My butcher, yes I have one, has assured me that the upcoming bacon "shortage" is overblown and that I will maintain my access to bacon. So, I got that going for me.

16 Tons

Thinking about career choices and having a Talking Heads, "How did I get here?" moment can occur when one is 45 and working up and down a hill loading rocks for nine something an hour at a part time job instead of being at school for opening day as one waits for substitute teacher calls to start.

'nuff said.

Obi-Jeff Kenobi

This teacher friend of mine got a light saber.  It is awesome.  We were playing with it before school.  So, the lights were off, we were whooshing it about and taking pictures.  Then, the 7th graders came marching in and turned on the lights ... busted.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Inner 12 Year Old Can Take Over

One of the things I like about my job situation is the bare minimum of meetings I have to attend compared to virtually everyone I know.

I can be in a very productive meeting about something I enjoy with people I like and I can still have a "squirrel" moment, because deep down I know I am clock watching much of the time.

The Safety Of The Children Comes First

Because the safety of the children comes first, I did have to test it.

Had I had access to one of these when i was 4 or 5 it would live on in the stories of my child hood as one of my favorite things ever.

This is one of the single most awesome playground toys I have ever seen; it is sturdy, has good tires, sort of looks like an electric guitar, and can handle my weight when I ride it to put it away.

Unused tickets

It kind of pisses me off to have unused tickets to anything.

It doesn't matter that I got it as a prize and had not intended to go to the event.

I had accepted that I would not likely use the ticket I got that is picture here.  The logistics were tricky.  I made other plans.

But, when I find out too late that I had friends go and that I could have possibly hitched a ride, that only serves to make it worse.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Retiring the nickname

You cannot nickname yourself.

I did not name myself Jefferson, that came from working at Safeco.

Kids often call me Mr. L for short.  I have some that call me Senor Jefe because I joked with a class one day about Jefe vs Jeff and the meaning.

I also am known by one group of kids as Mr. Banana, Sir.


Mr. Banana, Sir.

It was PI Day a few years back and some kids were nicknaming everyone types of pies based on the colors that they were wearing.  I was wearing a yellow race tee.  I refused to be call "Banana".  I was mostly playing along, but that was not something that I wanted to stick. I replied that i wanted to be "a golden delicious apple".  They were having none of it.

So, all day it went on.

"Can we call you MISTER Banana?"


On it went.

I figured it would fade over the day, but at least three of these kids were really persistent.

Late in the day I joked, "That would be Mister Banana, Sir, to you."

They were excited.


Oh, well.  It was only for the last period of the day or so.


It went on for weeks.  One student wrote a joking epic poem about Mr. Banana, Sir, that I still have somewhere and should post when I actually find it.

I finally had a chat with an administrator, and we decided that since it was meant in fun and that I was a sub with a sense of humor that I should just go with it as it was clear that I was being accepted and "getting over" with them as a group.  I also decided that right then and there that it would be theirs and only theirs. Other groups tried, I put it down.  Only them.  It went on for a good couple of school years sort of under the radar until a year or two ago a couple teachers asked me about it and I told them the story.

Last year was the final year of that group before they went on to other things and late in the school year several things happened with the Mr. Banana, Sir "situation that I thought were interesting and noteworthy.

First, a couple of the kids admitted that they not only knew me by the nickname, they ONLY knew me by the nickname and when my real name was used they had to pause to see who it was that was subbing.  I was not offended, because that was actually awesome.

Second, I was at an end of the year event when one of the students referred me by the nickname when I overheard a parent say, "Oh, he is Mr. Banana, Sir."  That was a moment that could have gone either way.  So, I turned, introduced myself and told the story to the parent and another parent or two that was there.  They agreed it was sort of awesome.  I really like that place.

We are now a few weeks into the school year and those kids have moved on.  For the first time in years there is no one using that nickname.  It is retired.  These things have life cycles after all.  But I know that I am looking forward to that one random day I will be at a school or at an event and I will hear nearby, "Hey, isn't that ... Mr. Banana, Sir?"

It sounds better

Recently listening to Don't Look Back on vinyl, because it sounds better ... with apologies to Nicolas Cage in The Rock for stealing this line.

A Sign That Can Lead To Bad Jokes

Thanks, Shoreline. Presented without further comment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maybe you should stretch more

This post is a collection of odd notes and stories that I did not get around to doing anything with over the past few months that I have typed up so as to not lose forever. These were potential Facebook status entries or possible blog posts that never got beyond a line or two.  Every once in a while I do a post like this and here is another one. A few of these might have made it into a substitute teacher related post that i have not done in a while.

If you cannot sing silly opera versions of camp songs with kids then you should not be working with them.

The stream of consciousness some kids speak is awesome.

Usually Guinness to me is a meal, but at one event it was an actual world record attempt. 

No one gets to decide how others look. Holding someone down to cut their hair is assault. 

The rare feats of 2012 in baseball included a Figgins GWRBI. 

With Spain winning the Euro again the USMNT win in the 2009 Confederations Cup looks better every day. Before Euro final I joked that they should just line up for PKs and skip the rest.  No One saw THAT coming. 

Potential David Bowie tribute band name: The Rise and Fall of SYZYGY Stardust. 

I wonder how many people ranting on The Internets actually took the time to read the SCOTUS ruling on health care. It's not that big a document not that tough a read to follow since it turns out Justice Roberts writes really clearly. Just do not impose the tax in 2014 if you have the votes.  Just saying. 

"Dude, are you drinking coconut water?" said one young man to another as they exited the QFC.  I cannot adequately describe the shock/condescension in the tone of voice in type. I recently have tried coconut water when it was what was available and ... it's tolerable.

If I am sick pass the plate for research, not for any other group. 

I know I probably misheard, but it sounded like "Jesus on Astroturf" during that song.

There I was up in the tubes with all the 5 and 6 year olds at a play place.  This is a place I am not designed to fit into.  One little boy, bless his heart, squeezes down next to me as I am slowly working my way through and asks, deadly serious like, "You okay? Maybe you should stretch more?"

Whiskey is a great intro

So there I was making bacon at a party.  Yes, "making bacon" was my role. I embraced it.  But, my hands were sort of bacon grease covered and it was making it hard to do much of anything else.

In walk many people to the kitchen, but since people are coming and going and I am cooking bacon it is all sort of a visual white noise.

I turn and place the bacon plate on the counter and realize a woman is standing right there.  I do not bump into her or drop the plate, but as I am setting it down I realize that she is very close to me and a bottle is coming up towards my face.

"Thirsty?" (I am paraphrasing because her exact wording is not relevant or available from my memory)

I do not actually respond, but I open my mouth and a half shot or so of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey is poured directly into my mouth.

Good whiskey.

That was her hello.

A fella can fall in love in a situation like that pretty darn easy.

Paint Me Like

A week or two ago in my martial arts class a few of us guys totally finished off and destroyed one of the heavy bags.  It became entertaining and has happened a number of times and we are developing a bit of a reputation for it.

After class we posed with it as a group like we were big game hunters.  It's a fun group pic.  I also was screwing around and posed on the broken bag like I was a calendar model.  After weighing the pros and cons I went ahead and posted the pic on Facebook knowing that some of my friends are smartasses and would have some fun.  I can laugh at myself so I went with it. 

Not long after the pic was posted a friend of mine from the martial arts school posted this doctored up version.  It is so awful that it is awesome.

Fast forward a few days and I actually make it to sparring class.  The meme perpetrator is there and I believe I kind of made him nervous being there so soon after he posted the above meme.

I would never intentionally injure anyone.  Sparring is about skill and control and never should be for anything other than testing one's self.  However, it is also supposed to be fun, so having a little fun with my friend and then posing for the below "after" picture is a nice little punch line to the entire situation.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It still means volunteer

Over the past few years I have given a good deal of time in both paid and unpaid (read volunteer) capacities to various events.  When I look to do up my resume to account for these events I came up with the notion of "Professional Event Volunteer (TM)" to indicate that this is one particular skill set and that I should place that skill set as an umbrella over the collective events.

I post this here in order to place one giant disclaimer to the part that reads "Professional" and the part that read "Volunteer" and how those two things work together so as to not hypothetically violate any tax or labor laws for the events or for me. The word professional does not require payment for services as it is also an indicator in our language of a standard of quality.  I bring a professional standard of quality to the events I work whether I am being paid or giving my hours as a volunteer.  The slogan or catch phrase I am trademarking here is only used under that premise, and really should be protected under free speech anyway.

It would be sort of awesome to live in a disclaimer free world.  I should trademark that too ... "Disclaimer Free World (TM)"

News, tragedies, and turning it all off

There are tragedies.  They can be newsworthy.  But, in a 24/7 news cycle it seems like it is necessary to fill time so simply rehashing and speculating the same details ad nauseum is mistaken for actual reporting.

This is why I no longer turn on the news very often.
About 2007 I turned off talk radio (including NPR for this purpose and both liberal and conservative commentators) and with the conversion to digital I lost easy access to most local channels (do not get me started on the quality of what I have lost, it is not important that I lost sucky news since I do not have cable) and more or less stopped looking at web sites that were commentary or news based.

Facebook is not the refuge it should be. I am constantly being asked in really irritating passive aggressive ways to endorse (mostly reasonable, but not the point) causes.  I have online friends that constantly post updates and rants.  It is really easy to just "unsubscribe" to the irritating posters without having to "unfriend" them and explain why. I still have a few friends that forward the odd psycho email about some topic, but that seems to be fading.

Given all the headlines I get logging online, and the headlines that come across in normal radio listening, and some online postings, I still have a general idea of what is going on in the world.  I am no less informed in that sense since I do not think that TV news or talk radio provides much depth beyond those headlines.

Ranting and repetition have no value to me. I will gladly stay the TV news and talk radio free course.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Central Washington University Wildcats 41
Azusa Pacific University 17
Pop Keeney Stadium
September 22, 2012
GNAC / DII College Football

Due to the smoke and air quality in Eastern Washington this game was moved the 115 miles or so to an available high school (but awesome) stadium on very short notice.  The crowd was pretty good.  The number of local players on the field was very high.  The game was pretty entertaining.  And, since I could not be in Pullman for Homecoming and one of the single most awfully awful losses in Cougar football history (or at Uproar) this game was a nice substitute.

The Greater Snohomish County Multiplex Preservation Society

Back in 2006 an old bud of mine was waxing philosophical about the demise of the Grand Cinemas Alderwood. For those blog readers not familiar with the Alderwood Mall region of Lynnwood in Snohomish County in Washington State there is a Kohl's there now.

Basically, he wrote a really amazing piece about it, some others of us chimed in, he got some last minute pics from the inside prior to demolition, and then wrote and performed a song about it.

I made some comments about how we should form "The Greater Snohomish County Multiplex Preservation Society" as part of a reading performance (I instead reviewed the original Red Dawn) during a Paul's Basement event.

The Aurora Village theater (and the stupid stuff we did there) and the Aurora Cinemas (where I saw Return of the Jedi on opening day after school) are long gone.  Combine that with the huge and also demolished old Northgate Theater and my childhood movie experience places are all gone now.

Fast forward to this past week and another of our childhood theaters has been demolished ... goodbye Lynn Four. You sucked.  The sounds from one theater could overwhelm another next to it with paper thin walls.  But, we miss you nonetheless.

Of Course She Is

Formal Tolo 1985 I went with a girl a grade younger than me that was in my accounting class and also a soccer player like me.  Nice girl.  Bright.  Cute. Nice evening.  Only time we ever went out.

Over the years I have caught up with a lot of old friends, but never heard of or from her. Bearing in mind she was from another class that is not entirely surprising since we would be in different reunion pools.

Of course, she is my ex-wife's neighbor and mother of one of my son's best friends and teammates.

Of course, I would discover this during the 4th quarter on a Friday night during a football game when the ex and the tolo date were sitting next to each other and sort of put two and two together and I confirmed it when I went home and dug out the pic and texted it along for confirmation.

Which boy is more horrified is a matter of debate.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Job Where I Am Called A Wrangler

Mobile Food Rodeo
September 15, 2012
Seattle, WA

Cell phone photo by Mayor McGinn from his bike via Twitter.

Obi-Wan's Failure ...

Obi-Wan's failure is even more complete, my journey to The Dark Side now includes Twitter.

So, a smart phone and now this.


I am working now to connect all this stuff together.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Suntory Time is coming ...

I loved the movie Lost In Translation and recommended it to a friend. As a result, my buddy Jorge and I have used "Suntory Time!" as a greeting and voice mail message for the past few years.  We have looked into getting some Suntory as well. However, only a few stores in Seattle carried it and I have never quite prioritized it enough to do much more than a Google search.  Recently, I went to a couple contract liquor stores and checked with a few grocery stores about it, leading to finally finding it and getting a smidge of sticker shock.

Then, just the other day my mother drops an empty bottle on my lap she got for 50 cents at a garage sale, correctly remembering I was looking for Suntory.

Sadly, the bottle was already empty.

Suntory time needs to happen, but there needs to be some actual disposable income first.