Monday, October 29, 2007

Boston Red Sox - World Champions

For the second time in 3 years, the Red Sox find themselves on top of the baseball world as season champions. The Sox clinched the title last night in a 4-3 victory over a young and talented Denver-based club.
Despite their impressive run-up to the world series (winning 21 of the last 22 games) the National League entrant, The Colorado Rockies, simply didn't have enough mustard to overcome the strength, depth and experience of the more seasoned Boston club. Great pitching combined with balanced and timely hitting proved too much in this year's Fall Classic.
So now all players stow away thier gear until next Spring. Owners and front offices evaluate payrolls, talent and free agents to see who will return, who will be traded and who will be called up from the farm systems.

Boston's off-season will prove to be both entertaining (see the Yankees struggle with the loss of manager, Joe Torre and slugger, Alex Rodriguez) and relaxing with the knowledge that they are undesputed world champs. So until next spring, the Red Sox Nation can sleep a little easier and enjoy a few months of well deserved satisfaction.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Spider Men Everywhere

Will the real Spiderman please stand up!

This looks like a convention of Spiderman wannabes. Big Dawg (left) was joined by is compadres from his "school" for an after hours halloween get-together.

Here is Big Dawg ... unplugged!

Soccer Season Ends

Both Peanut and Chalupa made it to the Fall State Soccer Tournament. Peanut's team won their division and you can see them with trophies on the right. Peanut is farthest left in the middle. They won their first match, but lost thier second match.

Chalupa's team lost their initial tournament match against a very good team. They "played up" in the C2 division against "select" teams from the Cities. This is a bit more intense than the recreational C3 level which they enjoyed all summer. Anyway, the season ended and we all managed to steal away to a terrific BBQ resturant in Rochester to eat away our sorrow.

Chalupa had basketball try-outs later that afternoon, and Peanut has signed up for a winter soccer league which begins in just a few weeks. And so it goes....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sox to the World Series

Late yesterday evening the Red Sox Nation breathed a sigh of relief as their Boston Team defeated the Cleveland Indians to reach the World Series. Now the Sox must regroup to take on the run-away freight train - Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have won 20 of their last 21 games but will come off a record eight day rest between their last game and the start of the World Championship Series (WCS) on Wednesday.

The series will be best of seven with the first two games in Boston, the next three in Denver (where they recieved between 3 - 5 inches of snow over the weekend), then finish off the series (if necessary) in Boston for the final two games.

Get your peanuts, get your beer, put you answering machine on automatic and brace yourselves for what promises to be a terrific Fall Classic. Red Sox vs. Rockies beginning Wednesday night.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Back Yard Paint Brush

Some of the color out our back door. The trees, they are a turnin'.

A Funny Thing Happened...

To have or have not. The photo does not do justice to this dude's wild hair.

Running in the Windy City

While recently visitng the Windy City for a Direct Marketing Association convention, I took in the city sites during early morning runs. Something about a big city sky-line does wonders to jump-start a sleeping heart. It was a good convention, but am glad to be back in Monkey Doo, Up Nort.

BD Meets "The Fridge"

We really didn't talk any football. Instead, it was all about his exploits a the Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest. "It's a lot harder than it looks." Enough said.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oct. 13, 2007

Chalupa's soccer team won 2-1 against Prior Lake (up North)

Peanut's team won 11 - 0 in a home game against a team that wishes to remain anonymous (Peanut scored a goal in this game!)

Big Dog got to a B-Day party.

Side Track managed this weekend's grocery shopping (no easy task for a family of 6).

A stray dog (who we shall call Mike) showed up at noon, and was rescued by his owner by 4:30.

A lawn got mowed.

Bills got paid.

Two loads of laundry got washed and dried.

Lots of baking in preparation for our tour of duty at Church Coffee Hour tomorrow (too much food to be mentioned without an independent publisher of baking books).

And an outdoor history festival was attended to. This is where the kids climbed trees (see pictures with this post).

This was just Saturday. Thank goodness we have a week of work to recover from the weekends!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In Living Color

Fall colors were the backdrop for last night's soccer practice. Peanut can be seen on the right side of the group (light blue). The season has about ten more days and will hopefully end before the backdrop changes to all white... if you know what I mean. Ugh.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hot Day for 26.2 Miles

It was a hottest day on record for the Twin Cities Marathon. Buzz along with The Rookie joined more than 15,000 registered runners for the 26th annual trot around Minneapolis and into St. Paul. The heat was unrelenting and was cause for many to drop out (literally and figuratively) as well as much slower times. Buzz finished in 3 hours and 50 minutes (or so) while The Rookie completed the course in just over 4 hours.

In related news our friend, "Crazy Legs" Kravits survived the carnage and heat to complete this year's Chicago Marathon. He never took the magnitude of this event for granted and responsibly scaled back his efforts to adjust for weather and safety. Congratulations Crazy Legs. You're a testament to hard work, perseverance and smart race management!
COMMENTARY About The Chicago Marathon
Speaking about race management: by now many of you heard The Chicago marathon was shut down due to the dangerous heat. It is the opinion of this runner (and that of many others) that the Chicago Marathon race officials got it wrong.
First and foremost, this race has grown too big. My guess is sponsorship dollars were more attractive to the organization than the attention paid to running a good and safe race. When anything gets too big, exposure to catastrophe increases while, at the same time, emergency procedures get impeded;
Second, as I hear it, there was not enough water on the course. This is very, very, very bad. Race officials have the weather forecast and ample resources. Heat issues aside, it's ALWAYS better to have too much water than not enough. Here again the size of the event may have inhibited Chicago's ability to properly hydrate the masses and manage the crisis. Shame on them;
Third, they should have extended the cut-off time by as much as 2 hours to accommodate for the hot conditions. This time extension could have (should have?) been communicated along the course (at all aid stations);
Fourth, communication on the course could have (should have?) been made earlier and often. The race officials knew before the race began that heat would be a problem. All the aid stations should have been prepped to remind runners of this danger and tell them to slow down, walk, hydrate and manage a slower, smarter race. They could have communicated an extended cut-off to prevent people from unnecessarily pushing themselves to hard in extrodinarily hot conditions.
Unless the Chicago marathon did something different this year, every single runner should have read (and agreed to) an acknowledgement and waiver form recognizing the risks and danger of distance running and confirming they have trained and are in appropriate physical shape to undertake this extreme physical activity. For this reason, the race officials should have been safe to keep the course open... if they were properly prepared.
My advise to Chicago would be to trim the race size to something more manageable (10 - 15K) via lottery or some other mechanism; continue to improve on-the-course communications and use these communications to help runners manage their race; be better prepared; and have contingencies in place that help the runners finish safely and enjoyably... not cut bait and run.
And one last comment: Make no mistake, running a marathon is not a friendly neighborhood 10K fun-run. As a friend of mine puts it, "there is a reason Phiddippidies died". Weather is unpredictable, but the physical and mental demands of running 26.2 miles will always be tough. So Chicago, let the runners run and yes, let them suffer, but don't simply pretent to wash your hands of the matter. If you invite them, they will come. And now the Chicago Marathon, an previously repectibel event, has a big mess to clean as a result for neglecting the 20,000+ reasons they hosted this event in the first place.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

To Doc or Not to Doc?

Big Dawg was taken to the Doc this morning with a suspected ear infection. He'd mentioned an ear ache off-and-on during the past few days. Normally, we let it ride until we were certain, but with an upcoming crazy weekend of running around, we didn't want to risk having a total break down and a more costly emergancy room visit just to confirm what we (by that point) would already know.

False alarm. (ugh)

But, all is not lost... while sitting in the walk-in doctor's office, I got a call from Beaner. "Dad, can you pick me up for school? I don't feel so good." Of course her school is clear across town.

All this before 8:30 a.m. I wonder what the rest of the day will bring?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Get Your Holiday Cards NOW!

Ok, if you look to the right of this post, you'll see a banner ad for 50% off holiday cards. They are nice cards and are sold by the place where Side Track and I work. If you're in the market for holiday cards... now is the time to get them.

Here's the deal, a guy I know at work has a blog. Not sure what's on it, but he has a banner ad and has actually sold some cards though his site. Saddly this came up in a meeting and the person in charge of these banner ads asked why I've not sold any. The entire team laughed and one person said my site was not the type of place someone would go to buy Holiday Cards.

One thing lead to another and the next thing you know The Taylor Tabloid was pulled up [gulp]. It was clear from the first image people saw, this site was not established to sell holiday cards. So, all I can say is don't let images like this, prevent you from your holiday card shopping. They are nice cards and I'm certain you can customize cards to fit your personal needs and holiday message.

That's my pitch for this holiday season. Promise.

Still behind

Ok, so life has gotten away from us with a ton of activities and events, so here is our brief catch up:
BOSTON clinches the Pennant and the Yanks squeeked in with the Wild Card. Our super fund contribtions enabled all in the family to update their Red Sox wear before the first play-off game tomorrow night.
Beaner shows off her tennis skills in a doubles match last week. She and Buzz Daddy played in a Jr. High Doubles Tournament yesterday and came in second. Despite a 20 year absence from the Court, the old man did well. All strokes were present and accountable for except for his serve which was distinctly missing in action.
In addition to the Tennis antics, we most recently managed to sneek in a local HS football game. Here is Big Dawg enjoying the evening. Unfortunately, West High lost this grid iron match up against a better team from Rochester.