Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I guess it's my fault. I did introduce them.

It's rare that a picture can make you smile while at the same time send a shudder of dread down your spine.

As Rakes and Rich enjoyed a biscuit yesterday morning (Rich shared his hash browns with Rakes, which I thought was an awesome gesture) I snapped this shot of Rakes looking adoringly at Rich while Jr devours a ham biscuit.

And it hit me; Rakes is EXACTLY like Rich, only 20 years younger and slightly less profane.

Throw in the fact he's STILL asking if Jr can come live with us and I'm pretty sure I'll be in the institution by the time I'm 50.

Thanks, Rich.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sometimes Surviving is enough.

About an hour from now the final member of The Three Amigos Wandering Down South Epic MiniPalooza should be stumbling into his house on the Cape, sleep deprived and swearing to himself he'll never get in a car again.

What started at 12 noon last Thursday ends tonight at about midnight; we had traffic jams, thunderstorms of biblical proportions, great friends, baseball, and 3 guys busting each others chops across several states in the way that only 3 guys trapped in a car for hours on end can do.

Josh is planning on writing a series of posts about the trip and Jr is going to guest write his own post here once he emerges from his Rip Van Winkleish sleep sometime next week, so I'm just going to leave it at this for now.

If you can go on a 5 day road trip with 3 guys crammed in a GTI with the oldest being 40, the youngest being 25 with one smack dab in the middle and you don't end up killing one another?

I'd say you've got yourself a Gang.

Had a blast, fellas. And I can't wait to do it again sometime soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Myrtle Beach taps out.

Judging by the look on Trot's face, the ocean needs some chlorine STAT.

Man, do I miss my kids.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rocky Mountain High

I've got three good friends, Kelly, Beth, and The Scouser, in Colorado tonight watching the Red Sox play the Rockies.

One day, before I'm using a walker to get around and Josh still has some black hairs to go along with his ever growing gray ones and Jr finally hits puberty The Three Amigos will invade Denver, CO for a game.

From the comfort of my living room, it looks like a beautiful place to catch a game.

It'll be even prettier if the Sox can grab a win in Game 1.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm pretty sure I'm breaking out in hives.

This is my kitchen, along with part of my living room. 3 months after my dishwasher left a 5 foot area of water damage they finally came today to tear up my floor; turns out the MENSA members who put the hardwoods down didn't just nail it, they freaking GLUED it too.

So I've got plastic over my furniture, an inch of dust covering my counters and appliances and they are only half way through tearing it up.

I should interject here that I don't like to leave cups in the sink when I go to bed at night; how in the name of Ted Williams I'm gonna go to bed with THAT mess right outside my bedroom door is going to play itself out over the next 3 hours or so.

If the Red Sox were playing tonight I think I'd be OK; they aren't, which means I'm probably going to be up at 1 am with a bottle of 409, a wet rag, and some serious anger issues.

I really should seek professional help.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Reason Jar

For the first time that I can remember, I'm spending Father's Day alone.

Ang and the kids headed to Myrtle Beach with her parents yesterday morning and by now I'm sure the lifeguards at the pool and on the beach are wondering how 3 kids can possible make that much noise while underwater.

They called me last night and told me where to find my Father's Day present, and after repeated assurances from Ang that it wouldn't bite, sting, shock, or cause me to spend a weekend in a out patient facility, I went and got it.

It was a jar with "Daddy's Reason Jar" written on the outside and inside were folded pieces of paper, color coded by person, and written on each one was a reason why they loved me.

Ranging from "Thanks for not killing me for peeing on the carpet" to "you take me to the pool and play ball with me" to "letting me sleep in your bed when I'm scared" all the way to "thanks for not running off EVERY future boy friend I may or may not have" it was one of the best gifts I've ever gotten.

Like most Dad's, I have no idea what I'm doing and just sort of make it all up as I go along. I get too worked up over stupid stuff like toys laying around everywhere and public displays of urination and I probably don't get worked up enough over getting in trouble at school or putting your sibling in an Atomic Chicken Wing. I watch too much baseball, spend more time than I need to worrying about the collective ERA of the Red Sox bullpen, and could really work on my short-term patience.

But I try to do all the little stuff my Pop did with me that I still remember today; I can't really remember going to Disney World or taking a tour of D.C. or the Alamo (all of which I did). I DO remember playing catch, swimming at the pool, playing in the backyard, being read to, tucked in, prayed with, and most of all? Told I was loved, repeatedly both verbally and unspoken.

I'm 40 years old and I cannot recall I day where my Pop didn't tell me he loved me. To me, that say's volumes about the character of my Dad. The best thing I can hope for as a Father? That when my kids are 40 they can hopefully say the same thing about me.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Laser Show

Whether this is true or just a figment of my feeble mind, it seems like it's been awhile since we had some walk off magic at Fenway Park.

So watching Pedroia lace a single to RF that scored RSN newest hero Daniel Nava, then watching Darnell McDonald almost body slam Pedie behind second base was a pretty sweet way to spend a Saturday night.

Hard to believe this team was 8 games back a couple of months ago; if I was a member of the Yankees or the Rays, I'd be getting a little bit antsy.

The Olde Towne Team is fixing to make some noise.

Friday, June 18, 2010

He's Felix Doubront. And your'e not.

Beating the L.A. Dodgers, led by Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Joe Torre in your big league debut?

Not to freaking shabby.

'Course it helps to have David Ortiz launching home runs to the deepest part of the yard while you do it, but still; dude looked like he belonged.

As I head to bed the Sox are currently 1 game back of the Rays AND the Yankees, the balance of the universe is close to being restored and young Mr. Doubront has etched his place among Red Sox lore.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Friday night.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prelude to a Road Trip

I was all ready to wax poetic about the Red Sox sweeping the Diamondbacks or to pull totally useless bits of information out of my nether regions regarding Manny's return to Fenway tomorrow night and I was THIS close to putting up random stats that would come nowhere close to confirming my statistical analysis that the entire infield of Youk, Pedie, Scutaro, and Beltre deserved to start the All-Star game next month.

All that was thwarted when Josh posted a picture on Facebook regarding the 3 Amigos Wandering Down South Mega Epicpalooza that is slated to take place starting a week from tomorrow.

Going on a road trip with my two best friends a few weeks after turning 40?


I just pray I don't end up in some jail like Ralph Macchio and his cousin did in "My Cousin Vinny". 'Cause if they hated Joe Pesci I'm pretty sure they won't welcome Rich with open arms.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yet another example of Trot. Being Trot.

In support of my iron clad belief that a 4 year old has the memory of the ordinary fruit fly, the following conversation took place between Trot and myself about 45 minutes ago. After banging through the garage door when he arrived home from church, he proceeded to tell me on 3 different occasions that he was going to the beach in 3 days.

Once I got him settled in my bedroom in front of Sponge Bob and a cup of Sprite, I returned 5 minutes later:

Trot: "3 more days, Dad!"

Me: "I know, son."

(I knelt down next to the bed for the following)

Me: "I love you, Trot."

Trot: "Love you too, Dad."

Me: "I sure am going to miss you next week."

Trot: (With a look of total confusion) "Where I doin', Dad?"

Me: "To the beach, son."

Trot: "Oh yeah."

On the flip side? Let him catch you watching the ball game and halfway paying attention and he asks "Tan I have a dog, Dad?" and you mutter "We'll see" and he asks you the same question 7,498 times over the next 45 minutes.

Go figure.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Men at Work

Contrary to Angie's opinion, this ISN'T how I spend most days at work.

But it's nice to have the option.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This is what happens when I can't watch the Red Sox.

Maybe it's because I just turned 40 and the prospect of my first ever prostate exam is staring me dead in the face.

Or it could be that my baby girl, who is all of 11 years old, along with my lovely wife convinced me today that she could get her ears pierced. (Those 2 are crafty; they let me take the boys to the pool for 6 hours and catch me in a heat-stroke related moment of weakness to get me to consent).

Personally, I think I just like to hear things that are familiar and listening to the dulcet tones of Dick Enberg as he calls the Padre/Blue Jays game in the background as I type this gives me a happy.

I can remember him and Merlin Olson calling NFL games for NBC when I was a kid and I'm a sucker for Vin Sculley call the Dodgers games. Baseball, more so than any other sport, embraces it's history. Jack Buck, Vin, Ernie Harwell in Detroit, and Red Barber and the Brooklyn Dodgers just to name a few.

In a world that seemingly skews younger and younger it's sort of nice to have a game called by a guy not looking for the next big catchphrase that'll wind up on ESPN in the morning. (Chip Carey is the exception to this rule; he actually used the phrase "He got him with some Kentucky Blue Gas" to explain a strike out over the weekend. I don't wish bad things to happen to people for the most part, but if he got ran over by a Zamboni tomorrow it wouldn't hurt my feelings).

All I know is I've spent the last 2 hours watching old professional wrestling interviews on youtube mixed in with some Sanford and Son episodes, the Red Sox have the day off, and I spent multiple hours in the sun with Rakes and Trot and I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt to show for it.

Now, Get off my lawn. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Knew Kelly Wouldn't Let Me Down

*Image courtesy of Kelly and*

This is Daniel Nava.

He had himself quite the weekend.

All I can say is Welcome to Boston, young man.

You done good.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Night Musings

1. Somewhere deep in my heart I firmly believe there is a picture of Winston Churchill wearing a gaudy pair of swim trunks and showing off for a pool full of teenage girls. 'Cause otherwise this is just a shot of Rakes that I could take again in 10 years and it would look virtually the same.

2. Ciera is having her annual "End of the Year" sleepover, which means I've got 5 pre-teen girls in my downstairs play room watching "Avatar" and yelling "DUDE!" at the top of their lungs. The plus side to all this? My Mom graciously allowed Frick and Frack to spend the night at her house which means I'm only taking 3 years off my life as opposed to 5.

3. Ang is totally fired as my wing man. She went to bed an hour ago and I've still got 5 pre-teen girls that are hopped up on M&M's and soda with no desire to either get quiet or fall asleep.

4. Daniel Nava had the big league debut that even Hollywood couldn't dream up. Undrafted out of college and signed for $1 dollar off some Independent league team he sent the FIRST PITCH he ever saw in the show into the Red Sox bullpen for a freaking GRAND SLAM. Roy Hobbes didn't even do that; well done, young man.

5. My minor mid-life crisis is over for the moment. The full on mountain man beard I'd grown over the last week in currently in the drain in my bathroom sink and I'm back to the goatee for now.

I think I was just freaking out at the reality I'll be in a car with JB and Jr for hours upon end in a few weeks.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Funny. He LOOKS safe enough.

*Image courtesy of Kelly*

Funny, he doesn't look like the second coming of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Yet he's broken the ribs of not one, but TWO Red Sox outfielders due to an in game collision.

I don't know if he's made of granite or Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida have physiques made of clay but what I do know is this; they are both on the disabled list and Adrian is still playing 3rd with reckless abandon and sans cup.

Good thing he's hitting like Ted Williams at the moment or otherwise the Faithful would be rioting in the streets right about now.

Me? I'm all in favor of the suggestion I read earlier today; equip the outfield with Kevlar and let the chips fall where they may. 'Cause as long as the guy is banging balls off the Monster and flashing the leather at 3rd I'm content to just live and let die as far as the lineup is concerned.

You maybe would say the fact they won 12-2 tonight and Beltre went something like 4 for 6 is factoring into my thinking.

And you'd be right. If you'd told me this dude would have 40 RBI's on June 11th I'd have called for the guys in the white coats to come take you away, yet here we are and I can honestly say I'm enjoying the "Adrian Beltre Era" in a big way.

Now, if someone could give me back my Commander sometime soon I could die a happy man.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

God Bless the Cement Pond

Tonight I'd like to thank a few people.

First is Abner Doubleday (I know this is a disputed matter, but until somebody proves to me Abner didn't do it I'm sticking with him. Mainly because I think it's awesome his name was Abner Doubleday) for inventing the greatest game ever created.

Secondly? The Egyptians. Why you ask? Because according to Wikipedia (and how can a free site moderated by everyday people like me who enter the information in POSSIBLY be wrong?) they were the ones who invented what we now know as the swimming pool.

As ideas go, this is right up there with air travel, the universal remote, and ketchup in a squeeze bottle. Name me one other place where you can take two hyperactive children who have more energy than that stupid bunny with the drum on tv and after 2 hours of swimming, jumping, and peeing turn them into the very image of someone on methadone?

You can't.

So tonight as I surf the Internet and watch the Red Sox game while my children sleep the sleep of angels, I salute you, ancient Egypt.

Job well done.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Life happens when you aren't paying attention.

In yet another of those moments that make me realize I'm rapidly getting old and life is traveling at the speed of sound, Rakes graduated from kindergarten this week.

The fact he made it a whole year without getting called to the Principle's office and somehow managed to avoid getting in the middle of a rumble are just bonus points.

He learned how to read, get along with others, and only left his lunchbox or coat on the bus every other day. I always knew how his day went from the minute he got home. If it was good, he hollered "I'm on Green!" and if it was bad he had 17 excuses for why he was on yellow, and a couple of occasions, red.

Couple that with Ciera going to Middle School and Ang rejoining the PAID workforce and it was quite the year. Tomorrow is the last day before summer break and soon it'll be the pool, suntans, and the always popular "Why do I have to go to bed at 9 o'clock? It's still LIGHT out".


My little boy isn't quite so little anymore and it's all going a little too fast for my taste.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

If he hisses, I'm gonna freak out.

My birthday cake from a few weeks ago.

Is it just me or does Rakes look like Hannibal Lector?

Regardless, this picture?

Makes me smile.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I've been in New England for the past 3 days to spend some time remembering a good friend and an even better man.

Saturday night in Portland, ME I snapped this shot.

Seemed sort of appropriate.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sometimes it's more than just a game.

Guy on the left? MLB Umpire Jim Joyce. Guy on the right? Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga.

Last night, Galarraga had a perfect game going with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Last night, Jim Joyce cost him that perfect game.

My first reaction upon watching the replay of the blown call (the runner was out by at least a step) was contemplate a petition to get Joyce fired and send Armando a floral arrangement. Like most of my initial thoughts, this one was totally and completely wrong.

Yes, Joyce blew the call. And yes, Galarraga was well within the unwritten code to go completely mental at missing his spot in history. But along the way something different happened.

Joyce admitted he was wrong and Galarraga acted like, well, a grown man. He stopped, smiled, then finished the game for the win. And across the land everyone clamored for more instant replay and to fire Jim Joyce and for Uncle Bud to reverse the call and make it RIGHT, for God's sake. And for a few minutes my winter of 2010 flashed before my eyes; day after day of writers and broadcasters going on and on about instant replay and how to make the game perfect and without fault.

Baseball however, unlike any other sport, relies on the human element. The pitcher has to pitch, the hitter has to hit, the fielder has to field, and the umpire has to ump. No time limit, no re-do's, and NO INSTANT REPLAY. (Except in cases involving Home Runs. This makes my head hurt as well, but I can live with it.)

What has amazed me throughout the day has been the grace shown by Galarraga and the sincere regret shown by Joyce. One guy screwed up and the other guy accepted it and moved on; basically, they acted like grown ups and by baseball standards?

They are the exception and not the rule.

I hope the powers that be don't push for more instant replay. I hope Ken Harrellson gets run over by a bus. I hope other players/umpires watch how these two acted and took notes.

But mainly? I hope that instead of the blown call that people will remember how these two very different men handled a terrible situation with grace, dignity, humility, and compassion.

'Cause if more people acted like Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga, the world would be a MUCH better place.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Think I've Found My Cross To Bear.

Contrary to popular opinion, if one day I leave this earth due to a bleeding ulcer it won't be because of Rakes and Trot.

Although they may well be a contributing factor.

It'll be on the shoulders of Daisuke.

3 runs in the first inning and then he turns into Walter Johnson and shuts the A's down the rest of the game with the Sox winning 6-4.

Near no-hitter one game, batting practice the next. Tonight, he looks like some dude from the local beer league for the first inning and for the rest of the game he's in the running for AL Cy Young.

10 years ago I could handle it; I'm 40 now.

I may have to go on a Dice-K diet every 5 days so my insurance won't classify him as a pre-existing condition.

Bottom line? A win is a win is a win.

So I'll take it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How I Wish That It Would Rain.

Due to thunderstorms of biblical proportions I lost satellite feed on my DirecTV tonight from 7:30 to around 8:45, which just so happens to be Sponge Bob standard time at my house.

You would have thought we were back in the stone age; Rakes went nuclear while Trot asked approximately 239 times why the tv wasn't working. After trying to explain to them the concept of satellites, cloud cover, lightning, and El Nino, I finally settled on "It'll come back on when the rain stops and you two stop flipping out."

I'm happy to report something good came out of this awful tragedy of not having television to watch; Rakes asked me and his Mom if we could sit on the couch and talk, which is something we sadly don't do enough of.

However, all of our talking was about the storm; where does lightning come from, would a tornado take out our house, WHAT was a tornado, when is the tv coming back on, and my favorite? Trot walking to the back door every 5 seconds and screaming "TOP IT TORM!", then turning to me and saying in a sad little voice "It didn't work, Dad. It till torming."

Thankfully, order was restored to the universe, the storm passed, the tv came back on and practically in mid sentence while asking me for the 10th time when Papi was going to bat I looked down and Trot had fallen asleep leaning up against my shoulder.

Sometimes I wish it would storm more often.