Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hockey II

The Little One had hockey practice last night. Or more accurately skating practice. My little over-confident one had no idea how hard ice skating is. We tried to warn her that it probably wouldn't be much fun to start. She took to skiing so easily but it didn't seem to translate as well.

The little trooper struggled mightily. She fell and fell and fell and fell but toward the end she was able to skate/walk across the ice quite some distance before wiping out yet again. Finally, I noticed an instructor walking her off the ice where I met a softly crying little girl. Her ankles hurt and her butt hurt and her head hurt from the helmet squeezing it. When I took it off she was absolutely covered in sweat from all her efforts and it was quite chilly in there.

Briefly, her zest for hockey was gone. We waited out the remaining 5 minutes of class on the sidelines and went with the other girls in to change. Her mood got better and better as time went by and we left we stopped and watched the big girls, perhaps 16 or 17, start their own practice. I told her I saw no reason why she couldn't get to that point if she practiced hard and did her best. She promised she would.

So, she's still up for more hockey and I have no doubt she'll get better in a hurry. A few days off will help and she was definitely looking forward to gymnastics tonight because "gymnastics is easy" I was told.

Comparatively it is. Wait until I get her roller-blades!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Suprise, surprise! The housing market declined and many ended up in upside-down mortgages; that is, mortgage that are for more than the house is worth.

We can blame the Republicans, we can blame the Democrats, we can blame predatory lending as well. But we should blame ourselves too. When I was looking to buy a new home in 2002 I was staggered by the amount of money I was pre-qualified to borrow. Staggered. I thought to myself, "How the HELL can I afford that loan? And if I get it, will I then be reduced to eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Ramen Noodles because I can't afford to do anything else?"

Yet, in my business I constantly see people come through that are in financial stress and I note their income and their house and car payments and I see that they make what my wife and I make and wonder what they were thinking when they bought that house for $400,000 and then lease two $40,000 cars. What are they thinking?

Are we THAT insecure that we have to keep up with our neighbors and family? Why can't we live modestly, or more accurately, within our means so that when things get tough we merely have to cut back on travel, or clothes, or whatever so we can keep up our payments and survive for a bit? I think many just continue to live the way they do, but more if their travel and clothes go on credit cards.

Probably the majority of people live within their means. My indictment is on the few crazy ones that have to have their McMansion on Golden Terrace and a Lexus for her and a Mercedes for him to feel self worth only to struggle each and every month to make their payments.

I think we've really lost our perspective in some sense and that doesn't have to anything to do with whether you're liberal or conservative. It just has to do with living with some common sense.

Monday, September 22, 2008


My daughter starts hockey tomorrow night. $200+ got us thick socks that go to her thighs, a helmet that makes her look like a Pep Boy and new skates that could make things VERY interesting along with every pad, cushion, glove, guard and piece of plastic available to keep her little bones and joints protected

My wife and I were HUGE hockey fans until the asshole owner decided to move our Hartford Whalers away, despite the fact that we put over 75% capacity in the building for the inferior product he delivered. Mrs. B was particularly devastated when they left since she's not really into the other sports like I am. We have AHL hockey in Hartford now, but we can't get into it like we did the NHL.

During intermission of Whaler games they'd have Mighty Mites go out on the ice and two million kids would go up against two million other kids on an NHL rink in a "match" that was accompanied by comical music. Mostly it was groups of kids converging in a scrum, kids falling all over the place and a puck somehow squeezing out of the masses so they could all chase it and do it over again. We swore when we had a kid, he'd play hockey. Or she would.

The Little One is excited and cute as shit in all that getup. I had to re-arrange my work hours by working late on Mondays so I could get out early on Tuesdays and get her to the rink for practice but its worth it. The Mrs. will take her for Saturday morning sessions. I guess that's all easy compared to the high school ice times of 4 or 5 am.

Maybe she'll stick with it until then but maybe she won't. In the end it really doesn't matter. Finally, we're getting back into hockey. We don't need no stinkin' Whalers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Almost two weeks ago (Sept. 6) I turned 42. Forty-fucking-two! Nowhere in my mind am I 42. My brain still basically operates as an immature 25-year old. Which is fine by me. But, dayam! 42!!! I remember my mom turning 40! I remember thinking of others in their 40's as older, richer, wiser and, well, older. And here I am, older. Not so much richer and wiser. But, older. Even if I don't really notice it until I spot my reflection or hear/feel my aches and creaks.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Campfire Stories

So, while camping over Labor day the women were comparing the trucks they came up in. Something along the lines of this one is more comfortable than the old one eventually swinging the conversation toward their own everyday vehicles which morphed into options such as leather, heated seats.

With me still?

Okay. Good. Pay attention, there may be a quiz later.

I innocently mentioned that I didn't care for heated seats since I found them too h0t and who wants to get all sweaty on their ass, right? None of the women saw my point and commenced to telling me how crazy I must be. My wife then volunteered that heated seats are simply the best when fighting "the cramps" and all the women present practically gave her a standing ovation in agreement and I suspected a "you go girl" was next. Oprah would have been proud.

Feeling slightly attacked for a mere opinion, I responded, "You know, one hundred years ago you'd be fighting the cramps on some horse and now you can't live without heated, leather seats?" The only other guy present for this entire exchange, one who shares my humor, laughed hysterically and repeated "You are so right! That's great!" I half-expected a "you go boy" from him, but his support was encouragement enough.

The women, on the other hand, were not amused.

It sucks to be outnumbered.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Golf Holiday

Next week I disembark with 35 other guys on my annual Cape Cod golf outing. Casino and other responsibilites have drastically limited my number of rounds this year so I'm not holding out too much hope for playing well.

We'll be playing Bass River, Bayberry Hills (twice), Ballymeade (one of my personal favorites) and Cape Cod Country Club.

Success in golf often comes from confidence, as do many other things I suppose.

One thing frequently preached about golf is being committed. As in, be committed to the shot and your club selection. Good golfers know they can hit the shot they want and are therefore committed to executing it. Bad golfers are not and often think of what might happen if they hit a bad shot. Good golfers are also committed to club selection. They know the club in their hand is the correct one wherein perhaps bad golfers are not.

Commitment reminds me of an old coaching phrase (which I recently heard on the radio). The phrase is "Be Committed". Simple, huh? But they break it down further. "Say you have a bacon and egg breakfast. Sure, the chicken was involved. But the pig was committed. Be the pig!"

So next week, can I be the pig?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yankee Stadium

It seems my zest for blogging lately is waning. Maybe its just a phase, maybe I'm growing bored with it.

I don't know.

way, here are some scenes from the Yankees/Red Sox game I went to last week at Yankee Stadium. Sox kicked butt so we had a blast! I proudly wore my Sox cap and only a few people gave me shit.

Check out these seats!

A-Rod warming up. Took that one for the wife because she used to (prior to him being on the Yankees) have a crush on him. Now she just thinks she's too good for him.


Robinson Cano making some young fan's day. I guess Yankees can be cool after all.