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Showing posts from August, 2012

The Good We Have With Us Forever

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On the one year anniversary of Rob's passing, I'm going to try and forgo the descriptions of how much I miss him, and how this has been a tough year. Instead I'll share a few funny stories of great times I had with him.

When we were both in college, and he was back on summer break, we went out to Nokomis beach on occasion to hang out and swim. I had just come in from swimming, and was drying off up by our stuff, when a girl came up. Of course I thought she was hitting on me, but what she really said was "Hey, would you do me a favor and give this to your friend when he comes in?" I said "Sure, and ahem, yeah, he's my brother" thinking that I would enlighten her to my good looks. She wasn't bitin' though, and reminded me that it was for him. It turns out it was her phone number. Rob had no time for her however and just discarded her number. With Rob it was easy come, easy go. Until Jane came into his life. Then he never looked back.

We had m…

Steam Roled

Ben's football team, the Waukesha South Jr. Blackshirts 8th graders had their first game this week versus the cross town rival Waukesha West Wolverines. Waukesha West has always managed to have a decent varsity program and typically it filters down to the lower levels as well. It is always a priority every year for his coaches to "beat West". They seem to always give them a good game, but I don't remember them beating them. This year was different. They managed to rather soundly beat the Wolverines by a score of 30-20. There were a couple of big plays by a couple of players, but for the most part this win was a team win. Everybody participated, no one boy really stood out as being indispensable. Everyone worked together and it seemed to be a really good start to the season.

Watching Ben always brings back memories of my playing days at the grade school level. Like him, I played 6th through 8th grade. 6th and 7th grade was at the intramural level, so I managed to be a…

Dirty Girl - Waukesha, WI August, 2012

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I spent my Sunday morning this past weekend with 20.000 women at the Dirty Girl Run at the Waukesha County Expo Center in Waukesha. I went in support of my wife and her friends who as a team of 12 or so women, chose to run/walk the course together. If you haven't heard about it, it is a non-competitive event that covers 3.1 miles and is riddled with obstacles that the women must climb over under and around. It's a bit like a 5K obstacle course. The event is intended to raise money for Breast Cancer, but I think ultimately it does much more.

What I saw on Sunday was women having an absolute blast, challenging themselves, encouraging one another and getting pretty dirty along the way. Some did it to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone, others for something different than another 5K, still others did it just to have fun with their friends. All of them however did something in the name of breast cancer support. And while I've heard people question what percentage of …

A Table For One

Many of you know that I am an introvert, I don't think that's a huge secret. I've been thinking a lot about how I got this way, what the implications are and how people perceive me as a result of what I wrongly consider a character flaw.

Much like other personality characteristics, I think it ebbs and flows. There are times when I crave interaction, and times (more frequently) when I retreat and want to be alone or with just family. I've said before how being around others seems to energize some people, for me it is more of a drain. That DOES NOT mean I don't want to be around people, because I do. I'm just saying that while it's fun, and I love talking and laughing with people, typically it requires a significant recovery period of alone/family time. Put in back-to-back social events and I'm likely holed up for a week after. Energize me it does not.

I think back to my first and last sleepover as a kid, when I was about 10 years old. I got homesick abou…

On Guitars and Growing Up

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My son turned 14 this week. It's hard to describe how much he's matured in the past few months. Not only has his voice dropped an octave or two, but when he came back from New York after a week away, he looked like he had grown two inches. He is now almost as tall as my wife. I'm not sure he'll make my height, but he could have a late growth spurt like I did as well. I was a shrimp until about my Junior year when I shot up a few inches.

The physical changes are the obvious ones. He seems to be taking charge of other areas of his life in as well. He got a guitar for his birthday and seems to be intent on learning how to play it. We took him to Outpost Music and kind of let him pick out his own acoustic guitar. He chose a real nice Oscar Schmidt (by Washburn) black acoustic. It's a lovely instrument with a nice sound. I hope he sticks with it and does well with it. Mastering an instrument is a gift I never had, despite being a huge music fan. (Listening to music as …

Just Why?

This past weekend we had a tragic shooting (is there a non-tragic shooting?) in Oak Creek, WI. Six defenseless Indian Sikhs were killed in their house of worship (Temple). As it turns out it was a white supremacist, ex-Army guy that did the killing. He was eventually gunned down as well, in what turns out was a bit of sweet justice.

This comes only a couple of weeks after the Aurora, Colorado Batman shootings where twelve innocents were killed in a gruesome killing spree by another maniac, James Holmes.

My questions are many.

When will the insanity stop? What possesses these men to get to the point where killing innocent, defenseless people can be done with calculated precision and zero emotion. What will it take to restore common decency to our culture? Why are semi-automatic weapons laws so weak? Where is God in all of this?

Short of draconian gun laws and national adoption of the death penalty, I see no answers to how we solve the problem. Even with those two pieces in place, bad p…

Football On The Brain

My son Ben started football practice this week. He goes through about a 5 day "conditioning" stage with no pads, then progresses on to full-pad practices after that. They will be practicing 3-4 days a week from now through mid-October when they finish up.

I must say his attitude toward football is totally different this year. He started preparing a few days before his first practice by doing some sit-ups and push ups. He's taking charge and making sure he's ready for practice and has not griped about being sore, or not wanting to go to practice. He has matured significantly in the past 3-4 months in many ways, and, believe me, its a beautiful thing to see. On top of that when he walked in the door after being in NY for a week, it looked like he had grown 2 inches in a week. He's like his father, thin, lean and lanky. He seems to have hit a growth spurt and is showing no signs of slowing.

I went to pick him up from practice yesterday and got there a few minutes ea…