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February 13, 2006

A Daddyman Weekend

Friday my back was killing me. I slept on the sofa last Tuesday and the pain in my lower back was getting progressively worse. Friday morning I had to engineer, as if I were wrestling, some escape from bed. If I moved this leg out, then twisted that much, I could flip over without much pain and then scoot out this direction. I had to get assistance to put on my shoes and socks. It was, without question the second worse back injury I'd ever suffered. The first was gotten the same way, falling asleep on the couch. Well, it's more like crashing on the couch in a position that could only be gotten to unintentionally and sleeping so soundly that you're stuck in that position half the night.

The Sprite, aka F9 had baseball practice on Saturday, and despite my incapacity, I am assistant assistant coach. Her best friend had been over since 10 in the morning and by 1 we were supposed to show up for practice. The problem is that there are too many teams and not enough fields in town for every team to practice. But Coach Brian has a familiarity with odd spots in the community and found us a lovely diamond in a secluded part of the South Bay. I've lived there for about a total of 7 years and I've never been within half a mile of this particular neighborhood which is really stunning considering how close it is to everything. It's just a turn that nobody makes, there's no reason to drive through this area unless you live there. It's a fabulous little area. So after a few McBurgers and several wrong turns, we found the secret spot.

It turns out that F9 has a great swing and won 2nd place in the hitting derby behind the Coach Brian's own daughter who is a chatty prodigy. But she definitely needs some help on catching. It's partially the glove's fault. We're going to have to beat it to a pulp so it will close nicely. Mink oil is supposed to be the cure. I'm just going to run over it with my car, that's what we used to do back in the day and baseball is all about tradition. This is softball though, and watching the Coach teach it is reminding me of several things. One, how much we had to figure out for ourselves when we were kids. Two, how fundamental the fundamentals are. Three, how lousy my own baseball coach was when I finally got one.

F10's clarinet tutor didn't show up, so she continued working on deconstructing the life of Phyllis Wheatley for her school project. She's tooting along OK but gets rather screechy every once in a while. I was happy to not have to deal with hearing much more of that. As long as she shows interest, we continue our parently duties. We found her and the other F the avatar maker that I used to craft the face of 607 on my left sidebar so they continued to dress virtual dolls and create characters and people.

This was a big weekend for the boy. Sunday was Scout Day at the local United Methodist, and he was invited to do a couple things. First, he and his best friend did their now famous rendition of the theme from Veggie Tales on flute and trombone for the children's procession. He then led a call to prayer and then performed a solo at the end of the service. Some cat named James Swearingen is extraordinarily famous if you're in Band, but if you want to download an MP3, you're out of luck. I think this is music only public school music teachers and church musical directors know. Anyway, his rendition of 'Follow the River' was perfectly amplified in the sanctuary and got a big hand. Outside on the front grass, they continued to play for coins.

Then we had a four-way family lunch down at the retro burger cafe in the Riviera. The eight of us adults rambled for a good 90 minutes about New Orleans, international business, children and some other stuff I probably should have paid attention to but didn't while the various widescreen TVs blasted and children took up two other booths. The clam strips were perfect.

Later in the afternoon, sister came by and my dad and I hooked up. He's looking to learn to play piano, so we jetted over to Sam Ash to check out the keyboard selection. It turns out that you can get some very nice feeling Casios for 600 bucks. Makes me want to play. But maybe I ought to stick to bass guitar. Not that I have one, but I miss the fact that I used to be pretty good and now I suck completely. I can't even do 'Good Times' which is your basic staple. Then we swung by Borders to pick up my Ruby books and headed back to the pad.

When we got there, I worked for a while to help F10 plan the garden we're going to build. She's picked out several types of marigolds and sunflowers including a stunning chianti hybrid we found at Burpee.com. Next week we head to Home Depot for the planter boxes and various tools. This should be a great project.

I got in some good ripping and added another 500 tracks or so to the collection. I've decided to up the ante and use 320 kpbs for M4a for any song I think I might burn to CD to play in the car. The difference is audible and I've got disk space to burn.

Finally, we all watched Nausicaa, which is a fabulously good tale. Miyazaki does it again. This one is a bit darker than his other works and not quite as nuanced but still excellent. These are a class of stories we simply don't approach for American kids. I don't know why not, but I do know why my kids prefer The Avatar over all other kids' programming.

Posted by mbowen at February 13, 2006 01:33 PM

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