I woke up this morning and was met by two boys and Mark’s Hoodie (don’t ask) who gave me some nice Father’s Day gifts.
We we had hoped to take some cameras out on the town but the weather stopped that idea. Instead we went to Smiley’s for brunch and had some horrible food and then hung out at home over coffee. I wanted to go elsewhere but was overruled. Apparently I get the gifts but no input on lunch. I missed that in the Father’s Day Charter but they assure me that is the case.
A couple of months ago I got a note from our MLA, Cam Broten who knew that Mark did a fair amount of volunteering with me at The Salvation Army and now at The Lighthouse whenever I have a task that needs to be done. Cam nominated Mark to win a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. A week or so ago this arrived in the mail inviting Mark to the Saskatchewan Legislative buildings to meet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in a ceremony and tea. Tomorrow morning we will be driving down to Regina so that Mark and Wendy can be a part of the ceremony. Yes I said, Wendy as Mark only gets one guest and I am not it. Wendy would prefer that I go as she is nervous about it but I saw the Duke and (then) Duchess of York in 1989 in Saskatoon and I thought she would enjoy it.
Sadly I couldn’t even get into the Legislature as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are apparently a really big deal so I have a couple of hours to kill in Regina by myself while Mark and Wendy are living it up.
My little brother Lee is turns 30 today. Whoa. We are all getting older. New house this fall, getting married this summer. It’s almost as if he has become an adult. I still remember the day that mom brought him home from the hospital. Happy Birthday Lee.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. After a daring battery run to Walmart on Saturday morning, we met up with the Sieberts for coffee/tea and to exchange gifts and Christmas cheer. After that we headed out to Warman to Lee and Brittany’s place for Christmas Eve dinner to open gifts. Wendy talked about the evening over at her blog but I was got some great gifts from Lee and Brittany including some DVDs and When the Gods Changed by Peter C. Newman, an iPad from Wendy, a Denver Broncos hat from Oliver, some big bear head slippers from the dogs, the Steve Jobs biography from Mark, along with a stocking full of fun stuff. Oh right, Wendy gave Mark, Oliver, and myself a Snuggie for Christmas. We aren’t happy about it.
On Christmas we went over to the Reimers where I got a really cool book by Gloria’s great uncle Heinz Guderian who was a Panzer commander and later became the Chief of the General Staff during WWII. He wrote several important books on armoured tactics and I was thrilled to get a copy of one. It also confirms my belief that if Gloria hadn’t married Jerry, she would be leading a war against a rival country. Kristy gave me a gift certificate for Indigo! instead of trying to figure out what to get me. Instead of getting a book to read, I went to Indigo! today and got a big one to write in. While we were there, we walked over to Best Buy and looked at iPad cases. We found one that works for now but I am planning to add a keyboard in the future but they were all out of stock.
Tonight we are chilling out, listening to Moxy Fruvous while taking down the Christmas tree and decorations. In a couple of hours we will be ready for New Years.
Mark’s football banquet was last night and a bunch of packed the two banquet rooms of Smiley’s and honoured the team, the coaches, and the manger. It was a really successful season and I have never seen a team improve that much. After going over a season without scoring a touchdown, they scored 55 points in their final game and had four different players score a touchdown. Their coach said last night that if they had another 8 games they would have won at least 7. I’m a pessimist but they would have won 6 at least. They were a good team at the end of the season.
I was doing the math and I paid $240 for Mark to play and in the end he got his games, practices, some socks, a KFL t-shirt, a Babineau Warriors long sleeved shirt, a really nice Babineau Warriors jacket and we tossed in $11 extra for a toque. It was a lot of value for the money we paid. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
While they didn’t win a lot, the coaches did an amazing job of motivating those players day in and day out. I don’t think I ever heard a nasty comment come out of their mouths, something that couldn’t be said for other coaches on other teams. Even when they did get on a player, they joked, talked about their own weaknesses when they played and were always positive. The funniest line I heard all year was when they gave up a touchdown and just tackled horribly, the defensive coordinator yelled out, “I can run over and try to hug that guy, I need you to tackle him.”
For Mark the turning point in the season was a practice they had with the Saskatoon Hilltops. They spent 90 minutes on the field with the Hilltops and for Mark he learned the intensity the game needs to be played at. From then on the light went on and his blocks were crisper, his routes were faster, and he played with more intensity. The added success on the field made it a lot more fun for him. Of course this was noted by the coaches who told him this at a high volume, “Way to go Cooper!” which made it even better. Mark told me that the only thing he didn’t like about the season was that it wasn’t long enough and I am okay with that complaint.
Oliver hated every practice and every game. He did not see any reason why three year olds could not be out there hitting and playing alongside either the Warriors or even the Hilltops. It’s going to be a long season next year with him as well.
A couple of weeks ago I realized that I hadn’t taken any vacation days in 2011. I have three weeks and over a week of flex time to use so I decided to take some this fall. With Mark playing Kinsmen Football, I can’t really get away or he doesn’t get to practice so instead of getting to the cabin, I stayed in Saskatoon. The plan is to go to the cabin this weekend for Thanksgiving. Arlington Beach does a huge fall/Thanksgiving supper which is great and we’ll eat well out there.
The week started with hanging out with Jared and Kathy Siebert who moved out from the GTA. Having a denominational stooge around is occasionally useful and it will be fun to have Jared, Kathy and their kids in Saskatoon. Somewhere in our conversations with them Jared said that he wanted to clear out some trees around his house so on Monday I went logging. I took over our chainsaw and we cut and cut and cut and we were still cutting the same horrible tree. It had about 50 large branches coming from the ground and I think it was regenerating itself as fast as we were cutting it. When we were about halfway done, Wendy and Kathy came out and said there was a lot more light coming in the bay window (why do people plant trees in front of bay windows?) We also managed to cut down two cedars that were a couple of stories tall. Both went down pretty much as we intended which kind of freaked us out. I honestly figured, Jared, myself, or a tree would be going through a window. In honour of my new skill I am growing a lumberjack beard and am wearing more plaid.
I also managed to chat with Cam Broten. Most of it was off the record but it was also a good discussion on the issues in my own riding. While Cam has been campaigning pretty hard for a while, I haven’t seen any signs of the Saskatchewan Party candidate in my travels. Campaigns matter but I can’t see this riding going to the Saskatchewan Party.
The highlight of Mark’s week was practicing with the Saskatoon Hilltops on Thursday night. Mark came home bloodied, bruised, muddy and in a bit of pain but really enjoyed himself. The Hilltops ran them through the same drills they ran with the Hilltop coaches and players giving tips and yelling encouragement. To be honest Mark was relieved. As a 4’10” receiver, he was at a loss on how to get open against a 5’10 defensive back who is taller, stronger, and faster than he is. The most important thing he learned was the intensity that the Hilltops practice with. I remembered how cool it was when a Saskatchewan Blade would come to my hockey practice but actually practicing with the Hilltops on their field was amazing for all the kids.
We are headed out to the cabin on Saturday after Mark’s football game in Martinsville. He is done at 3:00 p.m. and I hope to be on the road by 4:00 p.m. and be at Arlington Beach for a late supper time. Lee and Brittney are coming up on Sunday for the big Thanksgiving dinner with family, the Sieberts and about 300 other people. Wendy doesn’t have to cook, I don’t have to do dishes so we all win. I bought Mark a great flashlight and a headlamp this week with the intention that him and I are going to go for a late night hike. If I don’t post here at all next week, there is a chance I was eaten and killed. Check with Wendy. I am back to work on Tuesday. Not that motivated to be back but I have another couple of weeks to take before the end of 2011.
Writers: If you are not affiliated with an academic institution, avoid saying you are working on a novel. “Freelancing” is way better than any kind of “fiction writing”! The etymological meaning of freelancer as “mercenary warrior” is persuasive, and not because of the weaponry. It’s the prospect of actual money being earned that may inspire them to release you from attending Aunt Edna’s 75th birthday party. Foster confusion by saying you are “going to work in a library.” Your family will assume you got a job at the library and will congratulate you on joining the real world. When they turn away, resist the urge to spit in their beers. Academics: You will have to explain, over countless summer dinners, that just because you are not teaching doesn’t mean you have no work to do.
A home is robbed every 14.6 seconds and the average dollar loss per burglary is $2,119, according to statistics just released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And that’s the good news because burglaries were down slightly in 2010 compared to 2009. Sure you lock your doors and windows when you’re not home (you’d be surprised how many people don’t). But here are ten things that you’re probably doing that make your home a target, and what you should do instead
Mark played his first Kinsmen Football League game on Sunday at the SaskTel Sports Centre. The Babineau Warriors played hard but lost 27-0. Their defense played well but their offense couldn’t get untracked. Plus when you are dealing with 11 & 12 year olds you never know what weird things are going to happen. I did take some photos which are a little Holt Bulldogs centric for two reasons. They ran towards my side of the field most of the time while the Babineau Warriors ran to the far side most of the game.
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This is a weblog about urban issues, technology, & culture published by Jordon Cooper since 2001. You can read about me and the site here and if you are looking for one of my columns in The StarPhoenix, you can find them here.
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JordonCooper.com is a weblog written by Jordon Cooper. The opinions expressed on JordonCooper.com are my own; they do not reflect the views of my employer, my friends, or even my wife. Once I have had enough time to think about them and enough time has passed, they may no longer even reflect my current thinking.