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Young Dad, Old Dad

March 14, 2015
tired new daddy

Cross Posted from Grounded Parents

(CN: Parental Health, Parental Death)

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In full Griffyndor colors even!

It was the Schmoo’s 10th birthday at the end of February. She requested an excursion to the University of Cincinnati Rec Center’s Climbing Wall, so off we went to watch her and her 10 closest friends clambered up and down the fake rock face. A fun time was had by all. There was cake. I had most of my fun watching and taking pictures, because there was no fucking way I could do any serious rock climbing with my fucked up left foot. Yeah, I have chronic plantar fasciitis in my left foot, I’m actually due to have it operated on at the end of March. It’s really painful and has turned me into a bit of a grouchy slug, because every step I take involves some amount of discomfort. It ranges from medium levels of ouchie tenderness all the way to please just chop my foot off throbbing heel pain. My podiatrist and myself have thrown everything at this ailment and we finally gave in and decided to put it under the knife. So yay me!

The confluence of these two happy occasions has gotten me thinking a bit about family planning and life planning and the inevitable conflict between those plans and relentless journey towards rigor mortis we are all undertaking. I’ve been a parent for 10 awesome years. Ten years that saw me go from a moderately athletic 36 year old, someone with the occasional ache and pain but still willing to dive wholeheartedly into a game of tag or catch, to a formerly athletic 46 year old who limps everywhere and couldn’t run if his life depended on it. It seems that just when my Hellions are starting to hit their stride as full fledged little people who need to get outside to run, jump, and play, my ability to keep up with them is failing.

It’s largely bad timing. My next door neighbors, a lovely couple just cruising into their mid thirties, had their now teenage daughter when they were quite young. They have never had the problems I’m having now because by the time he is “Old Dad” his kid will be in college. As a matter of fact I have guys I went to High School with who are already grandparents because they started their family in their 20’s instead of 30’s. Because I didn’t even meet The Girl until I was 32, we didn’t get married until I was 34, and started popping out Hellions at 35, I’ll be “Really Old Dad” when/if I get grandkids. There was only a brief window in which I could be “Young Dad”. I did my best with that time I think, but that time is definitely over.

The worst part of all this is that I used to know someone who had done both jobs. I was my Dads first kid way back in 1968, by 1971 there were three of us. Eventually there would be eight. When I was 10 my Dad was still a spry 34 year old. We used to go jogging together as I trained for cross country as a teenager. He was our soccer coach, heck he was EVERYONES soccer coach. He played softball for the radio station and he was an indefatigable hiker. Sixteen years later, when my youngest brother was 10, there was a different Dad in place. This one still coached soccer (he coached soccer for 20 years,) but he couldn’t dive into drills with the kids like he did with Tony and I. He still liked to camp and hike, but couldn’t go quite as far or as long as he used to. Middle age hit him pretty hard, he ended up with pretty bad and largely untreated depression issues and hypochondria complicating his later years. He had finally started to turn the corner and get help when, in November of 1999 he walked out to get the paper and was struck by a minivan driven by a young woman who had a seizure behind the wheel. So I never got to talk to him about this stage of life. I’m sure he would have had something funny to say at least.

I suppose I should have prepared myself better. There are plenty of people my age who are still active and healthy, who play soccer or softball on the weekends. I have two uncles with 10 to 20 years on me who run marathons for fuck sake. And yes there’s a lot I can still do now once we cut off my left foot. But this 10 year anniversary of my entry into fatherhood has thrown into sharp relief all of the experiences I will not be able to have with The Schmoo, Peanut or Grommet simply due to the bedeviling constant that is time passing. And what an enormous privilege it has been to have been able to do what I have so far, considering that there are many people whose lot in life, either due to accident, illness or genetics will rob them of their time as “Young Dad” or “Old Dad” or “Any kind of Dad at all”.

So Happy Birthday to the Schmoo. Keep growing up awesome. I’ll do my best to keep up.

Image Credits Blotz Photo Arts

Monday Muse: Throwing Muses

March 10, 2015
Throwing_Muses_bw_promo

I wasn’t an MTV watcher, so I never actually saw the video for this song until I looked it up to share with you people.

Anyways, for awhile there I was super into pretty much everything that grew from the Throwing Muses family tree, Belly, The Breeders and similarly styled performers like Juliana Hatfield Three and Letters to Cleo. I have no ready explanation for that. This was just what tickled my music bone at the time. Almost everybody above is still a going concern, check em out.

Featured Image Credit 4AD Records 

Monday Muse: They Might Be Giants – Flood

March 2, 2015
TMBG-DAS-kitchen1

The 25th Anniversary Of one of the formative albums of my youth has rolled around. They Might Be Giants was the first act I ever saw at Bogarts on Short Vine. The place was smoky and dirty and drippy. It still is actually. Back in 1990 John and John would still walk on stage just themselves, guitars and a metronome. It was a blast. TMBG was the geek rock alternative to the Grunge explosion, the perfect counterpoint to an era of music that sometimes veered into narcissistic depression. They still release interesting and innovative albums and you can still call Dial-a-Song.

I sing songs from Flood to my kids at bedtime, because that’s how timeless and awesome this album is.


You can wander over to their website and download TMBG playing the entirety of Flood live from their recent tour of Australia.

Featured Image Credit They Might Be Giants

Up From the Pit Fantasy Football: Superbowl Preview

December 12, 2014
Final fantasy Football

Just a quick update today. The regular season is over and today begins a long 5 day stretch of scoreboard watching for our top two teams, Chris Dunn’s Open Carriers and Frank McElwain’s Start Your Starters. Tonight’s game doesn’t seem to figure into the finale, so I’ll be back on Sunday morning with a longer preview. Seeya then!

Up From the Pit Fantasy Football: Week 13 review, Week 14 preview.

December 4, 2014
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The math doesn’t lie. Start Your Starters, possibly the hottest team in the league right now, has collected the points necessary to secure the second spot in the UFTPFFL Super Bowl in two weeks against the Open Carriers. Congrats to Frank and Chris for great seasons. With nothing to play for this week, I’ve decided to start the Consolation Bowl this week. We will continue to keep score for the rest of the year and the non finalist team that has the most successful month of December will get their 20 bucks back, out of my pocket.

Neer Neer (159 pts) This might look weird if you haven’t been paying attention, but Neer Neer Neeeeer has been playing lights out the last few weeks. This week’s star was Houston Texan DeAndre Hawkins (40 pts), who caught 9 passes for a whopping 238 yards, with 2 touchdowns along the way. This with noodle armed Ryan Fitzpatrick under center! Drew Brees (30 pts) wasn’t as flashy but did connect for 5 touchdowns against the Steelers.
Start your Starters (155 pts) The Lions haven’t been consistent all year, but at least they have a healthy Megatron back in the lineup. Calvin Johnson (37 pts) caught 11 balls for 146 yards and two scores against the ever generous Bears defenders. Aaron Rodgers (24 pts) made a case for his second MVP award with 368 yards and 2 TD passes against the Patriots, while Bronco CJ Anderson (25 pts) rumbled for 168 yards and caught a TD pass against the Chiefs. SYS has a hot team right now, lets hope they can keep it up.
Open Carriers (146 pts) They had better keep it up, because the OC’s are just as hot right now. Le’veon Bell (38 pts) had a monster day against the Saints, running for 98 yards and grabbing 8 passes for 159 yards. No one else on the roster stood out, but everybody chipped in, with only the kicker and defense scoring less than 13 points.

Team Schierer (121 pts) Andrew Luck (36 pts), and Julio Jones (34 pts), who torched the Cardinals secondary for 189 yards, did their best. But injuries and uncertainty at running back left TS with only 2 points from his starters and Arian Foster (20 pts) and Antonio Brown (31 pts) on his bench. Unfortunate mistakes which have cost TS a playoff spot. 

Our Sports Team (113 pts) Speaking of points on the bench, every player on the OST bench this week save for Alfred Blue (0 pts) scored more than 23 fantasy points. No starter scored more than LeSean McCoy (21pts). That’s how you lose these games folks.
Unaccompanied Minors (109 pts) The tailspin for the Minors continues as no player gained 20 points. 

Geatland Grendals (88 pts) GG was even worse than UM, with Andy Dalton (17 pts) leading the team in scoring. 

Seoul Crushers (80 pts) Jimmie Graham (0 pts) played the entire game against the Steelers and was not targeted ONCE!

RUNNING TOTAL
Open Carriers 90
Start your Starters 75
Team Schierer 63
Unaccompanied Minors 61
Neer Neer 53
Our Sports Team 48
Seoul Crushers 47
Geatland Grendals 36

Week 14 starts tonight with the Cowboys trying to rebound from their holiday disaster against the Eagles. Luckily the Bears are here to help! The Bengals take on the evil Pittsburgh Steelers in their first meeting of the year. A win here for Cincy could make their season finale match-up meaningless. The Ravens face the Dolphins with the winner likely to secure an AFC wild card spot. And the Patriots face a Chargers team that is suddenly hot again. There are six AFC teams with 7 wins, the next 4 weeks should be really interesting.

Featured Image Credit: Blood Bowl 

Up From the Pit Fantasy Football: Turkey Day!!!

November 27, 2014
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With only two weeks to go, some teams are streaking and some are faltering. For one team things finally clicked after a big shakeup, although it’s way too late. Let’s see how things went.

Our Sports Team (151 pts)  OST turned over 6 roster spots, but it was their regulars finally coming through that rocketed them to the top spot this week. Shady McCoy (20 pts) is finally somewhat justifying his 1st round price. Eddie Lacy (27 pts) continues to blossom, and Josh Gordon (20 pts) was visibly out of shape yet still dangerous in his season debut after a suspension. But it was Demaryius Thomas (36 pts) who led the team with 10 receptions for 87 yards and 3 TDs. Where was this the rest of the year?

Start your Starters (150 pts) If there is such a thing as momentum in Fantasy Football, SYS has it. Matt Forte (27 pts) and Dez Bryant (27 pts), were joined by Denver running back C.J. Anderson (28 pts), who rumbled for 167 yards and a score. Add a kickoff return from the Philly D/ST (20 pts) and the Starters are peaking at the right time to secure that second playoff spot.

Seoul Crushers (145 pts) Another team left wondering where all these points have been hiding, the Crushers were led by their receivers this week, with Jimmie Graham (22 pts) scoring twice and the ageless Anquan Boldin (28 pts) snagging 9 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.

Open Carriers (132 pts) Peyton Manning (28 pts) returned to form this week, dishing out 4 touchdown passes against the Dolphins. And new daddy TY Hilton (23 pts) celebrated with 4 catches for 122 yards and one memorable trip to paydirt.

Geatland Grendals (131 pts) When the Bengals do well, so do the Grendels. AJ Green (24 pts) caught 12 passes for 121 yards. But the star of the week was Baltimore Raven Justin Forsett (32 pts), who scampered for 182 yards and scored twice as the Ravens beat up the Saints on Monday Night. 

Unaccompanied Minors (107 pts) The Minors are fading fast. Jamaal Charles (22 pts) and Tom Brady (21 pts) are doing all they can. The UM’s need to hit all their spots the next two weeks to get past the Starters. 

Neer Neer Neeeeeer (105 pts)  Drew Brees (29 pts) had a desperate 420 yard, 3 TD game, and yet another great waiver pickup in Isaiah Crowell (20 pts) chipped in 2 scores, but it wasn’t enough to continue the NNN hot streak. 

Team Schierer (90 pts) TS has run into some awful luck these last two weeks. 

There are three games today! The Bears visit the Lions at 12:30 and the Eagles meet the Cowboys at 4:30. The Nightcap will be a nasty scrum between the 49’ers and Seahawks, two teams surprised to be looking up at the Cardinals in the NFC West. The Bengals finish their southern road trip in sunny Tampa. The Buc’s are a team in disarray, but never underestimate the Bengals ability to play down to their competition.

As always, have fun and doublecheck your lineups!

RUNNING TOTAL
Open Carriers 84
Start your Starters 68
Team Schierer 58
Unaccompanied Minors 58
Seoul Crushers 46
Neer Neer 45
Our Sports Team 44
Geatland Grendals 34

Up From the Pit Fantasy Football Week 11 Review and Weel 12 Preview

November 20, 2014
and_this_is_how_we_play_football__by_pascalcampion-d7a12ff

It’s the week before Thanksgiving. Which I believe is now termed Mauve Thursday, lube jobs and brakes are on sale throughout the land, in celebration of the Pilgrims not starving to death the previous winter. In Fantasy Football land we saw a week with some Topsy and Turvy heading into the Turkey Day home stretch. Let’s see how it hashed out.

Neer Neer (135 pts): The Tampa Bay Bucs may be having a horrid season, but rookie wide receiver Mike Evans (39 pts) has had an incredible two week stretch and NNN has been the beneficiary. 7 catches for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns. With Josh freaking McCown  throwing the ball. The Green Bay D/ST (33 pts) scored three times and added two turnovers in their rout of the Eagles.
Open Carriers (134 pts) The league leaders were only a point off the pace this week. The OC had their own 200 yard contributor with LeVeon Bell (29 pts) running for a sweet 204 yards. Emmanuel Sanders (21 pts), Jeremy Maclin (24 pts) and Rob Gronkowski (17 pts) did enough damage through the air to make up for soime pedestrian numbers elsewhere in the lineup.
Geatland Grendals (117 pts) Rising from the cellar for a week, last years champs grabbed the tiger by the tail, riding Bengals AJ Green (24 pts) and Andy Dalton (21 pts) to one of their best showings all season.

Start your Starters (114 pts) SYS got the right passer in the lineup this week and enjoyed Aaron Rodgers (28 pts) evisceration of the Eagles defense to the tune of 341 yards and 3 touchdowns. Matt Forte (22 pts) had another great ground and air game, running for 117 yards and a score, and catching 6 passes for 58 yards. Forte has 67 receptions with 6 games to go and is on pace to catch the record for receptions by a running back held by Arizona fullback Larry Centers at 101. The difference being that, while Centers was a fine player he was a secondary option in his offense. Forte is a true three down halfback and is having an amazing season. Too bad he can’t play defense as well.

Our Sports Team (111 pts) It felt like this was OST’s best performance in weeks. Eddie Lacy (25 pts) had 2 touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground, and Kelvin Benjamin (25 pts) continued to be the only bright spot in Carolina. Alshon Jeffery (30 pts) responded well to his last minute benching by finally having a big game with 11 receptions for 135 yards and a trip to the endzone. All for naught.
Unaccompanied Minors (96 pts) Are the Minors letting a playoff spot slip away? Jamaal Charles (30 pts) and Jordy Nelson (20 pts) did their best, but an in game injury to TE Dwayne Allen (o pts) and a whole lot of single digit action from the rest of the team did them in this week.
Team Schierer (96 pts) The other contender to have a poorly timed off week, TS got the usual work from Killer A’s  Antonio Brown (24 pts) and Andrew Luck (21 pts), but third amigo Andre Ellington (10 pts) was bottled up by the Lions and Arian Foster (0 pts) was a late scratch.
Seoul Crushers (72 pts) Do not look directly at the Seoul Crushers box score, unless you are wearing the special safety glasses.

So here’s the running total. Open Carriers  continue to run away with the top spot. Are the Starters beginning to pull away from TS and the Minors? With three games to go a 6 point deficit isn’t insurmountable. Even NNN has yet to be mathematically eliminated! Can OST suck enough to fall into last place? Heck, if I tried to suck that bad I’d fail. 

RUNNING TOTAL
Open Carriers 79
Start your Starters 61
Team Schierer 57
Unaccompanied Minors 55
Neer Neer 43
Seoul Crushers 40
Our Sports Team 36
Geatland Grendals 30

Week 12 kicks off tonight in a game that would look a lot better in the early 90’s. The Chiefs will feed the ball to Jamaal Charles until he breaks. The Raiders will chase fruitlessly after him. This weeks dare? Start a Raider… any Raider. The Bengals continue their mid season tour of the various southern divisions to face playoff nemesis Houston. Arian Foster is day to day with the groin injury the kept him out of the Browns game, but Ryan Mallet still lead the team to victory in his first NFL start. I expect an ugly defensive struggle. Let’s just hope JJ Watt doesn’t kill Andy Dalton. In other interesting clashes, The Denver Broncos, coming off their most listless performance since last January visit a red hot Miami Dolphins team that is shaping up to be a frightening opponent in the wild card round. The one loss Arizona Cardinals visit Seattle to take on a Seahawks team that is starting to look desperate.

The Panthers and the Steelers have the week off to do their Navy Blue Friday, Indigo Sunday, Burnt Sienna Monday or Cauliflower Tuesday shopping done.

As always, doublecheck your lineups and have fun!

Featured Image Credit “And this is how we play Football” by PascalCampion at deviatart.

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