Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Eli 17.0!

First, the traditional cupcake tower:

Next, a top-tier assortment of birthday cards:

That dinosaur card is actually three finger puppets, and when Eli opened the card, the first thing he said was, "Are these finger puppets? Let's go!"

First photo of Eli 17.0:

Much taller now, highly competitive, college only one year away, but still the good boy I've always known.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Duluth (forgot to mention)

Everyone was very, very nice at the camp. Very well-run. Some of these camps are pretty shabby, really (mostly cash grabs), but this was really solid.

Duluth (part three)

I decided to go for another walk before the second session on the beautiful trail I'd discovered earlier.

At the beginning of the trail, there's a map:

See the section I marked "NO" with the red arrow? That's where you don't want to go. That's what can turn a 2-mile trail walk into a 6-mile trail walk. That, and getting lost.

Which, of course, is exactly what I did.

To compound the problem (or, perhaps, to cause it), I was using Google Maps to aid in navigation, but, for unknown reasons, the orientation wasn't due north. I didn't notice that, which meant my movement--on the map--appeared to be in the opposite direction I was actually heading.

Totally bewildering.

This is easy to fix. Take a deep breath, and check all your assumptions. If I had, I would have noticed that the phone wasn't oriented around due north.

I did not.

It wasn't panic, exactly, but I was definitely concerned. I'd been walking for over an our on a very hilly trail, and I was tired. I was missing Eli 16.11s session, which was disappointing, but I wasn't even sure at this point that I'd make it back by the time he was out of the rink.

Good grief. Percy Fawcett had nothing on me. Well, if the jungles of Brazil were as confusing as a small walking trail in Duluth, and I think that's roughly a draw.

Fortunately, as I was hurriedly writing my memoir, a man and his son came loping by. "Happens all the time," said the man, and he pointed me toward civilization, which I happily reached about twenty minutes later.

Alas, it was not going so well inside.

"This may be a problem," Eli said.


"All the coaches were talking to me, then another coach skated up and said 'You're a '99, right?' and I said 'No, coach, I'm an '01,' and then the coaches stopped talking to me. That might have been because I didn't play as well this session, but it seemed like everyone stopped looking at me as soon as I told them how old I was."

"No worries," I said. "It's probably not a thing." It was definitely a thing.

That was the doom moment, really.

"All right, go out in a blaze of glory," I said before the third session, and he did. He was easily one of the top three kids on the sheet.

After the session, he came out to the car. "Didn't make it to main camp," he said.


"Coach didn't say why. Just didn't make it."

There followed a long venting session from both of us about these damn camps and why on earth a younger player who's as good or better than the older players wouldn't get any consideration.

It's a huge grind to go to these camps, and to go to them and not get rewarded is very, very tough.

Then I thought about it, though, because it needed to be thought about. On our way to the airport, I restarted the discussion.

"I think we need to talk about what's happening and how we respond," I said.

"Okay, I'm listening," he said.

"When somebody asks 'How did camp go?' and you say 'I got screwed', that's not what you're really saying. Or me, because I said it, too. We don't know all the details of how the evaluation went, so we can't really answer. Saying 'I got screwed' isn't an answer, it's an attitude. Does that make sense?'

"Oh man," he said, "that really does make sense. What I should be saying is 'I played well and it didn't go my way.' That's what I know."

"That's right," I said. "And just saying that makes it feel different, doesn't it?"

"It does," he said. "That's what I'm doing from now on."

Listening in, unknown to both of us, was a tick, hiding behind my knee. I didn't discover him until the next morning when I woke up, back home in Michigan.

How is that even possible?

There's something about an interstate tick, one collecting frequent flyer miles, that is somehow far more ominous than a local, earthbound tick.

I was lucky, though, because it came off easily (it barely even attached) and I had no complications. Not sure what it had been doing all that time, but as ticks go, it was a poor performer.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Link!

Leading off this week, and I had no idea, it's Ada Lovelace manuscript and algorithm fetch $125,000 at auction.

Also, here is some gloriously funny Just Cause 4 alpha footage (NSFW): Rocket-Powered Balloon Car - Just Cause 4 - First Look Gameplay.

From Steven Davis, and come on, man! The Iconic Urinal & Work of Art, “Fountain,” Wasn’t Created by Marcel Duchamp But by the Pioneering Dada Artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. This is fascinating (typical Nike tread wear, though): Nike Says Its $250 Running Shoes Will Make You Run Much Faster. What if That’s Actually True?

From Wally, and this is quite a story:  Bullets and Balloons: Escape From the Siege of Paris 1870. Seriously, this is the most charming plane ever: Airbus just flew its incredibly bizarre BelugaXL for the first time, and it looks amazing.

This next link is from Wally, and I'm separating it out because it is the nerdiest, deepest dive into Blade Runner I've ever seen: Blade Runner | Typeset in the Future.

From Roger Robar, and this is both fascinating and terrifying: We’re underestimating the mind-warping potential of fake video.

From C. Lee, and this is a terrific documentary: GOG: Preserving Gaming's Past & Future. This is riveting: Between Two Homes: A 102-Year Old Japanese Woman in South Korea. This was a remarkable woman: Manzanar detainee who found reason for WW2 internment dies.

Vote, vote, vote when you can, to stop people like this: National Anthem Controversies Don't Get More Soul-Sucking Than This. Also, this one thousand times: Veterans Speak Out Against The Militarization Of Sports.

From Eric Higgins-Freeze, and it's excellent: The Beautiful World of Bacteria.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Duluth (part two)

An assistance coach called Eli 16.11 the day before we were flying to Duluth. Just wanted to make sure he was coming, he said.

An hour after we touched down in Minneapolis, another coach called. Just wanted to verify he was coming.

"Are they mixing you up with another kid?" I asked, and Eli 16.11 burst out laughing.

That's foreshadowing, in case you're wondering.

This was a two day goalie evaluation first, with twenty-four goalies total (twelve each in two sessions). Eli needed to be in the top half to be taken to main camp.

After I dropped him off for the first session, I decided to go for a walk. I like to do that as often as I can, because it takes my mind off the anxiety I have about how important all of this is for him.

It wasn't promising, out on the main road, but I saw a dirt road just behind the rink, and when I followed it, I came to this:


Even better, just off the trail, I saw this:

Very high on the list of things I never expect to see: abandoned ski jump. 

I walked for about forty minutes, then went back in time to watch the session. 

Eli was good. Really, really good. 

Then there was a shootout at the end of the session, where each goalie faced five penalty shots. Pretty standard, for these things. 

Eli stopped all five. 

It was the way he did it, too, that was so impressive. Guys were taking weak shots on him, and I knew why: he was showing kids openings and then taking them away. They were trying to adjust, couldn't do it quickly enough, and wound up taking bad shots. 

That's high level play. 

Who else stopped all five shots? No one. He was on one side of the ice, by himself, and no one else stopped all five to join him. 

That's a statement. 

"I felt great," he said, when he came out to the car. "Did you see me make that half-split blocker save in the shootout?"

"I did," I said, "and I saw you showing kids things and taking them away."

"Oh yeah," he said. "That was solid. And all the coaches were talking to me."

That's a good start.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

And The Winner Is...

Princeton, by a considerable margin, according to field reports from Eli 16.11. So for those of you who have gone to Princeton, or Princeton-knowers in general, please send your impressions of the school experience and anything else you wish to share. Thank you.

Texts From The Front

Hey buddy, how's Brown?

very quirky! there's a club known as "sam's club' for people named sam to go and do things together. :-)

Is there a Bill club? Asking for a friend.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Duluth (part one)

I'm one story behind (we were in northeastern Pennsylvania last weekend, and the city was so depressing I'm not even naming it), so let's talk about Duluth today.

The most important thing to know about Duluth is that it's beautiful. Really, really beautiful.

Eli 16.11 took a terrific picture of Duluth--that I don't have. So instead, please enjoy this useful photo from Great Lakes Endodontics:

If you click on that to enlarge it, I'll show you a few things. First, the anchor point of any hockey trip--Jimmy John's--is in the lower center. That's where Eli took the missing photo that looks out over Lake Superior (that's an alpha name for a lake, to be sure). 

Now, find the crane over toward the center-right edge of the photo. 

If you look to the right edge from there, and go up just a tiny bit, you'll see a cluster of buildings. That's an apartment complex, right on the water. I don't even know how cold that building gets in winter, but I bet I don't want to be there. 

Everything is green (at least in summer). It's hilly in places. The water is beautiful. 

Oh, and the population. It's not big (85,000 roughly), but it's big enough. 

The people are quite a bit like people from Michigan. Very polite. Friendly. Helpful. People in Minnesota say "Have a nice day" like they actually care that you do. 

The rink was actually in Cloquet, not Duluth, and we stayed in a hotel that was in-between, about 15 minutes away from each. The hotel was right next to a ski resort (we're not talking Aspen, be realistic), and given the season, it was mostly empty. 

If you're wondering how far Duluth away is from, well, anything, it's about 150 miles away from Minneapolis. Once you leave Duluth, even a few miles out of town, the only mileage sign you'll see for the next two hours is for Minneapolis. So it's definitely isolated, but it doesn't feel backwards.

Okay, that's the set up. Tomorrow: hockey, ski jumps, ticks, and Percy Fawcett.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Hellscape, In Retrospect

I think I may have been cursed. As convincing evidence, let's review yesterday.

Drive three hours on a two-hour drive from very depressing Northeastern Pennsylvania to downtown Philadelphia. Drop off Eli 16.11 with his mom to begin the big college tour trip (Penn, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth).

I stayed with for lunch, because Gloria found a barbecue restaurant that looked very interesting.

Boy, it looked good. So we ordered, and I left half an hour later to get to the airport. No food had been served.

That's okay, though, because I didn't want to worry about time. Plus, I was taking Eli's goalie bag (weight 55 pounds), so that it would be easier for them on the college trip.

I get to the airport two hours in advance. At the gate an hour and fifteen minutes before the flight. Nice! My connecting flight in Detroit was pretty tight, but this was all looking good. Plus, this was Delta, because we'd had huge disasters with both United and American.

We board about twenty-five minutes later, but that's okay.

Once we're all on the plane, the pilot announces that a nose wheel needs some maintenance. Oh, and there are 30 planes ahead of us on the runway, waiting to take off.

Three hours later, they let us off the plane to go back to the terminal.

An hour later, we're back on the plane. One more hour, and we take off. That's a total of seven hours in the airport in various stages of waiting.

Once the plane finally does take off, the pilot announces that there just isn't time to do beverage service (on an hour forty flight?). Well, that's survivable.

Half an hour later, I see beverage service in first class.

I think that in the eighth hour, maybe people should all be treated the same.

Look, there are an incredible number of levels of status in this country, most of them based on wealth. That's not the problem, at least to me. What is the problem, though, is how we glorify those differences as some kind of trophy.

All right, rant off.

The plane was supposed to take off at 5:30. It finally did take off at 10:30. We land at midnight. My connecting flight had taken off three hours earlier.

It seems that connecting flights are the devil, among other things.

We line up like cattle for hotel vouchers grudgingly dispensed to be used at a Days Inn. I ch the reviews. A few highlights:
--dingy, run down, and gross
--brutal service and a bad room.
--if I could give 0 stars I would.
--public areas are run down and dirty.
--it had a mildew smell and I felt itchy when I laid on the bed.

This bothers me, so I thought about how this all works. The business model of the airlines requires that they not care about the level of service. If they did, they wouldn't make money. At least, the ones we fly on are like that.

I'm walking through the airport after midnight, on my way to the taxi stand, seriously depressed, and I look up and see the sign: WESTIN.

There's a hotel at the Detroit airport, one I've totally forgotten about. It's like a chorus of angels in my head. I look down at the voucher in my hand, and two words come into my head: "hell, no."

I go to the Westin, find out they have a walk-in rate for the damned, get an extra hour of sleep in a room that's actually clean, and wake up fifty yards from security. I was still pissed off that I paid for the room, but fortunately I could, and sometimes, you just have to find a way to keep your sanity.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Links!

We're flying out Thursday for a NAHL main camp in Pennsylvania, so I'm doing this post on Wednesday night. [Thursday night: we're here.]

Leading off this week, from Griffin Cheng, and it's a fantastic read: The Extraordinary Life of Martha Gellhorn, the Woman Ernest Hemingway Tried to Erase.

From Garret Rempel, and this is entirely fascinating: How do our brains reconstruct the visual world?

From Wally, and have we learned nothing from Brendan Fraser? Ancient tomb discovered on construction site in Egypt.

From C. Lee, and this is a terrific read: The Entire History of Steel. Next, and this is excellent, it's From Genius to Witch: The Rise and Fall of a Filosofessa. I had no idea: Why Are There Palm Trees in Los Angeles? This is outstanding: The eye doctor who could not see the stars.

From Frank D., and it's an annual treat: Bear Cam from Brooks Falls.

Hey, what a surprise : The Inside Story Of Papa John's Toxic Culture.

This is a terrific read: How the hip-hop boom sets hopefuls up for failure.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

If I Can Just Find A Torch

"I'm seeing the rough outline of an Olympics," I said. Eli 16.10 is downstairs, sitting with his girlfriend.

"An Olympics?" he asked.

"Three games of table tennis, to fifteen," I said. "Nine holes of golf. One set of tennis. All scoring adjusted to level for each sport."

"What about pickleball?"

"That, too," I said. "So the sports where one of us have an advantage will still be a blast to play, because they're all contributing to a total score."

"I'm in," he said. "All in."

"This is the most you guys thing ever," his girlfriend said.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ping Table Pong Tennis

By any definition, it's on.

For some reason, we started playing ping pong in the last week. Wait, I know why--Gloria was in Shreveport, and Eli 16.10s girlfriend was in Detroit. So we had extra time on our hands to watch Major League Fishing, the World Series of Poker, the World Cup, play tennis--and play ping pong.

It got intense.

Eli won our last match, two games to one, but the points were long and intense, and he's suddenly hitting a topspin forehand. "Hey, if you find that ping pong trophy, can I have it?" he asked.

That's the family ping pong trophy, which I got for $2 way back.

"I'd like to have that," he said. "It took a long time." He laughed.

"I'll look," I said. "I think it's in the basement. I'll look for it later."

"Later?" he asked.

"Not right now," I said. "I've got things to do."

"Like what?" he asked.

"Watch ping pong videos," I said.

"I KNEW IT!" he said. "You can't do that. That's what I was going to do!"

After an hour of videos, we're clearly not playing ping pong anymore. It's table tennis now. He wants lessons. It's a thing.

We went to Outback later, and I was in the bathroom, thinking about table tennis, and I had a splash of insight (I say "splash" because I was at the urinal, and it seems appropriate).

All right, to understand what I realized, you need to go here and watch the guy murdering the topspin forehand. You'll see everything you need in ten seconds.

I came back and sat down. "I just had an insight," I said, and he started laughing. "If you learn how to hit a real topspin forehand, you need to learn how to do it with your left hand, too."

"Why?" he asked.

"Well, mimic the motion with your left hand," I said. "Really fast."

He started doing it. "I really don't--OH MY GOD IT'S A GLOVE SAVE."

"That's right," I said, with a grin so wide it must have reached outside my face. "You learn how to hit a topspin forehand left-handed, and you're improving your glove save."

"How do you DO that?" he asked.

"I just went to pee and my mind wandered," I said.

Draft Day Sports: Pro Golf

Wolverine Studios (Gary Gorski) has released the next iteration in its Total Pro Golf series, with beautiful course graphics and improved putting strategy.

Also, and this is a big plus, there's a demo if you're interested and want to see how the game plays. Here's a link and it's definitely worth checking out if you enjoy sports games.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

This Is A Good Dog

Eli 16.10s girlfriend has a puppy. An hour before this picture was taken, he was sitting next to some cardboard boxes filled with paper:

P.S. Maybe Don't Leave So Much Paper Near The Puppy

Also, because we can all really use it today, here's an unscheduled July appearance by Evan The Inappropriate Elf:

Monday, July 16, 2018

Duluth (pictures)

I'm sorry, I have a very nice table tennis post to share with you tomorrow, but I just can't get funny today. It is inconceivable what is happening to my country.

So, please enjoy a few pictures of Duluth, and I still owe you the story.

Closed. What a shame, huh?

I walked here. Also got lost here. Very, very lost.

Seriously, Tommy, this is the last time I'm going to warn you!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday Links!

A bit light this week (a mid-summer tradition), but leading off, one of my favorite subjects: The Board Game at the Heart of Viking Culture.

A slew of links from C. Lee this week. First, and Eli 16.10 has done training in this area, it's Why athletes need a 'quiet eye'. This is an interesting read: Why we don't read, revisited. Not surprising: Your vocal quirks could be costing you jobs. Interesting: “Find your passion” is bad advice, say Yale and Stanford psychologists (click on this link just for the matador costume alone).

From Wally, and this is complicated: Music This singer is part hologram, part avatar, and might be the pop star of the future. This is an absolutely phenomenal read (about fast food): He Could’ve Been a Colonel. From the British point of view: A Retrospective of the Somme 1916.

From Brian Brown, and it's terrific: The Story Behind How Star Trek Created Klingon And Vulcan Is Great.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Play?

Eli 16.10 flew with Gloria to Austin on Monday.

He had an equipment bag, a leg pad bag, and a stick bag. American lost two of them.

American put the wrong luggage tag on one of the bags, and E/G didn't notice. That went to a guy in Dallas.

He was going to be on the ice almost every day in Austin. Nope.

I flew home on Wednesday (long story--George diabetes care), and last night I got this text from Gloria:
American says they've found one bag and it will be delivered to the address provided. 

I responded:
Which they will interpret to be somewhere in Cambodia. 

His return flight was today, and this morning, the pads showed up at the hotel. No ice time, but at least we don't have to go buy new pads.

Then, his flight to Detroit was cancelled because there was a tornado in Dallas. They couldn't get him on another flight, so he's stuck in Austin until Friday morning and will finally get back to Grand Rapids at about 2 p.m.

I flew in two days earlier (again, George care), and when I came back yesterday, I was stopped in security. I bought skate blades in Minnesota (only available at the Bauer store in Minneapolis) and had no problem bringing them home on the plane (although they did ask me about them).

I forgot to take them out of the backpack--mistake--and got stopped again by security screening.

I explained that they were in a retail package, unopened, and were unsharpened. Nope. The security guy said that there's an exception if they're attached to skates, but not if they're loose. Maybe they're afraid that random skate blade buyers will attach them to mop handles and turn them into killing machines.

Gloria was in the airport, wrangling over Eli's missing bags, so I exited security, gave her the blades (to put in Eli's checked goalie bag when he flew back), then had to go back through security.

Where I was flagged for a loaf of banana bread in my backpack.

I explained that the banana bread was unsharpened, and they waved me through.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Productive Working Environment

I was working in the bedroom the night before I flew to Austin.

Nothing on the bed except me, with a laptop in my lap. So relaxing.

Then, the door opened. Gloria came in. Others followed. Thirty seconds later, my serene work environment looked like this:

To summarize: both cats, fifty unneeded toiletry items, and a wife.

"This seems to be somewhat less productive than literally a minute ago," I said.

Of note: we've played so much tennis in the last few weeks that I no longer look like a thin polar bear, as you can see from my legs. Also of note: Eli 16.11 still can't beat me, but I'm holding on for dear life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Cat Picture Tuesday!

Being in Austin means severely limited writing time, so please enjoy this excellent selection of cat pictures.

Gracie is still enjoying her new friend, with her paw shutting out as many distractions as possible.

George has lost quite a bit of weight because of his diabetes, which means he now looks like a normal cat. Two of his favorite hobbies are boxes and tissue paper:

They are both gigantic pains in the ass and very, very dear, often in the same minute.

Monday, July 09, 2018

The Journals of Staggeringly Terrible Design, Vol. 1

I'm in Austin for a few days, and our rental vehicle is a Nissan Pathfinder.

The climate control system is one of the most ineptly designed in history. Seriously, a square wheel would top this in the design category.


Let's say you want to change the temperature inside the cabin, one of the simplest functions you'll do frequently in a car. Let's go!

Red Area
It's a touchscreen, but not all items listed on the screen have touch-enabled. You'd think that changing the temperature would be as easy as touching the temperature listed on the screen, but no. Sorry, that's not touchscreen enabled. So you can turn the AC on and off, and turn dual mode on and off, and even change the strength of the fan, but you can't change the temperature.

Blue Area
How's this for a jumbled, crappy mess? Using that while driving should be no problem at all, right? Pro tip : you have to hit the "Climate" button to display the red area on the touchscreen. You can also use the Antikythera mechanism in the center to adjust some climate settings--but not the temperature.

Yellow Area
Hey, it's a third area with climate controls, confusingly similar to the audio control bank located just above. THIS is where you can adjust the temperature up and down. With a dial.

Holy hell. Climate controls include touchscreen, button, and dial controls, in three separate areas. Some duplicate function in more than one area, while others are only available in one area.

I always tend to notice bad design, but this is so incredibly bad that it warranted special attention.

What caused this? I'm guessing it was this objective: allow the driver to adjust the cabin temperature without taking his eyes off the road or hands off the wheel.

That's a fine objective, but the driver will be taking his eyes off the road to check the new temperature setting anyway (because a dial can't give you that feedback--you have to look at the touchscreen), and letting the driver press "+" and "-" simplifies this unholy mess into something reasonably coherent.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, and it's incredible, it's Rosa Parks's Arrest Warrant.

From Frank Regan, and this is fantastic: Susan Rogers on Engineering Prince and Her Own Path in the Music Industry.

From Wally, and this is an interesting read: The First Meeting of the Inklings. This seriously may be the cutest thing I've ever seen: Cute dog not moving a muscle with 3 sleeping kittens! Oh man, these are terrifying: Would you eat these vintage summer recipes from the Sixties? Genius robbers: Canadian convenient store arrest gets Benny Hilled. This is astonishing, really: Disney Imagineering Has Created Autonomous Robot Stunt Doubles. A fascinating read: Henry VIII’s War Games.

From C. Lee, and it's Harlan Ellison's kinetic introduction to Strange Wine. Welcome to America: A baby was treated with a nap and a bottle of formula. His parents received an $18,000 bill. Blechh: Here's the real reason so many Americans get food poisoning: Nearly everyone in one USDA test failed to wash their hands properly, or even at all.

From Steven Kreuch (one half of the Official Brothers Of Dubious Quality), and this is utterly fascinating: Below the Surface: Everything from a Drained Canal in Amsterdam.

From Roger Robar, and this is a tremendous read: The soccer ball that survived the Challenger explosion.

From Steven Davis, and this is very interesting: Metacritic Has A (File-Drawer) Problem.

From Griffin Cheng, and I had no idea: The epic story of the map that gave America its name. Also, and this is excellent, it's ‘God Bless America’: 100 Years of an Immigrant’s Anthem.

From DQ Reader My Wife, and this is so incredibly clever: ‘No place to recharge my Kindle’: Letters imagine the front lines of America’s ‘second civil war’.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A Plea For Sanity

Gloria took down the ice tray scoreboard.

Last night, she opened the freezer.

"Aggh, no ice!" she said.

"We really need to put the ice tray scoreboard back up," I said. "Without that, I have no incentive to empty the tray."

"Do you not have a conscience without a scoreboard?" she asked.

"I don't even have a conscience WITH a scoreboard," Eli 16.11 said.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

An Aiport

"Why did they build this airport like an escape room?" I asked.

We're at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, on our way home from Duluth. After you drop off the rental car in this airport, you have to haul your crap (remember, all the goalie gear plus everything else we carried) through a maze of escalators and moving sidewalks.

"Okay, we just had to physically exit the terminal building, take mass transit from the City of Minneapolis, exit that, and get on the airport tram. Just to change terminals," I said. "What next? Are we going to be dropped from a zeppelin? Or will it be whitewater kayaking?"

It's hard carrying all the goalie stuff. It's all heavy, and it's all awkward. I was hauling an extra bag for Eli 16.11 through the airport, and I already had two bags, and we were walking for miles, it seemed, through this damn airport.

I honestly felt, for the very first time, that I just couldn't do this anymore.

It's a young man's game, and I'm just not. We've been through some hard trips this summer, with another one coming up at the end of July, and they've really taken a toll on me this time.

I recovered (not kidding, it took two days), and it's okay now, but I've never felt myself crack like that before.

Part of this, for sure, is that Eli has played really well most of the time at these tryout camps, and he's just not getting any attention. Not getting the kind of feedback he'd hoped for makes the trip back home that much harder.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

A Sincere Wish

We were watching something on the hotel television in Duluth and death came up. This is a rarity.

"Do you want a funeral when you die?" Eli 16.11 asked.

"No," I said. "But I don't matter at that point. If it helps you guys have closure or something, then do it."

"What would you have if you could choose?"

I thought for a few seconds.

"Mini-golf," I said.

"What?" he asked, laughing.

"A mini-golf tournament," I said. "With trophies, and lots of snacks. Come for the dead guy, but stay for the mini-golf and the all-you-can-eat pretzel sticks."

"Actually, I like that," he said.

"Me, too," I said. "Why come and be sad? I want people to say, 'He might not have been a huge success in life, but you can't argue with this kind of quality mini-golf tournament in death.' "

Part of an Actual Headline

"Millenials Taste for Meat Snacks Grows."

We Can All Still Smell That, Buddy

Dippers. Yuck.

Monday, July 02, 2018

World Cup Fun Sheet

Which name is a World Cup player and not a Taco Bell menu item?
A) Quesarito
B) Burrito
C) Chicharito
D) Enchirito

Not as easy as it looks, huh?


WINNER: "Tears Through Face Paint: A Memoir"

WINNER: "I Thirst For Human Blood: A Day At The World Cup"

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