Recently in Sports Category
June 29, 2007
So yes, we vacationed in Virginia for a week. We had a really good time, especially in Williamsburg. JetBlue caused us no end of problems, including losing our suitcase (I wish I'd taken a photo of all the Transfer tags on it when it finally came back, because it was impressive), but I'll not dwell on that.
Virginia was beautiful, it really drove home how much different the flora is from Central Texas. Austin is a fairly well-treed Texas city, but the ones here are scrubby little poseurs next to the woods they have in more temperate climes. Cooler weather was a lovely surprise, too, although if you want to know what the single best change was in my opinion? The lack of mosquitos. Oh, I'm sure there were a few, but I am not kidding when I say that spending thirty seconds in our backyard right now will result in no less than four mosquito bites. I've seen flocks, I kid you not.
On the plus side, all that rain has produced a very impressive cucumber vine and some massive tomato plants. Here's hoping they fruit before Texas succumbs to drought and everything dies again.
Williamsburg was really cool, it was very effective in making me more interested in revolutionary America. Jamestown (particularly the glassmaker) and Yorktown were fun too, but to be honest I could have passed on Busch Gardens.
I know I keep saying this, but Ollie is changing so fast. Since we left for Virginia he has started rolling over really easily, sitting up, eating solid food for real (applesauce and peaches are big hits; bananas are as well, but they're off-limits after he had a reaction to one), laughing all the time at just about anything, learning to love swimming (and splashing), and moving ever closer to talking. We're kind of halfheartedly doing baby signing, although to be honest I think it's an open question whether he signs "food" or says it out loud first.
There are, of course, a boatload of new pictures (more than 100, a new vacation record for me) and two new videos in the gallery.
Work is good. My team's current task list has them scheduled until at least the end of 2008, and there's always more to do, so no worries there. In fact, our R&D department, and our management, are emphasizing some things that will have my team at the very forefront of the company's long-term strategy, which is exciting.
Lindsay asked me recently if it was frustrating to be selling software now that I already know is obsolete. In some ways it's an interesting question, because it's not a question one programmer asks another; it's kind of a given. In other ways it's a really interesting question, because it's kind of the central fact of my professional life. Yes, it is frustrating. I know our customers could really use everything we're working on. In fact, some of the stuff I worked on in the last two weeks, I wish I could just give our customers, because it's so much better than what we're selling now. On the other hand, that does give them a reason to pay those software update fees, which keeps my dogs, cat, and baby in kibble, and they do like that. ;)
Anyway, for those of you who want a better insight into what it's like to write software, you might try looking at the book Dreaming in Code. Or you can buy me a beer and ask me questions, but then, Lindsay's flying off to Australia next week, so I guess she hasn't got that option. :-P
Being captain of my hockey team is so far a lot of fun. I tried to pick a team that just wanted to have a good time and play some good hockey, and it's by far the best locker room I've been in. Not a bad team, either, even if we are 1-2, but I'm certainly having a good time. :)
May 26, 2007
So the hockey season is over. We lost our first (thus only) playoff game 3-0. Our goalie let in a pair of really soft goals, but to be honest they just outplayed us; they deserved the first goal and obviously that was all they needed.
The summer season starts in a few weeks; I think it will be interesting, because the league admin wants to shake things up a bit. This last season it seemed like emotions got a little high; there were several actual fights, at least one "abuse of officials" misconduct, etc. From what I've heard, in the leagues up around Dallas that kind of thing is endemic, in part because the teams stay together season after season, which leads to a build-up of rivalries and resentments. In the league here, we re-draft every season, which usually helps to keep that kind of thing to a minimum. In my experience, anyway, when you play with different people from season to season, you build up friendships, and it's harder to get mad at a player when you know them from a previous season.
The last few seasons captains have been allowed to "protect" players from the draft, and several goalies became captains, both of which allowed teams to keep a "core" of players together, and it seems like that helped contribute to this season's unpleasantness. So this summer, the league admin requested all new captains, eliminated "protected" players, and isn't allowing goalie captains. Hopefully things will get shaken up a lot.
Also, at Jenny's urging I put my name in for captain, and got selected. It should be an interesting experience. Noone who knows me should be surprised to know that as soon as I heard I'd been selected, Jenny and I put together a spreadsheet of the players in the league and started filtering. I really want to have a fun, clean season, but it would be nice to win some games, too. ;) So after a couple of hours working on the spreadsheet, I have a plan for how I'm going to make my picks. I'll have to do a little revision after the new player skate on Tuesday, but by and large I feel pretty good going into the draft. We'll see how I come out, though. ;)
April 18, 2007
So sleeping has been kind of a rollercoaster the last few weeks. For some reason there was a period of about 4 days where Oliver decided that sleeping for more than an hour was completely uninteresting. This was, to put it mildly, not much fun. We tried everything: earlier bedtime, later bedtime, feeding before bath, after bath, rocking, bouncing, white noise, no white noise... Possibly coincidentally, he got his first cold the day before this started, so he was all congested; we put a vaporizer with some Vicks in the room as well, so we tried using that, not using that, nothing worked.
And then after several days he just went back to sleeping. We both knew, intellectually, that that happens; it apparently tends to happen right before they take a developmental step. That doesn't really prepare you for four nights without sleep, though: nothing really can. :)
After that things actually got easier, so maybe that was what happened. Jenny read a helpful book that talked about the EASY pattern (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) that seems to work. The idea is that you feed them, play with them/keep them active until they get tired (usually an hour to an hour and a half), then they take a nap while you do You things, and then repeat. Every baby has their own schedule, but we managed to find Ollie's pretty quickly, and like I said it's been very helpful. The first few days he only seemed to want to nap while being held (specifically, held upright against my chest) so my You activity was to sit down and watch hockey while he slept snuggled up to me. :) Yesterday, though, he had a really fussy morning, Jenny had trouble getting him to nap at all. About 3 she asked me if I could swaddle him (I'm better at swaddling him tightly enough that he falls asleep before he works himself free; more practice) and get him down for a nap. He woke up after about 15 minutes, but settled back down again and slept until 5. I think his longest nap to that point was probably 45 minutes, so a two-hour nap was completely unexpected. :) We were actually a little worried he wouldn't sleep well last night because of it--but then he slept from 8pm to 5am, which was incredible. He woke up a few times, but always settled himself back down without either of us having to get up, and after Jen fed him at 5, he slept until 7:30 and then just quietly lay in his crib until about 8. I have not slept so well in months. :) So hopefully that week of no sleep was him figuring out how to sleep better on his own, and things will continue like this for a bit. Of course, traveling and changes in routine are supposed to cause sleep issues, and we're traveling each of the next three months, which could be "exciting".
Ollie continues to develop every day, of course; he's holding his head up without any problems now, and he loves being in the Snugli when we're out. The grocery store and Lowe's are both favorite locations, since there's so many people and shapes and colors to see. Best of all, he and I can go out for two or three hours at a time and leave Jenny home to work, which up until now has been hard for her to do. Apparently Ollie roller over (tummy to back) yesterday, but it happened while Jen and he were at a friend's house and he hasn't duplicated the feat for me. :) He's stuffing more and more things into his mouth; his favorite is still both hands (at the same time), but he also tends to enjoy gnawing on hands, knuckles, toys, etc. It's actually a little disconcerting to have your three-month-old suddenly lean over and start gnawing on you like a little velociraptor, but I guess it makes him happy. ;) He's still really talkative--we got him a Bumbo chair so he can sit up, and he loves to sit in that thing and talk to us. I can't wait until they're real words. ;)
He's very interested in the pets lately too, he watches them all the time and occasionally reaches out towards them. They're great with him (to the point where we have to stop them giving him kisses all over his face) as well.
Hockey has been lots of fun lately. I scored another goal: I was set up in front of the goal after I joined a rush, and the forward who had dropped back to cover my spot shot/passed it at me. I managed to deflect the puck up and over the goalie's shoulder, which was very cool and exactly what I was trying to do. Managing to do what I was trying to is an exciting and not-exactly-common event, so... ;) I've been seeing the ice better lately too, doing a better job of keeping my head up and looking around to find the best pass rather than just blindly dumping it ahead. The team has kind of been on a roller coaster, but with one exception all of the games have been fun even when we lose. The exception was a win a week or so ago where one of the other team's forwards deliberately ran over our goalie on a breakaway and separated his shoulder, so we've had substitute goalies since. It sucks to see someone get hurt like that, especially since I was the one who gave up the breakaway. :(
February 25, 2007
We had another hockey game Thursday night. At 10:15 P.M.--and I know this makes me officially old, but those late games are killer. Not the game itself so much, the getting home at 12:30 and still needing to shower etc. :)
Anyway, we won 5-0 (which makes 3 shutouts in 4 games for our goalie, and 3 shutouts in 5 games for the team), putting us in first place in the league.
The game itself was interesting. The other team got really frustrated after the first two goals, and all of a sudden took a bunch of penalties (starting off with a double minor, and then a second penalty halfway through that, so we had about 2 minutes of 5-on-3 play). Then of course they get frustrated with taking penalties, and just end up taking more. I've been on the other end of that, so it was a nice change. :)
In spite of their troubles with the refs, the other team worked really hard. I sympathize with them a bit, because they're a tough team to play against; they never give up on the play, they work hard, they're in good positions and trying to make good plays, and it just isn't working for them for some reason. They're 1-4, we're 4-1, and to be honest at times I felt like they were outworking us--and not because we were being lazy. Of course, it probably helped that one of our defensemen moved to Chicago, so we've played the last two games with 3 defense. (We rotate out one at a time, which means the D ends up with a lot of ice time: thus the title. My position is that no, there's no such thing. :))
In some ways it seems like we get "lucky"--a shot ends up getting deflected up into the air and over their goalie, or on their one power play they turn the puck over just inside their zone and our forward ends up scoring on a breakaway--but we're so consistent about it that it has to be more than that. I think we're just doing a really good job putting ourselves in a position to take advantage of that, and doing a good job covering our own breakdowns.
I'm having a good season, too, which is really gratifying. Aside from my goal, I think I'm beginning to really get a handle on skating (I keep getting complimented on it, for one thing). Our last opponents had some fast skaters, and they liked to try cross-ice passes right as they were entering our zone. One of the forwards on my team mentioned that he kept seeing those passes and thinking for sure they were going to get in behind me, but they almost never did (I did give up one breakaway, but the goalie saved me on that one ;)).
I find that I watch hockey games differently now. I love having a Tivo, because when something interesting happens, I can back up and see how it developed. Where the players go and what they do when they don't have the puck is sometimes more interesting than what they do with the puck. :) I think it would be lots of fun to go to real hockey games, because TV is very limiting as far as being able to watch the play away from the puck (and line changes, etc).
In other news, we watched a very amusing hockey game today. The Make A Wish foundation sponsored a charity game between the University of Texas hockey team (a club team) and the rink's Mini Mites players (kids between the ages of 4 and 8). Yes, there were college players playing against kids so small you couldn't even see shin pad between the tops of their skates and the bottoms of their pants. :) The hockey players were pretty severely handicapped: they had to turn their sticks around (so they were playing the puck with the butt end, not the blade--which is really hard), they had to jump the blue lines (or do an immediate 5 pushups), they had to play no-contact (while the kids could, and did, check everything and everyone in sight), and they had to kneel on all faceoffs. The game was crazy--some of those kids are surprisingly good. There was this one really, really tiny (obviously one of the 4-year-olds) kid--I don't know what's so hilarious about little kids playing hockey, but if you want to laugh for 15 minutes go to youtube, search for hockey, and watch the videos of little kids. This little kid was raring to go before the game--smacking his stick on the ice and making little charges towards the UT players, like he just couldn't wait to get started on them. :)
UT lost, of course, 14 to 4; there were some really memorable moments. The Mites started out with 6 players on the ice to UT's 5 (not counting goalies); then at some point there were 7, then 8. Towards the end of the first period, the refs tossed a second puck out on the ice, and both were being played at the same time. One UT player took a holding penalty when he grabbed the smallest Mites player, lifted him up, and skated the length of the ice holding the little guy off the ice. :) The UT players were really hamming it up, too, throwing themselves to the ice whenever someone bodychecked them, etc. The UT goalies were putting on a great show of being terribly disappointed every time they got scored on. All in all it was pretty hilarious. Sometimes you could tell the UT players would forget they were playing with their sticks wrong side up, as they'd try to pull a move or make a quick pass just like normal, and the puck wouldn't go anywhere at all. :) Eventually they figured out that if you laid the stick flat on the ice and took a shot that way, the ref wouldn't call it and you could actually control it reasonably well. If it hadn't been for that I don't think UT would have scored at all. :)
The game ended crazily, with every player on both sides jumping into the play. There were UT players laying all over the ice, too, because the Mites went on a checking spree. I have some really terrible cellphone photos I'll post of the carnage. :)
All the mites seemed to have a great time, I'm glad we went. And I can't wait for Ollie to be 4 so he can give Mites a try. Hopefully he'll have as much fun as I do. If not, that'll be okay too, of course. :)
February 19, 2007
So life with Ollie is kind of settling into more of a routine. Sort of. :) He's still changing a lot (he looks a lot different already than he did a month ago), and it seems like there's always one more thing to learn. I'm guessing that doesn't change, though.
The last week or so, on advice from the All-Knowing Internets, we decided to try starting a bedtime routine. About 8pm, we give him a bath (which he loves; the kid is a serious water baby), feed him, read him a bedtime story, and ease him to sleep. He tends to wake up pretty frequently for the first 20 minutes or so, but after that (usually 9-ish) he conks out until 3 A.M. or so. So we've sort of reclaimed at least our late evenings, which feels really nice; it's tough to have the kid attached to one or the other of you literally 24/7. Not that my experience is a patch on Jen's. :)
The current "one more thing to learn", by the by, is how to get him to nap reliably during the day. He tends to stay up too much during the day and get overtired, which just makes him unhappy, and makes Jenny's life difficult, etc. Of course, from my reading, this may just have to be one of those things he works out for himself. I certainly don't want to trade good daytime naps for good nighttime sleeping, that's for sure. :)
Anyway, he's a really good night sleeper--in general, a really good baby. Not colicky or sick or anything thus far, although he has his moments.
Today, for example. Today he wanted to be held and fed basically from 9 A.M. until 6:45, and then he wanted to be held until I did the bedtime thing. Usually he's willing to sack out in the swing or the bouncy chair (I guess he did sleep for an hour or so when Jen took him for a walk in the stroller), but today he was pretty tough on Jen. She finally got to go to school and get some work done tonight, so Ollie and I had some father-son time (we watched a hockey game, natch ;). And to be honest, that's a relatively bad day for Ollie; compared to some of the stories from our birthing class, I gather we're getting off pretty easy. I still don't know how single parents do it; I know Jen gets really tired (physically and emotionally) during the day, and she has me to help out if she wants to take a shower or needs food etc.
Yesterday, on the other hand, he was a model baby. He and I got up about 8:30 and went and hung out in the office, browsing the Internet and having coffee (me) and a bottle (him). Jen got up about 11 or 11:30 (having caught up on the tiniest sliver of 6 weeks' worth of lost sleep). We put the baby and the dogs in the car and went to Town Lake, where we walked the hiking/biking trail. I had Ollie in the Snugli and Cara on a leash, leaving Jen to deal with Charlie (who was excited and rambunctious as ever). Ollie slept the whole walk, and he was still in a good mood after, so we went to Freddie's, a local restaurant/bar with an outdoor dogs-welcome area. We had great veggie burgers, the dogs basically behaved themselves, and we got to have a couple of nice drinks in the sun. Last night I played a hockey game; our team got sponsored this season by a local restaurant, so we got brand new jerseys and matching socks. I'll try to get a picture of me in full dress sometime soon, but so that you can picture it, Jenny claims the color is precisely the same as Ollie's bowel movements; I maintain the jerseys are slightly lighter. :-P Anyway, it was my first time wearing hockey socks; boy did that feel odd. They breathe a lot more than my hockey pants, so my legs felt naked all game. :) We won, in any case, 2-0, putting us in second in the league currently. This team is really good, lots of passing and teamwork, which is fun.
In other Ollie news, we think he's smiling at us now--not grinning, exactly, and not reliably, but he does seem to make a face that looks like a smile to me. It's very cute; I'll see if I can get a photo at some point. Jenny took some more video of him, so I'll try to get that encoded and uploaded in the next few days too.
Oliver has an MRI tomorrow (which should be fun; he can't eat after 4:30 A.M., and they want us to try to keep him awake as well, since they say it's easier if he's tired), and an EEG on Wednesday; hopefully those will both come back normal and we can stop with the scary testing and just live with Oliver. I'm not really worried, as he's at or ahead of all the developmental milestones we've seen. He's really strong, very good at holding his head up, tracking movement well, etc.
February 6, 2007
Yes, it finally happened. Last night I scored my first ever organized hockey goal. :) It was a really crazy game (final score 8-5, we won). The team we played likes to have one or two forwards hang out near the center line even when the puck is in their defensive zone, so that they can make hail-mary type passes and get breakaways or odd-man rushes. Defensively we actually did a pretty good job keeping them from getting free shots (I think there was only one true breakaway), but our forwards were having trouble getting back in time, so there were a lot of 2-on-1 and 3-on-2 breaks, which are tough to defend time after time.
On the plus side, having their forwards cherry-picking meant they weren't giving their goalie much help either, so it turned into more or less a scoring contest. We got out of the first period winning 5-0; I think that first period saved the game for us.
We were passing really well; we had two practice sessions this season (really unusual to have any), and we spent a lot of time practicing breaking out of our own zone, and it really shows. We've had very few turnovers in the middle of our zone, which helps cut down on the goals against.
Anyway, my first goal wasn't anything beautiful; we caught their forwards on a line change, so two of our forwards moved into their zone with the puck. I moved up to be the third man into the zone, so we ended up with a 3-on-2. The right wing shot the puck, the goalie stopped it, and the defense tied up the right wing so he didn't have a chance at the rebound. That rebound slid out about 10' right in front of the goal, and I got to it before anyone else could react. The goalie was already down from blocking the first shot, and nobody else was between me and the goal, so I just put it up into the corner of the net. It was kind of a shock--every other time I've tried that I've managed to put it right into the goalie's chest, or someone's managed to deflect or block the shot, but this one was right on. I felt kind of bad, celebrating a goal that made it 7-4 (mostly bad for the goalie; he's a nice guy), but it was my first. ;)
I had two assists (at least) as well, so that puts me at a point per game (this was our third game; we lost the first 0-3 and won the second 3-0). I think this is going to be a good team, we have some good passers and some guys who can finish well too. It'll be fun in any case. :)
December 4, 2006
Never, ever, ever ask a pregnant woman, "you got twins in there?"
Particularly if you are the waiter who is depending on her good graces for your tip. It's rude, it's thoughtless, and it makes you like like a moron who ain't never seen a pregnant woman before. And you don't get tipped very well, for some reason.
Jesus. It amazes me how people (at large) view pregnancy. I don't know if it's a consequence of modern life (where, the birth rate being what it is, pregnant women are a relative rarity), or of the images displayed in the media (where pregnant women are all impossibly skinny and never more than 3 months along), but you'd think these people had no idea that you could actually grow a real person in there! (Which is particularly interesting when combined with the fact that "newborns" on TV are invariably like 18 months old--you have these skinny, tiny women giving birth to 20-pound babies. Physics, anyone?)
In other news: I played hockey (well, went to the hockey class) last night for the first time since August. It was great fun--a pair of my friends were there, and some other guys I knew, and it was great being part of it again. One of the guys told me I looked just as good as the last time he saw me play--which is nice, but probably not quite true; I did fall down at least once. ;) My ghetto gloves lost their protective coating of duct tape halfway through, unfortunately. Hopefully my new gloves get here soon. :)
We had a really busy weekend; normally we take Sunday easy, just read the paper and have breakfast, maybe clean some stuff, take a nap, etc.; yesterday, aside from hockey, we had to get up early to make the sugar cookie base for a fruit pizza (quick tip: do not use olive oil in cookie recipes that call for "1 cup oil"; just trust me on this one), which we took to a brunch with several people from Jen's school, hosted by one of the administrators there. That was fun; she has 3 very friendly, very large dogs (Great Pyrenees), and I'm a sucker for big fluffy animals. :)
Saturday Jen went out to the mall with some friends; I stayed home and cleaned, mostly. I ended up in a grumpy mood; the weather here has finally swung towards winter (gray, cold, rainy) and I think I'm addicted to sunshine at this point. Plus I was really missing hockey (which was why Jen told me to go on Sunday); I'm not a super social person most of the time, but I really love hanging out with the people there and getting the exercise.
So anyway, we're thinking taking it easy next weekend will be good; we're really hoping Ollie decides to come out and play soon. It's been such a long process that it's getting really hard to be patient any more. :) He is at least head-down (ultrasound today confirmed it), so that's one worry pretty much out of the way.
I'm also excited about the new kitchen sink and faucet. We picked it out last week and picked it up this weekend, and we'll be putting it in over Christmas (I am not attempting plumbing without Dad around to walk me through it ;)).
Work is muy busy right now. We have a big deadline tomorrow and a bigger one the 15th, so there's lots of extra hours and weekends for a lot of people (not so much for me, fortunately). It's exciting, though; in a few weeks all the stuff I've been working on for months will finally be in the hands of real users (even if only in limited numbers). I can't wait to hear back from sales and through our forums how people react to it.
July 23, 2006
No, it's not a vacation. :-P An anti-vacation, in point of fact. This is Jen's last week at TIP. I know going in we both thought it would be fun for her, that the time would fly by. Instead it's been quite the reverse; Jen made the comment Saturday that it's a good thing she's mostly dissociated the whole thing from Duke TIP, because as an experience it would otherwise have polluted the fond memories she had of her own time there. Which is really too bad; I had hoped to send our own kids there someday, and from Jen's experience, I wouldn't do so if they paid me at this point. And I'm not even talking about the things Jen has had to deal with--just the way the kids are treated and the program is run. To be honest I'm not sure whether to blame their expansion away from the Duke campus (and the resulting loss of central program culture) or the societal changes (technological and otherwise) that result in parents who panic if their kids don't have cellphones and threaten lawsuits for any imagined breach of idyllic perfection. I will never be that parent, I want my kids to learn independence, learn to deal with problems on their own, learn to make friends and experience technology as a tool, not a substitute for their own intelligence and creativity.
Anyway, Jen was in town again this weekend; she and some new friends managed to make it to one of my games for the first time this season--against the team that won the championship last season. We won, of course (it's totally her fault our record's no good... ;)), which was lots of fun. It's funny, we tend to play very well against this team (both seasons), I don't know why. I still have no points this season (2 penalty minutes, though!) which is kind of disappointing since I won't be playing this fall (or next spring). I'd like to get a goal before I have to lay off for a while, but we'll see.
I can't decide if I like the Mary J. Blige version of "One" better than the original, or vice versa. I told Jen I liked the original better earlier today, but then I just listened to the new version and I can't decide. It might be novelty, though; the song is a classic either way.
I need something new to read. Lately (okay, like the last eight years) I've been on this intelligence sort of kick, but I feel like I haven't read anything challenging on the subject in a while. There was a good article in the NYTimes magazine today about intelligence (short version: heredity rules if your environment is sufficiently challenging to allow you to reach your full potential), and I wrote about an interesting study about learning to program over on my "other" blog--the one that nobody ever reads unless they need help with the Windows Scheduler ;)--a few days ago, but I feel like there must be something new and exciting in either related philosophy or science. Hofstadter has a new book coming out, which is exciting, but I'm thinking about looking for something to read on the plane to NYC.
Which is a separate excitement. Work is pretty busy right now; I have a metric ton of work to do before Sep. 15, and I can definitely use two weeks of R&R; I know at least some of it will be spent Kokai-style "commando raid" vacation, but hopefully I can sleep in at least once. ;) Either way it should be fun, with everyone from both families in one place, plus Simon & Fiona.
Sorry, I'm a little scatterbrained right now. I've got so much going on mentally that I've had trouble sleeping, something that hasn't been true since probably sophomore year of college, when I considered it a relaxing day if I got to sleep before 2 a.m. ;) I probably left something out of this update, but I can't "feature" what (as they say in Deadwood ;)).
July 8, 2006
I actually had a really good day today--the sort of day that could only be made better in a single way, and that's if Jen were here to share it.
I slept in (as much as the animals ever allow), had a leisurely cup of coffee, then gave the dogs baths (so they're fluffy and they smell good now). Of course, since the dogs were clean I had to wash Charlie's crate (since if he'd laid down in it he'd have needed another bath at this point), and then I had to sweep the house in case there was any dust or dirt that might undo the baths as well. :) They were really good about the baths, usually Cara goes all "oh my god I can't believe you're abusing me this way", but today she just kind of sat there and accepted it. Charlie does this hilarious thing after baths where he rubs up against anything he can find--couches, chairs, beds--as if trying to wipe off the water or the conditioner or something. Of course both of them shed something fierce after a bath, so I've been brushing them every hour or two.
After that I cleaned myself up (it's amazing how wet and dirty one can get cleaning two dogs) and went to Lowe's. I bought the supplies (including most of the paint--excluding the polka dots) for painting the baby's room. My mom commented on how matter-of-fact I am about that at this point ("painting the baby's room"), but to be honest, we're 4 months into this and I'm more or less used to the idea now, you know? ;) Jen and I got some super cute baby outfits while she was in town. Our baby will be dressed up in growling, stomping dinosaurs, or a sweater that makes him/her look like a monkey (complete with hood with ears), or a hooded towel made up to look like a crab. (My mother found that last very funny, we'll have to put pictures up once the baby is made to look like a monkey/crab/etc.)
Lowe's was also having a sale on a combined normal/handheld shower head, so I went ahead and grabbed that, figuring that it would be useful for washing both dogs (sadly, I bought it after I washed the dogs--tactical error there) and babies at some point. Even better, that allowed me to take the shower head from the guest bathroom and use it to replace the POS $2 (I am not kidding, I priced it at Lowe's) shower head that was in the master bath. Which should be nice.
Then I played hockey this evening. Our hockey team isn't doing as well as last season--I don't know if I jinxed us or not, but we're 1-4-2 on the season, tied for last place. Still, it's a lot of fun, we just aren't scoring enough. Every game we've lost has been by a single goal, so it's not like we aren't competetive, we just can't finish off the other teams. It does feel like the level of competition has gone up--there's an "informal" league, with no refs, as well, and I think a lot of the more marginal players dropped down to that, so the regular C league is more difficult by comparison with last season. Also, the last few games the refs had gone completely crazy; two games ago, we spent nearly the entire second period short a player (at one point we had four players in the box at the same time), which is just nuts for a rec league. I took my first two-minute penalty in that game, for cross-checking (which was nonsense--the blade of my stick was on the ice; it should have been either elbowing or boarding, if they were going to call anything at all. :-P) Either way, any day I get to play hockey is pretty much a good day, and I'm used to being on last-place teams, so it beats not playing at all. :-D
Other than that, not much to report; work has been busy but not unreasonably so, I'm at least getting to work on new-ish problems. Missing Jen a lot, of course, but there isn't much I can do about that. :-P
June 29, 2006
Last night was our fourth hockey game of the season. We lost the first two, both by a single goal; the first one we really should have won, the second was just a hard-fought game. We won the third game, 7-1. To be honest I felt kind of bad about that one. You'd think it would be fun to have a game like that, but I always remember the times I was on the losing end of those games and it's hard to enjoy it.
Anyway, like I said, last night was the fourth game of the season. We ended up coming back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it, but it felt like a win, the way we played. Our opponents were the best team in the league (same team that won the championship last season), so a tie isn’t bad at all (we can do better, though. ;)) After the game, our goalie stood up in front of everyone and announced that I had had a “monster” game, my “best game of the season, by far”, and that I was “absolutely everywhere on the ice”. I think I blushed. :) Anyway, it was a really good game; I had lots of great defensive plays, stopping breakaways, cutting off passes, etc.
I did have one big fall, though, which everyone teased me about mercilessly. The captain said he was taking up a collection to have my skates sharpened. :) We had the puck in their zone, 2nd period, we were getting lots of good pressure. Curry, one of the forwards, got the puck at the left wing and saw me completely open at the blue line. He passed it to me, perfect pass, and right as he did my legs just shot out from under me. Nobody within 20’, a perfect pass, and I just BAM! fell down. What’s worse is that, as I was laying on the ice, the puck was coming straight towards me. I mean, STRAIGHT towards me. If I hadn’t moved it would have hit me right in the middle of my stick. Of course, like a total idiot I tried to lift my stick (as I’m laying flat on the ice) to take the pass with the blade, and the puck goes under the stick, under me, and out of the zone. Brilliant!
Anyway, like I said, I had a good game--almost had a goal. I had the puck all alone against 3 defenders, I faked past one, ended up right in the center of the ice with the 2 defenders in front of me. I seem to find myself in that situation about once a game, so I've been trying to make it work for me. My current move is to cut right just a bit to get the defender between me and the goalie, and then shoot the puck through the defender's legs, so the goalie has trouble seeing the shot at first. This time, I’m pretty sure the shot hit the post on the far side, it was a really nice shot and I don’t think the goalie really saw it. Eventually one of those shots is going to go in, it just didn’t happen that game.
I've also noticed a number of Spoonerisms coming out of my mouth lately. After the game I wanted to talk about the fact that especially in the second period, it's important to keep our shifts short so we don't get tired and caught out of position (which is why we were down 2-0), only I said it was important to keep our "shorts shifted". You can guess what kind of jokes were made at my expense at that point. ;) I actually really like this team. Everyone on it is always in a good mode, there's teasing and camaraderie in the locker room. Jen says she approves of their teasing me all the time, and frankly I agree; it's a really great group of guys and I'm glad to be a part of it. What's even better is that I know other guys on nearly every team in the league (last nights' opponents are pretty much the exception), so there's always someone to say hi to or trash talk before the game. It's a lot of fun, and it makes me wish I could play hockey every night. :)
Playing games without Jen in the audience is kind of weird. She'd only missed a few games before this season, and I was pretty used to looking up and seeing her in the second or third row, reading her book at period intermissions or cheering during play. I keep looking for her, and of course she's not there. She'll get to see my game this Saturday, though, so hopefully I'll have another good game. :)
As far as work goes, it's pretty busy right now. We have our second-most-major deadline of this entire release coming up, and everyone's scrambling to get ready. I'm in the middle of a really frustrating problem (been working on it about 14 hours thus far, with no resolution). It doesn't help that making brand new code work exactly like the old code did six months ago--which is what we're doing--is one of the more tedious, uncreative jobs in programming. It has to be done, and it will be worth the effort at the end, but any programmer will tell you that solving new problems and writing new code is much more fun.
Aside from work and hockey I haven't done much; I have a million things to do to the house that I just haven't had the time to do, and we're supposed to hang out with some friends for July 4th, but other than that my social life is essentially nonexistant. :) Sorry. No new baby news, either; we won't know the sex for another 5 weeks, and that's really the next big milestone. I've actually only told 3 people at work, partially because everyone who knows Jenny is pregnant seems to only talk to her about that sometimes, and I don't want that to happen. Of course I'm also a pretty private person in general.