Sports, Reality and Stat Man

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Wednesday is here.   The holidays are over.   I went back to work on Monday.  The kids went back to school on Monday.  We all resumed our “normal routines” this week.  I’m sure some of you have made new year’s resolutions.  Some of you have already started exercising like mad men, trying to get ALL the miles in now to prepare for that upcoming race in March, or May, or November.  The gyms are full of people lining up to register and begin their resolutions.   And by May, the gyms will be empty again.

I do miss being home on vacation.  I basically spent 2 full weeks at home on vacation.  I worked a couple days  between Christmas and New Years (since I used all my vacation throughout the year and didn’t save it all for December).  But it was fairly slow, so no real stress.  I did start to get bored.  I wasn’t bored with my family, or bored with being at home.  I just didn’t know what to do.   I should have picked up my book “Unbroken” and read more than the “Introduction”.  I didn’t want to start any home projects as I knew I’d be getting back to work on Monday.  My wife said to just sit and relax.  I didn’t think I had a hard time doing that, but I guess I did.  It was rainy out.  So, I watched football.  I tinkered in the garage, played on the internet…watched more football. I tallied the results of our family football pool. Watched some more football.  Drank a few beers, including my Porter homebrew (ps. It’s really good!).  Jumped on the new trampline with the boys. Watched more football.

My family loves football.  Mostly college, but we get behind the NFL teams when it comes to the playoffs. The Carolina Panthers, our local team (well, North Carolina based and I grew up watching them), played Arizona in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.  My 8 (soon to be 9) year old, now to be known as Stat Man, has been collecting football player cards for the past year or so.  He holds them in a stack, carries them around, flips through them, memorizes them, shows them to everyone, wraps up certain players to give as gifts at Christmas based on where that person is from (he wrapped up two Kansas City Chief’s players for his grandparents, as they went to a KC game this year, and they live in Missouri).   He is immersed in football year round, since August 1 when his season started, helping me with my fantasy football draft, watching the scores for me, telling me ALL the stats, watching SportsCenter every Saturday and Sunday morning.  Stat Man corrects me on statistics, players, where they played in college, numbers, etc.   It’s awesome!   Here is what he prepared for the Panthers game on Saturday afternoon:

Playing Card Matchup

Playing Card Matchup

And as the college football season is winding down (one game left, and not really  much interest), and the pros now in the playoffs with the Super Bowl on February 1, I guess we will turn to baseball.  Stat Man will learn all new stats for this season, and we will have really high hopes for the Red Sox.  Pitchers report on Feb 1.

College basketball season is gearing up.  Clemson doesn’t really have a good team, so nothing to follow there, other than the increasing #’s in the L column.  My other favorite team, Kentucky Wildcats, are very good this year and favorites to be cutting down the nets at the end of the year.  I will watch the conference tournaments and the Big Dance, but nothing really in between.  Stat Man will keep me posted I’m sure.

So what are you doing the beginning of this year?  What do you have planned for 2015?  Races? Vacations?  Sporting Events? Concerts?

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Weekend Update

So this was supposed to be written and issued Monday or Tuesday of this week, but as I’ve said before, sometimes work and other stuff get in the way and delay what I have wanted to do.  So, without any further delay, here we go…..

It was a fairly busy weekend for my household.  We spent Saturday morning at the William H. Craig Race for Life 5k as the end of year 5k race for our STRIDE team from my son’s middle school.  My wife volunteered and took on coaching of this team, actually, implementing it at this school, and taking the lead as the coach.  I provided some assistance, and help with keeping the 15 6th graders from running completely rampant while they were out running around and she was busy coaching individuals.  It was a great season.  You learn to really care about these students who come out and spend the time to train for the 5k.  It was a great experience, and we are doing it again at our youngest sons’ elementary school in the spring.  We completed this 5k on Saturday morning, hung out and watched the awards, and then headed home for coffee from the rather cool morning we’d just spent 5 hours in.

We spent the rest of Saturday afternoon cleaning up things around the house, raking the back yard, throwing the football in the front yard, and just passing time before my oldest had to be at a birthday party.  Once home, it was just mom and dad and our 8 year old for a few hours.  We proceeded to make his bedroom EPIC.  He is a shark lover, and wildlife and ocean lover, and we (well, my wife actually) painted his room a few months ago. We have just been really busy and have not gotten around to decorating his walls. Until Saturday night.   Let’s just say it is now EPIC!

EPIC Shark!

EPIC Shark!

We then proceeded to watch Rudolph, and settle in for the night.  I also sampled my Porter that had been carbonating in the bottle over the past week or so.  And I just have to say that it is quite tasty, and only time will make it better.   It came out to be around a 6% ABV beer, and is very clean with a decent body. Slightly sweet, but that comes with the ingredients used.  All in all, it won’t last long, especially with beer loving friends and family going to be around over the holidays to help eliminate it rapidly.  Guess I’ll start planning my next batch to brew.

porter1

Sunday was a day of cleaning to prepare for the family coming to visit.  We watched some football, played some football, ate some good food, and watched a few Christmas movies.  It appears we are going to have to cram  A LOT of Christmas movies in over the next week to get all of our favorites in before the holidays end.

So I’ll wrap this blog up.  I’ll be posting a few more before the end of the year, as hopefully more time will allow. Work as gotten in the way this week as I feel I’m covering for my entire department, but it will all be worth it in the long run (well, it better be!).

What will you be doing this next week as we close in on Christmas?  Are you running? What is your favorite movie or family tradition?

Homebrew Saturday!!

beerguy

So, I know you all have been patiently waiting my Savannah marathon race recap.  I’m almost done with it.  Just final proofreading and it will be published.   But I wanted to give a quick status of what this Saturday has brought. The Holidays are quickly approaching, and it is a family tradition between us adults in my wife’s side of the family, to have lots of beer to sample and celebrate with.  My brother-in-law and I both homebrew beer, and today was my day to get a batch going to be ready for Christmas.

Malt and Hops for the brew

Malt and Hops for the brew

I have been brewing for over 15 years, and have brewed many different flavors, perfecting some, struggling with others, but just enjoying the hobby of making homemade craft beer.  Today I am brewing a porter, similar to Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter.  Nothing like a good, solid beer to warm you during the cool winter, holiday season.  My wife is not a big fan of the smell of the wort during the brewing process, and since she’s out of town at training, let’s get to it.  Brew day has arrived!!   My boys love to help, adding all the hops and malt and watching it boil.   Pitching the yeast is the final moment before it goes into fermentation for a week or so.

Boiling Wort w/ Grains

Boiling Wort w/ Grains

We will be bottling this beer the weekend of Thanksgiving, so it will have 2 to 3 weeks carbonating in the bottle before it’s ready to drink.  I will keep you all posted as to the drinkability of this beer.  Happy weekend to all!

What do you do as traditions for the Holidays?  Do you enjoy a hobby with your kids?  Do you enjoy craft beer?

That was AWESOME!!

Dave Matthews Band concert.    Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh on Wednesday  night.  Absolutely awesome. Another great show of the 23 I’ve seen previously.  DMB puts on one hell of a show.

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It probably helped that we hadn’t seen him live in 4 years.   Awesome!!  So my wife and I have a full week of no children and are doing whatever we can to act like we did when we first got married.  Our kids are with their grandparents this week, my parents, getting spoiled completely rotten.   Next week will be pure hell for my wife when they return.  It will be tough for me as well, but since I work all day and she stays home, she will have more time with them to fuss at the rules, the discipline, the structure, the cleaning up of toys, dishes, etc.  Something every 8 and 11 year old kid hates to do….chores and any thing other than playing.  We miss them A LOT, but understand they must have time with their grandparents as well.  And my wife and I need some time as well, to just enjoy each other and be together.  Football season starts Aug 1 for our 8 year old, and then school starts, and my wife and I are in training for marathons and half iron man triathlons, so after this week, our schedules are pretty much full until Christmas.  So, as I said before, we are doing whatever we can to take this week and just go out, go places we normally can’t go, do things we normally wouldn’t do.

So I’m new to this blogging thing. My wife blogs .  She gets really into it, and has met many people and made new friends.  So, I thought I would try it out.  I have lots of random things in my head.  I won’t have any real theme of what I’m posting. I’m an almost 40 year old father of 2 wonderful boys, husband of 15 years to an amazing woman.  She runs and runs and bikes and runs and swims and takes care of our house, kids, cats, dog and runs some more.  Oh, and did I mention, she runs?  I’m a huge Clemson fan, a huge RED SOX fan, a HUGE beer fan.  I drink it and I homebrew.  I love the outdoors, like hiking and the beach.   I love college football, baseball and whatever other college sports I can watch.  I’m looking forward to writing and reading and enjoying the blog world.

More to come on my life and adventures….