Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February - the month of ......

How would you finish that phrase?

Love? Cold? Snow? Candy?

Honestly I don't know anymore. That's because that thanks to the month we've had, February is now knows as the month of illness.

That's right - illness. No one has escaped what has been almost 4 solid weeks of someone being sick. Not someone we know, not someone in our family...

someone in our house.

And I know it hasn't been just us. We have small groups on Sunday night and on February 10th we had one family who wasn't fighting something. So I called the whole thing off and designated it 'quarantine Sunday.'

For us, it all started February 1 when Dillon went down. That was a Friday. He proceeded to remain sick until Tuesday of the following week. Shanna joined him on Saturday and we had a mini infirmary for the next 48 hours.

The rest is basically a haze by now. I think Delanie was next, maybe Dawson. Really, I forget now. All I know is that I think we've logged about 12 days of missed school just this month.

I saw the doctor on February 5th and was diagnosed with a raging sinus infection. I was back in his office on the 8th for more meds and what I've come to know as 'happy shots.' I don't know what's in that stuff but it's what he gives me to deliver a final knock-out punch to whatever ails me. I wish we could just start out with it and save the extra visit.

Fortunately, throughout all this, Shanna and I always managed to fall victim at separate times. It's a good thing too because as bad as we felt we would have just told the kids that it was every man for himself.

Then just when it seemed like we were out of the woods I wake up Monday and know something's not right. I make it to the office, tie up the loose ends, and immediately head for the house where I logged about 24 hours of couch time. This morning, I'm feeling pretty good but decide to work from the house for a couple of hours before making a commitment to the office. At about 10 I email my partner that I'm heading that way. His response - "I'm fighting off a cold, don't come in unless you need to."

I didn't - so I didn't.

My only prayer is that we can start March healthy and stay that way at least through spring break - March 17-21.

Today, we're all good with the exception of Shanna. Fortunately, it's a leap year so we've all got 2 more days to get over all our junk and start March the way I'd like to.

Hope everyone else is healthy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You must be Kidd-ing.

Jason Kidd is once again a Dallas Maverick. After two weeks of more twists and turns than a daytime soap opera, the Mavericks and Nets announced today that a deal was done.

Originally the mega-trade included sending Mav Jerry Stackhouse to New Jersey. However, Stackhouse shot off his mouth last week. He said in an interview that he looked forward to 30 days rest and then being right back in Dallas.


That's right. The original deal included Stack going to the Nets. The Nets in turn would buy out his contract. The NBA would allow him to re-sign with the Mavs 30 days later.

BUT - since he took it upon himself to reveal this formerly secret detail, NBA officials considered this 'tampering' and said that he could no longer be part of any trade. If he was included, he would be prohibited from rejoining Dallas this season.

That was not going to work for the Mavs. Thanks Stack for making things even more difficult.

Fortunately, Keith VanHorn decided to rejoin the Mavs so he could be included as part of the package.


1. What took VanHorn so long to decide that this was a good deal for him?

He's basically retired. He hasn't played in two years. But technically, he's not retired. He hasn't filed papers with the league. His contract calls for him to receive $4.3 million just for the rest of this season. He doesn't have to play. He just has to sign with the Mavericks and be traded to the Nets and give the assurance that he will 'try' to make a comeback. $4.3 million for 4 months 'work.' Who couldn't go for that even if it meant moving to New Jersey for a little while? He should have been on the first plane to Dallas even if he thought it was only a rumor.

2. Why does Dallas (originally) have to send Stackhouse to New Jersey just so he can have his contact bought out? There was never an intention for Stackhouse to play for the Nets which became obvious in his interview last week causing the original deal to implode.

3. Why does Dallas (now) have to pull a 32 year old guy from semi-retirement, trade him to the Nets just so he can ride their payroll for the rest of the season?

Honestly I had no idea. Fortunately my friend (and Legacy Church of Christ preacher) Allan Stanglin is a former sports director for DFW radio station KRLD. He was able to sum it up quite easily for me:


Apparantly the deal has to be equal on both sides of the ledger. So whatever value the Nets were giving up had to be matched by the Mavs.


I'm still confused. The Nets didn't want Stackhouse. They certainly don't want VanHorn. I just don't get it.

Right now I have two lawnmowers. I'd like to have a new leaf blower. If you had two leaf blowers and needed a lawn mower I think we could make a trade. I don't want you to thown in a Carpenters Greatest Hits CD to make the deal equal from a dollar standpoint. I don't need it. Shanna's already got a copy. Is this too simple for the NBA?

So I'm reserved to classify myself as a basketball deal idiot who obviously doesn't understand the elaborate interworkings of multimillion dollar player trades. I guess it makes sense to someone.

One thing I do know. I'm taking NBA league officials off my list of potential candidates to investigate the baseball steroids scandal. They seem to operate in the same illogical world as congress so just let congress finish what they've started.

Now, if the Mavs can work as hard on the court as they have off the court getting this deal done we may finally win the NBA championship. If that happens they'll probably feel like they got from Kidd exactly what they wanted. Then they'll want to trade him and we get to do this all over again.

We'll see. Go Mavs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

See what I mean?

Shanna is a big fan of holidays. Valentine's Day is certainly no exception. She went all out this year. This kids woke up to cinnamon rolls with pink icing, served on red plates, with pink milk in plastic champagne glasses to be slurped up through crazy straws with hearts on them.

And that was only the beginning.

The kids came home to heart shaped cookies. It wasn't enough for her to get those cheap little hearts with the cute messages on them. She had to bake red, heart shaped cookies with cute messages on them. Then that night we enjoyed steak and grilled shrimp (my only contribution) along with baked potatoes. But the special part was Shanna's decoration of the dining room - that's right, the dining room. You know, that room that many of us have with tables and chairs and china cabinets that often gets looked at but seldom used. Well we used it. Complete with white table cloth with red silk rose petals scattered on it. We ate on red plates. We had sparkling grape juice to go with our dessert of chocolate covered strawberries. Massive chocolate covered strawberries the size of tennis balls. Ok, not tennis balls but they were bigger than golf balls.

Unlike when I was younger, the kids actually got gifts. Not just candy, like in the old days but gifts. The most notable was Delanie. She got the Hannah Montana wig that she has been begging for. Nanny got a huge card custom designed by her four biggest fans.

During my rant about the Clemens hearings I managed to fit in a couple of lines about Valentine's Day. I said that you should do something special every day for your valentine and use February 14th for something extra special. Shanna exhibited that perfectly and it was totally unprompted because I know she hasn't been to the site yet. She does something special everyday and she made Valentine's Day extra special for all of us.

Check it out and you'll see what I mean:

Wheeler Peak

Ok, this isn't exactly being posted in a timely manner but I was thinking about all the activities we're going to try and squeeze into summer 2008. Dillon's got at least 2 weeks of camp, I'll probably join him on one of those, Shanna's got her 20 year reunion (sorry to date you - you still look great), various trips to Six Flags using the passes we got with Christmas money, and a family trip to New Mexico with all of Shanna's family. I was hoping to make another trip up Wheeler Peak while we were there. Some of you know that I made the summit of Wheeler (tallest in NM) with several buddies from church last summer. So, here's some shots of our adventure. Thanks to Tate, Kevin and Aaron for being dumb enough to let me talk you into this. Hope we've got more adventures in our future.

Left to right: Kevin Welch, Tate Tefertiller, Aaron Green.

Our trip was June 2007 but we still got to play in the snow every now and then. It's always a treat for us flat landers to see snow.

Everyone did pretty good on the uphill part. It was easy to keep your mind off the altitude by taking in the spectacular views. We even got to see some of the locals.

Getting closer.... If you look behind me in the picture on the left you will see two peaks. Wheeler is actually the peak on the right (I know, it looks lower because of the angle). But it was a little disheartening to have to go up Mt. Walter (the peak on the left - 13,141 feet) and then down in order to go up to the summit of Wheeler (13,161 feet).

But we finally made it to the top and had a little break. Aaron had actually brough leftover pizza from the night before. My lunch was a powerbar and trailmix. Tate had cell service so some of us made calls home.

I think the overall opinion was the downhill was harder on the legs than the uphill. We had opted to take the longer way up to the summit through the Bull of the Woods pasture. Due to the time and condition of our legs we voted to take the Williams Lake route down. Straight down. That's right, straight down the side of Wheeler Peak to Williams Lake. Aaron did mange to find an express lane. That's him sliding down the snow patch on his backpack. Vol fans everywhere should be proud. Williams Lake is on the right.

Going down the Williams Lake route actually puts you at the Phoenix Grill on the back side of the Taos Ski Area. I had to get a picture of the espresso stand since Tate, Kevin and I had sat out on that patio with our wives during our ski trip back in February '07. It was a little strange to be walking the same path we'd skied just a few months earlier.

Taking the Williams Lake route down did get us off the mountain faster but it didn't take us back to our car. We actually ended up seeing a lot more of the Taos ski area and real estate on our extended hike back to the parking lot. I guess I underestimated the distance. Eventually we made it back to the car and then the cabin for a little rest and a shower. That night we headed into Red River for a celebratory dinner. All in all, great day and great trip. Thanks again guys.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hard at Work

Yesterday and today the all the news sources were buzzing over Roger Clemens testimony before congress. CNBC even had a link on their website to view the live coverage. I'm not sure how that affects the financial markets but I know we love our sports. We admire, respect and unfortunately sometimes idolize these athletes. We want to know if the games they win, the records they break, the trophies and rings they collect, are somehow tarnished by their willingness to break the rules. Someone should get to the bottom of situations like this.

But congress?

There were 90 players named in the Mitchell report. What about them? What about players like Jack Cust?

Who, you might ask?


Google 'players named in the Mitchell report' and pick a site. You will find the entire list. Scroll through and unless you're a die hard fan of 'America's game' you're going to find a long list of names you've never, or rarely heard of. Some of them are only accused of using while they were in the minor leagues.

So what if it had been Jack Cust, instead of Clemens, who jumps up and says "I never did that! This report is false! I'm innocent!"

Would you care?

No, you wouldn't. Moreover, congress wouldn't and the media wouldn't. We wouldn't have gotten a live feed of Jack Cust testifying before congress because it wouldn't have existed.

So why is there a Mitchell report in the first place? I don't know but no doubt some of our elected officials left the hearings yesterday congratulating each other on a good day at the office. I mean they did help shed light on a serious subject, didn't they? Plus, they got some good TV time. That could come in handy at the next election.

I'm sure today they moved on to the somewhat less important issues like the looming recession, the war in Iraq, homeland security, record home foreclosures, etc.

On a happier note it is Valentine's Day. Everyday you should do something nice for your valentine. Use today as an opportunity to do something extra nice.

Happy Valentine's Day Shanna. I love you more than you know.

And Happy Valentine's Day Anniversary to Pat and Harold. 22 years and going strong.