Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
On November 13th, we attended the Eastern Conference Championship, featuring the Crew versus the Chicago Fire. This will go down as the most fun I've ever had at a sporting event. The atmosphere was electric. The crowd of 16,000 was much louder than the 100,000+ who attend Buckeye football games. Ian brought his friend, and soccer teammate, Brad Hakim.
Nathan watched with interest, since he had trained with the Fire goal keeper, Jon Busch, for a few summers. Busch won the Major League Soccer goal keeper of the year award this season, and is still the goalie coach for Team Ohio FC (Ian's club team). Regardless, Nathan rooted against Jon and for a Crew win. His wish came true, as the Crew won 2-1 with a come from behind victory.
After the game, there was a HUGE party in the tent next to the stadium. Inside the tent, we saw Ian & Nathan's old soccer coach, Mark McMahon, with some of his fellow Irish buddies. We stuck around and talked soccer for awhile. Until.... the Crew supporter groups [Hudson Street Hooligans, Crew Union, Local 614, and La Turbina Amarilla] came marching into the tent. After this, we were stuck in the middle of a drum beating, singing, chanting, jumping, and dancing mob. As Nathan said, "dude, it was AWESOME!"
As for the title of this post... this is a chant [among many others] sung by the supporters groups at every game. "Yes I go, I go for Columbus." GO CREW!! Beat New York for the MLS Cup on Sunday, November 23rd.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Kent Mercker (Cincinnati Reds Pitcher)
Jon Busch (Chicago Fire Goalkeeper)
Chinedum Ndukwe (Cincinnati Bengals Safety)
Brady Quinn (Cleveland Browns Quarterback)
David Archuletta (American Idol Runner-up)
Nathan [#88] finished his first season of "American" football a few weeks ago. He developed into a very good player. His coaches loved him, and made him a captain. He played center, and was a true leader on the field. By the end of the season, he was dominating play at the line of scrimmage.
For his final game, he was able to play on the turf at Dublin Scioto High School. Here he is [black sleeves & socks] starting the play against the Titans.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
A few years ago, Ian played baseball in the Dublin Youth Athletics league. His team wore the uniforms of the Detroit Tigers. Even though he initially had no real connection to any of the players on our team, Matt Storey became an unofficial assistant coach. You see, Matt loves the Detroit Tigers, and would show up to games to sit on the bench to cheer on the "farm team," which just happened to be made up of 12 year old boys. The boys quickly accepted Matt, and began calling him "Coach Storey." After wins (and losses), Matt would lead the team in a trip around the bases, running with a huge Detroit Tigers flag and an even bigger smile. Matt had gall bladder surgery during the season, and to see the genuine concern of a bunch of 12 year old boys was touching.
As waterboy for the Dublin Coffman football team, Nathan gets to roam the sidelines with "Coach Storey" each Friday night. Matt is the team manager. Last Friday, Nathan came bursting through the front door after the game with the big news. It was not that Coffman had beaten Thomas Worthington by a score of 49-6. Instead, his first words were "Matt Storey was voted Homecoming King!" I'm sure this was a scene repeated in many homes around town.
In many high schools, the most popular boy is voted Homecoming King. This scenario was no exception in Dublin this year. However, the fact that Matt Storey truly is the most well liked and popular kid in school is the real story here. CONGRATULATIONS, MATT...and well done, Dublin.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 2:52 PM
By CANDACE PRESTON-COY
ThisWeek Staff Writer
Tears streamed down Kim Storey's face when her son's name was announced. They fell from several other eyes as last year's king, Andrew Talle, placed the crown on Matt Storey's head and handed over the scepter. Though smiling, Storey kept glancing at the Shamrocks football team that was waiting to run onto the field. A kiss for mom and a hug with dad Ken were all he had time for as he handed over his royal garb and ran after his teammates.
Zach Bott, who has known Storey since seventh grade, bet "he had 98 percent of the vote" for homecoming king. "Everybody voted for him," Bott said. "He's a lot of fun." Only seniors vote for the members of the homecoming court, but the entire student body votes for the king and queen, Miller said. "It has nothing to do with his disability," said senior Haileigh McClure. "When I think of Matt, I think of him for his school spirit. He's just really well liked." "I definitely voted for him," said senior Jess Phelan. "He's the No. 1 fan at Coffman. We're fans of him."
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
After the final soccer game of the weekend, the boys were hungry and dejected. Since we were near Detroit (one of the more colorful cities in the U.S.A.), I decided it was a good time to treat the boys to a little cultural diversity lesson. So, we headed for Detroit's Greektown...which happens to be the location of one of my favorite restaurants anywhere - Fishbones Rhythm Kitchen Cafe.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The presidential oath is as follows:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Yet, Article II http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Article2 of the constitution shows that the Executive Office is really policed by the people, and offers the ability to impeach for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." It also states that the President's compensation cannot be increased during the term. WHY?
It is my belief that our founding fathers were absolute geniuses, who were certainly guided by divine powers. Because of this, they created a government in which the leader can horribly fail, or at best be completely ineffective, yet the country moves forward with little impact. This is due to the fact that the drafters of the constitution knew that ALL of us are flawed as individuals. Case in point, our country has been led by a few known alcoholics, prescription pain-killer addicts, liars, crooks [or not], and many more than just one philanderer. However, since July 4th, 1776 this has continued to be the greatest country to exist on the earth. WHY? It's because of our people, not due to any one of our leaders. Heck, maybe we thrive in SPITE of our country's leaders! In my opinion, only one man has ever been truly qualified to lead in the manner we'd expect. However, he lived under Roman rule, in Judaea, over 2000 years ago.
Our country has been at it's best when a common cause has been found....like defeating fascism in World War II, or overcoming the Great Depression. Even the immediate moments and days after 9/11 showed our strength as a country...the acts of ordinary citizens, doing extraordinary things, without the direction of our leaders. In contrast, the local, state, and federal agencies reaction to Hurricane Katrina showed what happens when we rely too heavily on our governmental leaders.
Therefore, I am throwing my hat into the ring, and I'm running on the platform that I plan to do nothing but ask for the involvement of the ordinary citizens of this country. Remember, the whole "ask not what your country can do for you" speech? Inspired...so, I'll just embellish it a little bit. Also, I'll promise that I will have little or no effect on whether our economy improves. I will not single-handedly bring peace to the middle east. However, I will ask that we be good to each other.... :)
click the link below:
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Some of the Miami football players came over to watch the kids practice. By this time, the fundamental drills were over, and the Cowboys offense was scrimmaging the defense, where Nathan played linebacker.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Michele and the boys have been in Myrtle Beach this past week with our friends, the Demains. Marlene invited Michele, Ian, & Nathan to the beach, after her husband (Andy) and daughter (Naomi) had to back out of the trip. That left me living the bachelor life for the past week.
Michele asked if I would be upset if she went without me...I told her that I would be envious, but not upset. I believe that there was some hesitation on her part to leave the house and pets in my hands. After a week, I can proudly say that the animals were almost fed on time, the plants and flowers were watered, and I was able to make a few meals for myself. Yet, as proud as I am of those facts, I would have much rather been on the beach....for the second time in a month. I hope they all had a great time. Seriously!
They'll be back later this evening. Therefore, I'm spending some time doing a little more cleaning and yard work, so it doesn't look like I've just spent all my time eating junk food and watching tv in my underwear.... although I don't deny having done a little of that this week.
Tomorrow morning, Ian and I will travel to Cleveland for a 5v5 soccer tournament at Brad Friedel's Premier Soccer Academy.
Here we go again...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
On July 3rd, Michele, Ian, and I watched the Columbus Clippers play the Toledo Mud Hens. Michele's Mom & Stepdad have great seats...third row, directly behind home plate. The game was a good one. Tied 4 to 4 in the eighth inning, the Clippers scored 6 runs to end the game 10 to 4. After the game, there were fireworks. We could also see a little bit of Red, White, & Boom. This is the BIG fireworks show in Columbus, with over 300,00 people attending. As the fireworks launched, many of the players either carried their kids out onto the field, or jumped into the stands to sit with their wives and children to watch. The whole night was such a very "American" experience. Happy 232nd Birthday USA!
Next year, the Clippers will be playing in a new downtown stadium - called Huntington Park.
Columbus' Arena District is really becoming a great spot.
Nathan was one of the 300,000 people at Red, White, & Boom. He went with his friend Logan, and watched the fireworks near the launch site at Veteran's Memorial. He said the show was great...but his stories indicate that the people watching was even better. At age 12, he has already learned that there are a lot of "weirdos" out there...and most of them are just plain comical.
On July 4th, Nathan and I went to see the Dublin fireworks. It was a good show, but was just a warm-up for the annual fireworks extravaganza that our neighbors (Spence & Lori) put on each year. This is what I was really looking forward to this Independence Day weekend.
We invited a small group of friends over to the house to watch the big show next door. Ian & Nathan invited a larger group of their friends. The kids played soccer in the front yard, and volleyball & corn-hole in the back yard. They roasted hot dogs & s'mores over the fire, and drank more sugary, carbonated drinks than they needed. Michele made a tremendous amount of snacks and drinks for the adults, which we shared on the patio. She even made a couple of cherry pies with the cherries we picked from our little dwarf cherry trees. The weather cooperated to make it a great night. Of course, the fireworks were awesome. The neighbors take 2-3 days preparing the launch pads for the fireworks...and the results were unbelievable. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.
After the weekend, we discovered that Ian's soccer team was accepted into the Midwest Regional League (MRL). This is one of the top leagues in the nation. The other teams in the league are from Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Needless to say, we'll be doing some weekend traveling this year. He will also be playing in tournaments in St. Louis, MO and Raleigh, NC this fall. Maybe with all of this travel we'll be able to drop in to say "hi" to out-of-state friends and family!
Friday, July 4, 2008
She caught this little bugger with a live trap and some "Purina Squirrel Chow." As cute as they may be, the chipmunks have done some damage to the walks and patio. Last year, we relocated 7 or 8 of them.
After they have been caught, we take them down the road to a little thicket we call Chipmunk Woods. We allow ourselves to believe that they are having quite the party in there. However, life is probably not as easy as it was in our backyard, where food (bird seed) and shelter were readily available. Good luck, little buddy.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Michele is such a regimented person. Each morning she wakes up, makes a pot of coffee, and sits outside while the dog [who is also regimented] does her business. Since animals [including me] have always been attracted to Michele, she has some very up-close and personal relationships with many of our back yard guests.
I get excited every time I see a hummingbird at the feeder. When I tell Michele that I saw one, she'll ask: "was it the green male with the red throat, or the white one? Was it the female with the grey wings, or the brown wings?" She has caught a bunch of frogs this week, including a really cool gold, metallic-looking tree frog. She carries them around to show to me, the boys, the neighbors, and anyone else whom she feels needs to see a frog. Anyway, I think she may soon resort to giving them all names. Kinda reminded me of this image of Snow White...
However, there is trouble in the magical forest. The chipmunks have caused some damage to the patio, and are therefore on the naughty list. So too are the racoons, who have nearly destroyed the bird feeder. The snakes, while a necessary evil, are just not welcome anywhere near the house. So this morning, Michele set a live trap for some of the "problem" animals. I can't wait to see what she'll catch....
Monday, June 30, 2008
With our busy soccer, basketball, & baseball schedules, our yard was completely neglected this Spring. This was compounded by the fact that our lawn tractor was in the shop for 6 weeks! Luckily, we have the greatest neighbors in the world, who allowed us to borrow their mower. [thanks, Sunderlands!] However, there were times when our yard looked pretty shabby. Anyway, each June-July I have about a 4 week respite from soccer. So, I try to do a little yard work each night after work.
The other night, the weather was nearly perfect. Temps were in the low 70's, with low humidity, and with a mild breeze blowing from the west. It was so nice, I just kept working into the night. Michele and I had agreed that we should move some of the existing bushes and hydrangeas, so without much thought to the plan, I just started digging. The reasons for working so late were many. But mainly, it was just too nice to come inside, and the results of the transplanting were looking really good. Around midnight, as I was putting the finishing touches on the last bush, I heard a loud flapping sound by my left ear. Thinking it was a bat, I turned quickly, only to find a peach colored moth fluttering near the lights I had placed under the trees on the patio. It eventually landed on my shoe...and wouldn't leave! I tried shaking my foot, but the moth stuck like glue. I tried to pull him off, but he had a death grip on my shoe. Finally, I just took my shoe off and finished working in my bare feet.
The next night, I decided to do a little cherry-picking. In 1997, Mom & Dad Keller gave us two dwarf cherry trees as presents for our 10th wedding anniversary. We planted the small trees alongside the path to our back patio. For the past 11 years, the trees have provided us with enough cherries for a few pies from each growing season. Ian and Nathan adopted the trees when they were very little. Therefore, they each have their own tree. Ian's tree is a little taller, but Nathan's tree is just as prolific.... fittingly. As the cherries ripen, we place nets around the trees to protect them from the birds. However, this does NOT protect them from the chipmunks. Needless to say, we have some mighty fat chipmunks scampering around the back yard.
2008 has proven to be the best season ever for our little cherry farm. As I write this, we still have over one-third of the fruit left to pick on the trees. Yet, we have packed over 32 cups of pitted cherries. This is already enough for eight pies!
Ian "volunteered" to help pick & pit the cherries this year.
Doesn't he look happy to help?
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Michele spent a lot of time in the water this trip. She and Ian are the sea shell hunters in the family. For years they have hunted the elusive Junonia shell, but haven't been lucky enough to find one. However, they do always seem to be able to bring home pounds of other really cool shells (tulips, conchs, whelks, kitten's paws, nutmegs, etc.). Nathan usually snorkels to find his treasures. The big finds were sea urchins and starfish, but we couldn't keep them... they were alive.
Since we typically spend the entire day at the beach, we bring a lot of STUFF. The boys were [finally] a big help this year, as we had to carry chairs, umbrellas, beach bags, coolers, fishing gear, bait boxes, skim boards, and rafts to our spot on the beach. However, lugging our stuff didn't seem so bad, because the path to the beach was so beautiful.
A full day at the beach can sometimes cause some uncomfort-able conditions. We know this from experience. Some of these issues include: sand and/or small shells in your butt crack, bug bites, sunscreen slime, and that "fishy" smell. This year, we were lucky to have use of the 'Tween Waters Inn pool and showers. Around midday we would hike across the street, shower, take a cooling dip in the the pool, and have some refreshing "boat drinks"....ahh.
On our last night at the beach, Michele and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. The boys stayed at the condo, and Michele and I were able to go on a "date" - just the two of us. We had dinner at Biddle's, a restaurant near the Sanibel Causeway. We ordered entirely from the appetizer menu. Sashimi tuna, scallops, stuffed shrimp....yummo [yeah, I watch Rachael Ray]. The restaurant was decorated in what Michele described as "Tommy Bahamas". However, I thought it more resembled Rick's Cafe Americain from the movie Casablanca. They had live music...a husband and wife team who played everything from Motown to 1930's swing. They were actually quite good and got most everyone out on the dance floor. Sitting near us was a couple who had to be in their 90's. They got up and boogied often. I hope that Michele and I are still around and able to enjoy nights like that when we are their age. The whole night was romantic...and perfect. Just for the record, this ranks as my favorite anniversary date with my beautiful wife.
This trip started with a very conscious effort on my part to de-stress. As Jimmy Buffet sang, "changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes." For eight wonderful days there was no stress: mission accomplished. Now, I can only rely on memories until the next time we head to a beach. Until then, this is the mental image [from the Sanibel Causeway] I am choosing to use as the desktop background in my brain: