Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My family loves Halloween. We decorate our house inside and out. We turn our front yard into a spooky graveyard. Then when the kids are done trick or treating we hang out in the front yard and try to scare trick or treaters who come to the house.

This was a different year for us. We are without our oldest for the first time in 14 years. She had a road game scheduled for tonight so she is playing volleyball at Serrano High School this evening. Besides that, it was a slow night. A beautiful night, but a slow one.

The temperature was fantastic. It was one of those evenings where I would have been willing to walk with the kids while they trick or treated for miles. But being midweek and a school night. There weren't many kids out trick or treating this evening so people were passing out hands full of candy instead of single pieces.

We have always made the kids quit when their little plastic buckets are full, and they filled up quickly this evening. So we went back to the house and staked out the front yard. My youngest daughter in her mummy costume, my son in his dracula costume and me in my gray coveralls, hockey mask and axe.

We lurked around for a while and frightened a couple kids but we spent most of our time just standing around bored.

The evening ended on a high note though when six of my volleyball players showed up. They walked right up the driveway with my 8th grade Captain in the lead. But when they turned onto the sidewalk my Captain balked and decided she didn't want to be in the lead anymore. My starting setter moved to the front then quickly scampered down the sidewalk to the front door. The rest followed her watching me as I just sat in my chair and stared at them. Five of them gathered at the front door while my seventh grade setter hung back at the end of the sidewalk, just a little leery of walking down the sidewalk. So she watched as my dear wife passed out candy and I got out of my chair and snuck up behind the girls standing at the door. Then as soon as one of them started to turn around I let out a yell and leapt around the bushes onto the sidewalk with my realistic looking plastic axe held high in the air.

This action resulted in a very satisfying chorus of screams and five girls all jumping and turning in circles as they realized that they were trapped in the doorway. As they settled down the last member of their group finally joined them, got her candy, and we stood around and visited for a while.

I'm glad the girls came by. Spending a few minutes with them was the perfect end of the evening. After they left we waited about 30 minutes more and when no more trick or treaters came by we blew out all the candles. Turned off the lights and shut down the front yard for the night.

Now I just have to wait for my oldest to get home and this will be one more Halloween to remember. Except for the putting all the decorations away. That will take another few days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


My daughter's high school volleyball teams played three road matches this evening at Barstow High School. The freshman team won a close match 2-1 with one of my eighth grade players from last year serving an ace in the last game to win the game and match.

The junior varsity easily won their match in two games.

Then it was time for the varsity match to start. Several of the parents and I figured out we were in for an interesting evening once the warm-ups started. The bleachers were only about 30% full so there were a lot of spaces to sit scattered all along the court. But that didn't stop about 12 Barstow students from deciding that they needed to sit next to us, and right in the middle of the section of bleachers where all our students had left their gym bags and homework. There was not a lot of unused space in this area to sit. But they moved right in and made themselves a home. In many cases these students had to sit with our students bags between their legs, under their feet and scattered all around them.

Both coaches asked us parents to keep an eye on the girls stuff since these students behavior seemed to indicate that they were doing this on purpose and were looking cause some mischief. So we tried to keep an eye on our players stuff and in the meantime most of the players left warm-ups and came up into the stands to move their stuff away from these interlopers.

Unfortunately we weren't sharp enough or didn't get things moved quickly enough. One of the girl's street shoes disappeared in this several minutes. We are hoping that nothing else disappeared out of their packs.

Then the game started. This group of 12 kids put on a display of bad sportsmanship that makes the Cleveland Browns Dogpound look like boy scouts.

I had my video camera running and it recorded almost an hour and a half of these kids teasing, jeering, and yelling crass comments at our players. It seems no one ever taught them the first rule of fan sportsmanship - cheer for your team, not against their opponents.

There was one guy in the group that liked to yell "Go Aztecs" as loud as he could but he only did it whenever one of our girls was attempting to spike or serve. But at least he was cheering for his team. The rest of group just basically performed down to the lowest level they could manage.

The only redeeming part of the night was how quiet these morons got, and how quickly they vacated the premises when my daughter's team won that final point in game five to finish off a 3-2 win in the match.

After the match I mentioned the rude behavior to a couple other parents and they told me that it is nothing new. Barstow High School has apparently had a reputation for years of having the rudest, most poorly behaved, students in the conference. One of the parents whispered that is why he has heard several folks refer to them as A$$hole High.

I asked if they thought I should send a copy of the DVD I had recorded to the principal so he could have a good listen to what kind of representatives of his school his students are. But most of the parents said it would be a waste of time. The school apparently doesn't care. I had to agree. In the last two years I have seen the Barstow varsity team play three times. In those three matches I have seen their head coach yellow carded for verbally berating a referee. She has thrown her clipboard, kicked her chair and stormed onto and around the court ranting and raving like a crazy woman. She had pretty much behaved a lot like the students who come to watch her team play. Since the school allows its coaches to behave like that I doubt they will care how the students behave.

Oh well, we are done with that team for this season.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Been Busy

Sorry I haven't been posting lately. I have been really busy. My volleyball teams are streaming ahead full bore with practices or games or both every day. My daughter has practices and games everyday with her high school team that I like to be at.

My father is coming to visit later this week and we're trying to get things ready for him.

On top of that I have two new computers - a new laptop for me and a new desktop for the family and I need to get them set up and all our data transfered. This is very time consuming.

Plus I have to get all the outdoor Halloween decorations set up.

So I promise I'll try and get some time to do some blog writing this next week. I have been writing on a short story for a writing challenge but I don't want to say much about that in case it sucks and I don't submit it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Shooting Star

My niece sent this to me.

All I could reply was:

Star light, Star bright.
Burning crap I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Not waste my wish on crap tonight.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Select a Candidate

Are you curious about how your personal beliefs compare to those of the 4372 candidates running for the office of President of the United States?

Minnesota Public Radio has put together a little survey that you can take that will let you know some of the answers. Like they say on their website:

This quiz is not meant to pick your candidate for you. It is designed to inform the public of the various stances candidates make. Results are not scientific. Based on a tool developed by Minnesota Public Radio.

I have a much more scientific method of determining who my candidate is going to be. I listen to them talk, and if I have to run out of the room and vomit, or end up screaming obscenities at the TV then I probably won't vote for that person.

If that isn't scientific enough for you then I suggest that you do a little research and look up each candidates voting records and see if you agree with how they voted. Don't listen to what they say while running for office. They are politicians. They are lying to you. The only way to find out what a candidate thinks is to look at their voting record. Anything they say now that they are a candidate for office is going to be a pandering lie designed to make the specific audience they are speaking to want to vote for them.

So how did my test results turn out?

Fred Thompson Score: 44
Duncan Hunter Score: 44
John McCain Score: 39
Jim Gilmore Score: 38
Sam Brownback Score: 36
Mitt Romney Score: 35
Ron Paul Score: 32
Tom Tancredo Score: 29
Rudy Giuliani Score: 25
Mike Huckabee Score: 23
Joe Biden Score: 7
Bill Richardson Score: 4
Barack Obama Score: 1
Hillary Clinton Score: 1
John Edwards Score: 1

For a non-scientific test I have to say that I would have to agree pretty much with these results. Is it any wonder that I feel so repulsed and angry every time I see Obama, Edwards or Hillary running their mouths?

But then I am almost as tired of the antique media shoving Rudy and Mitt down my throat as the main conservative candidates. I'm a conservative who has some beliefs that are fairly far right and others that lean slightly left of center. From what I've seen of Mitt's and Rudy's voting records these two men were lucky to score as high as they did on this survey.

Since I don't know what they based this survey on, the candidates voting records or what they have been saying lately, I can't put too much stock in it. But it did raise two questions for me ask: "Who the hell is Jim Gilmore?" and "Why didn't the survey ask about gun ownership?" Oh right! I forgot, this was put together by Public Radio...