FIFA, Rising Star, Dirt Tracks, A Parade, & Dead Chicken

Soccer has never interested me a great deal, but I’ve watched more than a few games over the years. Mostly, it was little kids learning the game and, more importantly, the value of being a team member and trusting your team mates. I made the last part up, but it makes sense, now.

More recently, I’ve been watching high school soccer because that’s one of Lydia’s chosen sports. Because of that, it’s imperative that I watch every game possible. Lydia is playing goalie, not an easy task. She said she finds it exciting and boring, all at once. But, she gets to wear those really cool Mickey Mouse gloves.

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Observing the game with a more critical eye to positioning, and passing, and asking a lot of questions of those around me, I’ve developed a new appreciation of the sport and felt compelled to watch the entire 95+ minutes of today’s game against Portugal. I even got excited! when goals were scored and the USA surged ahead 2-1. Then, just as easily, I was dashed back to earth when Portugal’s #7 made a pretty awesome kick to one of his team mates who head butted it into the net, during the last-minute, I think, to end the game in a 2-2 tie. It was a bit disappointing, but no one lost. I have no idea what happens next other than USA plays Germany, I think.

Considering the outcome of the game, and that most soccer matches are very low scoring, I’ve made the following conclusions about the game.

  • Games are scheduled for 90 minutes to make sure only the fittest make it to the end.
  • The first 85 minutes are used to test defense and offense.
  • If goals are scored at any time before the last 5 minutes, it’s a bonus for that team.
  • Super Star players can retain their status with a 1% success rate on kicks & passes.

Now I’ll have to find out when the next game is scheduled and watch that one, too. But, I’m going to record it and only watch the last 5 minutes.

Rising Star, the new “Look At Me I’m A Singer” show, made it’s debut this evening. In preparation for the big event, Diane loaded the app on her iPad so she could help make decisions about who would win. Sadly, all the hoopla about this program is totally lost on those of us who live on Pacific Standard Time, because all those decisions are keyed to the program being aired at 8 pm East Coast time. Since it aired here at 8 pm PST, what Diane got on her iPad app, when the program started, was who all the winners were. It was a done deal. What a total waste. We didn’t watch it, and won’t even bother looking the next time it’s on. The hype is totally not for our time zone.

Dirt track racing has been going on here in River City (St. Helens) for as long as I can remember. Diane’s cousin, Don, has been associated with it for as long as I can remember, too. He’s a huge promoter and, at age 67, is still giving the young drivers fits on the track. He’s raced all manner of vehicles over the years and is currently piloting a modified rig that moves along just as fast as all the other vehicles out there. His nephew, Johnathan, also drives. He, and his sister, Victoria, got started at a young age thanks to Uncle Don. Johnathan started at 13 and is currently running his own 4-cylinder hot rod, having a lot of fun. Victoria has moved on and is currently married to an active duty sailor. We had the pleasure of sitting in the stands with them yesterday afternoon to watch Don and Jonathan see how many laps they could make in their respective races without destroying their rides. Don did real good. Jonathan did, too, most of the time, but wound up totally destroying his right rear tire as he passed a car on the last lap. The two cars were smack up against each other coming out of turn 4 on the 1/4 mile oval, and Johnathan was moving a little faster. End result was the car on his right got his left front bumper into Johnathan’s right rear wheel, causing the tire to disintegrate. He kept going forward, however, and managed to rip most of his opponent’s front end off as he went by.

What fun. Here’s part of the fun …

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Jonathan’s #2 …DSC_0953

Uncle Don’s #0 …DSC_0993

Fun in turns 1 and 2 …DSC_1032

Kayliah, Alec’s Sister, and Victoria’s only Sister-In-Law, giving me her sultry look. I think she had a different name for it but I can’t remember it. She did say that it works best with a little flick of her hair.

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Jennifer was in attendance …DSC_1197

… as was my first wife, Diane …DSC_1194

… and in the sunglasses are Pam, Alec, and VictoriaDSC_1199

Lydia with one of the many little girls she entertained during the race. This one was trying out new hair styles …DSC_1210

A fun moment for Jonathan just before he attempted to relocate a very large, very heavy, yellow tractor tire. I actually think he missed it head on and didn’t move it much, but I bet it was pretty exciting for him.DSC_1233

KC will be sad because we had planned to make a trip to Cannon Beach to see her yesterday, but there were a lot of things going on in town that we normally attend with Diane’s Mom, Jean, plus falling in the driveway kinda tweaked my back making the prospect of 4-5 hours in the car unattractive. Yes, it was an exceptional day at the beach and there was an annual sand castle contest, and we’re sad we missed it, but my body is better off for passing it up. Sorry KC.

Instead, we went to the Kiwanis Parade, an annual event, after which we went to the Methodist Church for a dead Chicken BBQ, another annual event. Funny how they both seem to occur on the same day. Probably planned.

Here’s Diane, Mom Jean, Jennifer, and Lydia poised to watch the parade come down the hill …

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We were all sitting across the street from the mortuary, and people were arriving for a funeral as the parade went by. You can see them in the back of this picture I took of Mikela driving her Dad’s tractor …

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This is her Dad, Henry, driving a pretty nice Mustang …DSC_0729

… and this is her Grandma Doris driving one of the CC Rider buses …DSC_0731

I have no idea where her Mom, Pam, was. To remove the funeral home from the shots, I moved to the other side of the street during a lull. That way I had a chance to talk with folks who were going into the home. I don’t know who’s funeral was … only that he was a WWII guy who learned to fly at the same time as one of the Navy vets who was going to see him off on his next journey.

This is what my truck is going go look like some day. Really, it is.

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This Star Wars guy made some threatening gestures, but it was all in fun …DSC_0867

Two of the Columbia County Fair Rodeo princesses …DSC_0819

After the parade, we went a little ways to the right on this street and ate chicken at the Methodist Church. Sorry I didn’t take a picture. I ate an entire half of a chicken and it was pretty awesome. Greasy, but awesome.

The pictured events are not shown in the order in which we attended them, but that’s OK. Just know we had a pretty good day and we all went home happy.

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