Soccer, Softball, Sky, & Relatives

Last weekend Diane and I participated in a sports extravaganza the likes of which we haven’t enjoyed in a while. Soccer has been ruling our lives for most of the winter months, but now softball has reared it’s head, demanding to be noticed. So, we noticed. To help us along that path, Niece Steffani and her significant other paid us a visit because their daughter, Maryssa, was playing a softball tournament in Happy Valley. Maryssa plays for Eastern Oregon University out of La Grande, Oregon.

Steff and Bob arrived around 10:30 pm Thursday night to kick the weekend off. Maryssa wasn’t scheduled to play until Saturday and Sunday so we had a fun day catching up on all the Idaho gossip. There’s always Idaho gossip. Oregon gossip, too. It’s a family thing and not limited to just our family, I’m sure.

On Saturday Diane and I already had plans to ferry Daniel and Lydia to Springfield, Oregon for Lydia’s participation in a game with her tournament team which plays out of Hillsboro, Oregon. They didn’t get a very good start to the season, losing their first three games, so we had hopes that her teams’ defense would perk up and make the long drive worth it.

They did, winning their match 1-0 against a very active team. It was the team’s first goal of the season, and their first win, so the trip was definitely worth it. Lydia, the goalie, did an exemplary job stopping numerous kicks on goal, helping to maintain the shutout.

That little bumblebee smudge in the middle of the field is our Lydia. It’s where she spent a lot of the game, watching all the activity around the opponent’s goal. It was a good game.

IMG_0337

While the soccer match was in progress, Maryssa’s team was getting beat up, losing a couple of games during the course of the day. It was a tough start to their season, too. We kept track of each other via texting during the games, and to announce our whereabouts with regard to home.

After leaving Springfield, since it was lunchtime, and Lydia hadn’t had anything to eat for a while, we stopped at Coburg Pizza Company for a bite. Daniel selected it from many choices offered by SIRI, and it was an excellent choice. When we arrived, it was pretty quiet, but by the time our food appeared on the table, the joint was jumping. Because we were early, Lydia was able to snag the table closest to the fire-place which was good because we had all been standing around in a frigid breeze all morning.

IMG_0339

It’s a bad selfie, but gives you an idea of the ambience to which we were subjected. We highly recommend the Coburg Pizza Company if you’re ever in the area. Good food.

Sunday, the tables turned a bit as Jennifer was able to ferry Lydia and Cedric to their next game in Wilsonville, Oregon, allowing Diane and I to attend Maryssa’s game in Happy Valley. As before, we kept each other up to date via texting as the games progress. Lydia’s team won 2-0 which means they are on a streak, and doing far better now that they have some games under their belts.

At Maryssa’s game things turned a corner in a dramatic way when EOU was down 6-0 to a college team out of Canada. It was the bottom of the 7th and Maryssa was going to bat first in the inning so wanted to make sure I was sitting down to watch when it started. She hadn’t been able to produce a hit yet, so we had high hopes. Then, as the girls were warming up, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the truck for something I didn’t really need. About the time I got there it hit me that Maryssa is batting! So, I quickly turned around and hoofed it back to the field as quickly as I could, in cowboy boots. When I arrived the count on Maryssa was 1-2, leaving one strike away from a trip back to the dugout. As I walked up she took a pitch and drove it down the 3rd base line but it was foul by about 2 inches. Then I was seated for the next pitch which she sent over the fence in right center field. What a hit. She really nailed it, and scored the first run for her team. That got things started, because during that inning her team had more base hits, and a total of 3 HRs, the last of which tied the score at 6-6. Wow! That was Maryssa’s first collegiate home run, and we were there to see it. What a thrill. I’m sure that she was saving that hit for us.

The 8th inning found them tied again, so it was on to the 9th with the use of International tie breaker rules. That’s where the team at bat gets to send their last out to 2nd base to start. The other team scored a couple of runs making it 8-6, putting EOU in a do or die position. At their last up they were able to get one run in, with 2 outs, for a 8-7 deficit with the tying run on 2nd. Then Cheyenne came to bat. She took a few pitches then smoked one over the fence for the 4th HR of the game, ending it with a 10-8 win for EOU. It was pretty awesome.

During the break between games, Jennifer, Lydia, and Cedric arrived and were able to visit a bit, and have lunch with Bob, Steff, and Maryssa. The snack shack at the Hood View Park sports complex had surprisingly good food prompting us to just remain in place for lunch instead of venturing out into town.

Here’s Maryssa (left), and Lydia enjoying lunch in the sun which was nice, because almost the entire first game was played in cold rain.

IMG_0340

Maryssa was put into the lineup for the afternoon game so we stuck around to watch. The EOU coach, to this point, had been alternating Maryssa with another contender for 2nd base, but finally saw the light and played her two in a row. Unfortunately, they faced an exemplary freshman pitcher from a British Columbia team and couldn’t dig out a win. It wasn’t for lack of effort on Maryssa’s part, however because she went 1 for 3, driving in 2 RBIs on a double.

During the first part of the game, Jennie, Cedric, and Lydia said their goodbyes because they had to make it back to the MODA Center in downtown Portland where they had tickets to a concert.

After the game we said our goodbyes to Bob, Steff, and Maryssa as they were all headed east, and we were going west. It was a good visit and we had a lot of fun watching the games.

During one leg of our trip, we saw this interesting cloud formation and I felt compelled to capture it for posterity, and to share it with you. Make of it what you wish, as we did. If we were in Kansas, we would have been concerned. Here in Oregon it was just interesting.

IMG_0338

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2016

Yesterday Diane handed me the latest Sports Illustrated issue telling me it appeared to be “pretty good reading.” I didn’t understand what she meant until I saw the cover.

I have to admit it was a page turner because the magazine is thick, and there’s a model on pretty much every page instead of a bunch of photos in the middle. So, I paged through the entire magazine, looking at the pretty girls, then I did it again looking for interesting article, and feel compelled to share these observations:

  1. It appears SI is working toward replacing Playboy with nearly naked ladies.
  2. Lots of the new swimming suits don’t have tops.
  3. The most alluring models are the plus size ladies.
  4. There are no articles regarding sports at all – just pretty girls and advertisements. I checked three times.
  5. Apparently paint counts as a swimsuit. I believe that’s illegal. Nice, but illegal. Unless it’s water based latex paint.

I believe Ronda Rousey was the only model/athlete and she was one of the painted models. I guess one could say she is truly “Sports Illustrated.”

Get it?

Politics & Religion

Since Politics or Religion are pretty much tabu subjects for polite conversation, I figured I might as well combine them today and see what happens. I mean, what could go wrong, right? At this point I’ll remind everyone that you have the right to stop reading here if you plan to be offended and you must remember that everything I share here is either an embellishment, or an uninformed opinion. Just sayin so you can save yourself some unnecessary grief about what comes next.

The political race is heating up and it looks like we’re going to have a very difficult decision to make on November 8th. Will it be Fun and Games with Donald, Hillary, Ted, Jeb, Marco, or Bernie? Hard to tell at this point in time, but I’m sure we’re going to get a belly full of political gibberish until election day to ensure we have all the information required to make an informed decision.

With us, here on the West Coast, it’s almost not worth it to vote because by the time our polls close the election is pretty much over. So, why bother, right? We hear all the time that we need to make sure our voice is heard and we can do that by voting. I vote every election and I don’t see a lot of evidence that my voice has been heard unless I vote totally against my better instincts and go with the candidate with the most money.

Using that as a guideline, it looks like our friend Donald is the guy.

President Donald. How does that sound? Does it sound better than President Clinton, or President Bush? For me it does mainly because we’ve already had the latter two. Might be fun to see what happens if we get someone in the White House who isn’t hung up on political correctness.

Now, about religion. I’m convinced that the majority of pastors, priests, reverends, preachers, etc., are “called” to churches that can pay them the most money. Now, I don’t blame them for doing that, but I think it would be more honest to call it a job, not a calling. There are, of course, many religious leaders who aren’t in it for the money. I actually know one. He’s college trained, calls himself a Chaplain, and absolutely refuses to accept any kind of pay for his services. Ever heard of a preacher like that? When I asked him what I owed him, after he performed a service, he waved his hands and said, “I won’t take any money for sharing God’s word. Never have, never will.”

Well, that was unique in my experience because he’s extremely good at what he does, and gets all of his answers, for any question, from his ever-present Bible.

I think this guy should be president.

 

Super Bowl 50

I must admit that going in to this super bowl game Diane and I were pretty solid Panther fans, although we had a soft spot for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Our reason for being partial to the Panthers is because two players, Derek Anderson (3) and David Mayo (55) on the team played high school football in Scappoose, Oregon. That’s where Diane and I went to school. Funny thing.

The highlight of the game was Lady Gaga’s rendition of the National Anthem. That was totally awesome in so many ways. Simply spectacular. From that point on it was all business for the Broncos who shut down an offense that was more than prolific during the season.

I wasn’t going to comment on the game but couldn’t keep from it after watching a replay of Lady Gaga’s wonderful performance. While she was singing, the camera panned the players of both teams and one thing became very evident to me.

Cam isn’t much of a patriot or perhaps he simply isn’t familiar with the concept.

Of all the players shown, Cam Newton was the only one I saw, from either team, who chose to not put his hand over his heart during Lady Gaga’s performance. Instead, he stood there with his ever-present towel over his head, which is apparently his trademark, with both hands hooked into the front of his shoulder pads. I suppose one could make a semi-valid argument that his right hand was, technically, near his heart. But, that doesn’t count.

On what led to the Carolina Panthers’ loss, Newton said, “It wasn’t nothing special that they did,” which revealed to me that Cam apparently isn’t very well educated so I shouldn’t be too hard on him for not knowing the proper way to present himself during the National Anthem. But, I am OK with being judgmental in this instance. He should know. That is, of course, my opinion.

Bottom line – we’re glad the Bronco’s won. They were the best team in more ways than the way they played the game.

Cedric & Golf

The day before yesterday, as I mentioned previously, Cedric did his penance at the MEPS center in Portland. MEPS, for those unfamiliar with military acronyms, stands for Military Entrance Processing Station, or something like that. It’s where all prospective enlistees, for any service, go to be tested and thoroughly inspected by doctors. We’re happy to say that he did well and took his oath of enlistment last Wednesday.

IMG_0333

He’s happy to be on his way with this journey.IMG_0334

But, he’s on the delayed entry program and won’t leave until July and graduate from boot camp in September. Since he’s going to the training center in Illinois, just a little north of Chicago, that’s a good thing, but he’s ready to go now. Shortly after boot camp  he will go to school to learn about his new job as a navy cook. Yes, Cedric is going to be a Swashbuckling Chef. We’re looking forward to his journey.

Today Junior and I went golfing again, even though the course was a mucky mess. Still, we had fun. In the below photo, that’s Junior with his back to the camera giving instructions to Suki, the golf course owner, about how he should have the 4-wheel drive of his heft John Deere fixed to he could more easily dislodge his greens mower from the sucking mud in the 5th fairway. There were many muddy tracks around the course today.

IMG_0335

We made some of our own when we got the cart stuck a couple of times. But, we were able to extract ourselves with a minimum of difficulty. What fun.IMG_0336

We plan to go again next Wednesday. It’s supposed to be a dry day, but we don’t really care. Maybe Cedric can go with us.