A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Monday, 12 Mar, 2012 – 12:49 | Comments Off
A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

A SWAT for getting all a-Twitter about nothing
Thursday, 1 Mar, 2012 – 17:13 | Comments Off
A SWAT for getting all a-Twitter about nothing

I know the folks who are all verklempt because NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski was tweeting Monday night while the Daytona 500 was red-flagged.
There the same ones who were wringing their hands once upon a time …

Wow. He’s getting good. When did that happen?
Thursday, 1 Mar, 2012 – 14:25 | Comments Off
Wow. He’s getting good. When did that happen?

I knew Big Guy had to be getting better because his belt kept changing colors but I’ll be honest: I hadn’t really noticed.
Despite sitting through almost three  years of the guys’ karate lessons, I still  …

There are rules, and then there’s 36 hours of Daytona
Tuesday, 28 Feb, 2012 – 13:07 | One Comment
There are rules, and then there’s 36 hours of Daytona

We have a strict 8 p.m. bedtime.
Sort of. Over the past two years it’s morphed to a strict “be physically in the bed by 8 but stay awake and read for a while if you …

I absolutely do not want you to practice karate
Thursday, 9 Feb, 2012 – 10:52 | One Comment
I absolutely do not want you to practice karate

In the almost three years since the guys started karate,  the pattern’s persisted.
Blow off practice then get upset when you don’t earn a stripe. Practice your little butt off for the next week or so …

Being a pint-sized super star is not always super
Tuesday, 24 Jan, 2012 – 13:39 | Comments Off
Being a pint-sized super star is not always super

He looked like Michael Jordan’s mini-me – or Kobe Bryant’s, depending on your generation – but with a shade more hair. Possibly with a shade more precociousness, too, since Jordan did, after all, get cut …

Hold on there. You’re supposed to be a Reds fan.
Tuesday, 26 Jul, 2011 – 12:40 | 4 Comments
Hold on there. You’re supposed to be a Reds fan.

You remember the sweet little baby he used to be, and you wonder how it all went sideways.
You tried to raise him right – before he was born you ordered a onsie from your favorite …

Big Guy at his best – when he’s losing
Friday, 22 Jul, 2011 – 9:37 | Comments Off
Big Guy at his best – when he’s losing

Big Guy had just gotten his little butt beaten badly, but he’d come up grinning so it was safe to broach the subject.
“So what did you learn today?” I asked. It’s my standard question when …

When second place is far more than the “first loser”
Monday, 20 Jun, 2011 – 14:00 | Comments Off
When second place is far more than the “first loser”

Big Guy’s latest trophy is by far his most impressive, though he didn’t grasp that right away. He did notice that it’s the biggest award in a collection that already borders on obscenely large, but …

Law & Order: Baseball Intent
Wednesday, 20 Apr, 2011 – 12:18 | 2 Comments
Law & Order: Baseball Intent

If there’s an app on my phone Big Guy is going to play with it – especially since I’ve taken the games off my geriatric-by-today’s standards Blackberry so I could install Major League Baseball At …

Yes, it was a fun season
Wednesday, 30 Mar, 2011 – 10:27 | Comments Off
Yes, it was a fun season

It took Big Guy all of three minutes after meeting his coach to assess the coming flag football season – not that he’s prone to snap judgments.
“This is going to be fun,” he grinned. “He’s …

Learning a happy sort of hate
Monday, 28 Mar, 2011 – 13:37 | One Comment
Learning a happy sort of hate

The old proverb slipped out of my mouth Friday night before I could stop it, as Spike and Jerry ganged up on Tom during a marathon cartoon session: “The enemy of my enemy is my …

Don’t go away mad. Just go away.
Thursday, 24 Feb, 2011 – 17:08 | Comments Off
Don’t go away mad. Just go away.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
We’ll leave if you don’t build us a new arena. We’ll go to a city that appreciates us, because we can’t afford to stay here any longer.
If this …

Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player
Thursday, 10 Feb, 2011 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player

I’ve always said that Boots would be better off in a dance class than on a sports team, because he’s turned every game he’s ever been involved in into a recital. If  I could find …

A SWAT for hooping it up on a holiday
Thursday, 23 Dec, 2010 – 17:34 | Comments Off
A SWAT for hooping it up on a holiday

Having logged more office hours on holidays than I care to count, I get  Phil Jackson and LeBron James when they complain about working on Christmas Day.  Even the Grinchiest of us get a bit …

Big Guy’s big goal
Tuesday, 21 Dec, 2010 – 13:21 | Comments Off
Big Guy’s big goal

Mommy I have a goal, Big Guy announced last week.
What is it, I asked, fearing the answer would involve violence and mayhem performed upon his brother.
I want to be a brown belt by this time …

Are you ready for some football?
Tuesday, 23 Nov, 2010 – 14:34 | Comments Off
Are you ready for some football?

So remember a couple of years ago when I said that I don’t care what the guys do as long as they keep trying to be the best they can be?
I lied. You probably figured …

I need a Knaus in my house
Tuesday, 9 Nov, 2010 – 11:54 | Comments Off
I need a Knaus in my house

Just when I thought Kevin Lehman, who advises that you sometimes “pull the rug out and let the little buzzards tumble,” was the ultimate in reality discipline then along comes someone who makes Lehman look …

Thanks for the memories, Sparky
Thursday, 4 Nov, 2010 – 16:22 | Comments Off
Thanks for the memories, Sparky

He was the greatest handler of egos ever.
He was an innovator whose weird ways changed his profession.
He was the poster child for upper management ineptitude.
Everything I ever needed to know about management I learned from …

The last time the Giants were in the World Series …
Tuesday, 26 Oct, 2010 – 12:59 | One Comment
The last time the Giants were in the World Series …

It was 2002. That’s not so long ago considering that my beloved Reds haven’t made it since 1990, but it terms of life-changing events the eight years since San Francisco has been in the fall …

One man’s deployment is another’s day at the race
Monday, 25 Oct, 2010 – 13:24 | Comments Off
One man’s deployment is another’s day at the race

He’d bought two tickets for a male-bonding weekend with his brother, who’d planned to fly in out-of-state for the race in California.
She’d bought only three tickets, because her husband’s deployment had effectively blocked his participation …

A SWAT for taking memories away from fans
Thursday, 21 Oct, 2010 – 19:19 | Comments Off
A SWAT for taking memories away from fans

It’s stunning how an organization with enough digital savvy to tweet contests during a game and offer an iPhone app can blow it when it comes to something so basic that most fans would want …

Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?
Tuesday, 21 Sep, 2010 – 23:49 | Comments Off
Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?

There are more than 17,000 football players each year in the NCAA’s top two divisions. Anyone know how many have been diagnosed in the past year with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease typically found in …

The case (sort of) for Ines Sainz
Thursday, 16 Sep, 2010 – 19:46 | One Comment
The case (sort of) for Ines Sainz

Three things that amuse me about the whole “was Ines Sainz harassed by the New York Jets” controversy:
1. The number of people who start out by saying “I don’t think anyone should be harassed” …

The soccer coach who’s trying to kill me
Tuesday, 7 Sep, 2010 – 11:20 | One Comment
The soccer coach who’s trying to kill me

Wear shoes that you can run in on Monday, Big Guy’s soccer coach told me late last week. The parents are going to play the kids during practice.
Me? I asked with mock shock. Oh, I …

Determination
Thursday, 26 Aug, 2010 – 13:04 | Comments Off
Determination

How can the kid who can’t find his shoes in the morning lock his eyes onto a soccer ball as if they were guided by a laser?
Why is it that the boy who routinely turns …

Karate is for boys? Au contraire!
Thursday, 19 Aug, 2010 – 13:35 | Comments Off
Karate is for boys? Au contraire!

So did you learn anything during sparring today, I asked Big Guy after karate class.
“No, not really,” Big Guy replied.
He was lying through his mouth guard.
He’d gone up against The Girl again. The Girl who …

No hablo futbol
Monday, 14 Jun, 2010 – 11:48 | One Comment
No hablo futbol

Baseball is my native language, but I’m fluent in basketball, football and figure skating.
I can hold a conversation in NASCAR fake my way through several other sports, including hockey and golf. It’s the equivalent of …