Wednesday, February 21, 2018

#SBRLLR: Tennessee to California

To eyes that had grown used to the flatly forested lowlands of Coastal Carolina, Southern California was an infinitely varied series of high desert steppes, rolling hills, and zooming concrete superhighways.  Where Carolina had been uniformly green and rural, Southern California was all rocky browns and tans, distinctly urban, and interspersed at irregular intervals with tiny patches of spindly trees and tumbleweeds.  As we drove north from San Diego Airport, the hills grew slowly greener and more forested, until at last we arrived in Fallbrook, a brilliantly green oasis in the desert of San Diego County and the self-proclaimed Avocado Capital of the World.  
This would be our new home.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Army Football Preview: First Look at 2018 (Part 2)

We mentioned last week that a slow start could potentially make it tough for Army to earn a post-season bowl berth in 2018.  That’s true.  First, because the team has two FCS games again this year, and only one of those potential wins will count towards bowl eligibility.  Second, because bowl invitations typically go out before the Army-Navy Game.  As a result, Army will need at least five FBS wins heading into the Navy game plus at least one FCS win in order to make it into the postseason.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

More Pics from Ski Butternut

Both girls have school play practice starting soon, and anyway, winter looks like it is rapidly coming to a close here in Coastal Connecticut.  That's not exactly upsetting -- winters in New England can be brutal -- but it does mean that our family's winter ski season is almost over. 

After years of barely getting out on the slopes, we've skied a lot this season.  As Sally put it, "Skiing is really the only good way to get through these winters."  That is especially true in December and January, when the days are so short and dark that we sometimes barely see the sun.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crunch: Managing Weight Gain

I got into the gym a few months ago mostly because I needed a break from the pool.  I like swimming, and I will probably always feel more graceful in the water than I do on land, but it can be a grind.  Even if you’re swimming just two to three times per week, it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting trying to stay focused.  It’s not like there’s a lot of scenery.  You’ve got the little black line and whatever songs you can play back in your head.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

#SBRLLR: Tennessee to California (Part 2)

My grandparents lived in a beautiful red brick ranch-style house on the south end of a small town called Tullahoma, Tennessee.  Though my mother had been born in nearby Shelbyville, it was this house in Tullahoma that had provided me with whatever sense of normalcy I knew growing up.  I’d spent summers there, fishing with my grandfather in his little aluminum fishing boat or just hanging around, especially before I started swimming seriously.  I treasured those times because they gave me a place to that I understand as “home”.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Army Football Preview: First Look at 2018 (Part 1)

Groundhog Day has passed, and so has National Signing Day.  And though Lacrosse season has only just started, I know there are at least a few of you out there who can’t wait for Army Football to open their 2018 campaign.  The good news is that the Black Knights look to have a pretty impressive class headed to the storied banks of the Hudson River this summer.  The bad news is that we have more than six months to go before we see the team back on the field for games that actually matter.
What’s next for Army Football?

Friday, February 9, 2018

5 Things on a Friday: A Tough Week

Happy Friday, folks.
It’s a somber Friday for me and a lot of my friends.  We lost a classmate this week, apparently from complications arising from the flu, and that is not an easy thing.  I didn’t know Jimmy particularly well, and it feels like a real shame because he was obviously a great guy.  Many, many of the memorials from those close to him have mentioned his ready sense of humor and easy smile.  Those things can be rare commodities in the daily grind at West Point, and sometimes, they are the only things that help you stay sane.  Guys like that are often the most important people in your class.  The guys who can make you laugh amidst all that stress, those are the guys that you never forget.
Jimmy was a former Army Football defensive back, a doting father, and a successful grad in everyday life.  He was clearly in excellent physical condition as well, so his passing will have hit his family completely out of nowhere.  I hate that.  I feel it like a physical blow.  His family noted in their announcement that he had chosen to be an organ donor, so someone else will live because of Jimmy.  That is cold comfort, but it speaks to the man’s character.
Well done, Jimmy.  Be thou at peace.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#SBRLLR: Tennessee to California (Part 1)

“This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York Island. From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me.”
― Woody Guthrie
My father came home one night in the middle of eighth grade just as we were sitting down to dinner.  He was still wearing his uniform—along with one of the largest smiles I’d ever seen.
“What?” my mother asked.
I looked up expectantly.
“I got orders today,” Dad said proudly.  “We’re going back to San Diego!”

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mount Southington Ski Area

Mount Southington is one of our local ski areas, located just off I-84 about nine miles east of the town of Waterbury.  That puts it just forty-five minutes from our house, making it ideal for short day-trips when there’s snow, and the kids don’t have school.