Thursday Thirteen Ed. #59

by Steve, September 20th, 2006

meIt’s been a while since I’ve done one of these here Thursday Thirteen thingies. Actually, I’ve taken a couple weeks off blogging altogether due to real-life business and lack of inspiration. Then suddenly last week, I was hit with a burst of creative energy, and I threw together some new “More Hockey Less War” merchandise to try to support this blog (baby needs a new Web server!).

Last week, in honor of the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I considered doing “Thirteen Ways George W. Bush Has Made the WorldLess Safe” (e.g. legitimized the use of terror and torture as geo-political tools, provoked the Muslim world with brutal invasions and occupations of holy lands, bumbled into Al Qaeda’s trap of a “clash of civilizations”, green-lighted Israel’s brutal rape of Gaza and Lebanon, etc.). But I never got around to it.

Oh yeah, and I was going to blog about our day last weekend at the Country Jamboree. “Last chance to cowboy up this summer!” said the promotional materials. We got free tickies courtesy of a local hockey team, so we put the kids in their cowboy boots and headed out to the ampitheater for some local band that wouldn’t stop. We were hoping to catch the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but they weren’t scheduled to play for several hours after we showed up. And there was no monster truck, as we had been led to believe there would be. And the promised NASCAR racing turned out to be little radio controled cars. So the kids frolicked on the lawn, and the wife enjoyed the cover tunes, and we all ate a bunch of crappy concession food and went home with tummy aches well before the national acts came on.

And this has me thinking about all the Wacky (and Not-So-Wacky) Things I’ve Done in the Off-season. With summer pretty much washing down the storm drains in Portland, it seems like a good time for a summer retrospective, so here’s what I did:

1. Went to the Country Jamboree. What were we thinking?

2. Went to the stock car races.

3. Drank far too many Mojitos, which led to many unproductive afternoons, and ultimately prompted Wacky Mommy to quit drinking. I’ve basically quit, too. Turns out that dinner out is at least 10 bucks cheaper when we don’t order drinks.

4. Went to a couple few minor league baseball games.

5. Got really agitated and upset about the conflagrations in the Middle East.

6. Took a month off from playing hockey.

7. Bought Wacky Girl a new bike for her seventh birthday, and helped her figure out how to ride without training wheels. What a trip to see your first born take flight like that. She’s been looking so tall and grown-up lately, but on her bike, all padded up and with her big helmet on, she just looks tiny.

8. Grew a great garden, with tons of beans, tomatoes, cukes, spaghetti squash, potatoes, Hungarian wax peppers, and chilis. And basil. And pumpkins that took over the front yard.

9. Put in a winter garden of broccoli and kale. The new plants are really enjoying the recent turn of weather (rain) we’ve been having.

10. Went to the beach a few times. New approach this year: day trips! It’s only a couple hours to get to Canon Beach from here, and you can spend the whole day on the beach and come back and still have half your weekend to drink Mojitos in the back yard.

11. Went camping (but only once). More next year. Kids loved it.

12. Went to Winter Hawks training camp to check out some of the new kids and get an early hockey fix. They’ve got some great young talent, but a lack of returning offensive power. It’s going to be a tough year for the Hawks, but we’ll still get to see some first rate hockey in town this season (even if it’s the visiting team).

13. Got a cell phone. Me. With a cell phone. Sheesh.

Okay, summer’s over, schools back in session, and hockey season is so close I can hardly stand it. Drop the puck already!