Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Is Tim Tebow's Wife A Pirates Fan?

Tim Tebow is not very popular in Pittsburgh. He led the Denver Broncos to an unlikely victory against the Steelers in a January 2012 playoff game. I'm not going to dwell on that game or the fact that Ryan Clark and Maurkice Pouncey didn't play and the entire Steelers defensive line got hurt during the game. Instead, I'm going to focus on this picture of Tebow and his wife, Demi-Leigh Tebow.

Apparently, the Tebows hosted a Celebrity Gala and Golf Tournament over the weekend at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Demi-Leigh is a former Miss South Africa and Miss Universe titleholder. I mention this since I don't believe she has any ties to Pittsburgh. I mean, I guess it's possible that the Tebows have a home or vacation in Pittsburgh, but I feel like I would have heard about that. So why does it appear that Demi-Leigh wore a Pirates hat at the event? Maybe this is some type of play by the Tebows to buy the Pirates from Bob Nutting. Maybe she's a big fan of Gift Ngoepe, a South African native and the first African-born player in MLB history who played 28 games on the Pirates in 2017. Or maybe she forgot a hat, and the pro shop had a sale on Pirates hats. Whatever the reason, the baseball season starts this week so Let's Go Bucs! 

Photo from Demi-Leigh Tebow's Instagram account.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

My Ray Bourque Hot Take

I’m going to be a sports blogger today. Specifically, I’m going to be a hockey blogger. After a multiple-year hiatus (stupid Covid), the hockey road trip returned this year with a stop in Denver to see the Colorado Avalanche. I’ll probably have multiple posts about the trip over the next few weeks. Today, I want to write about this.

Pictured are retired numbers of Colorado Avalanche players. The one that jumped out to me is #77 Ray Bourque. Bourque is one of the greatest defensemen in the history of the National Hockey League. He played nearly his entire career in Boston and was traded to Colorado to give him a chance of achieving a Stanley Cup championship. Even though he was at the end of his career, the trade was a really big deal. I think most Bruins fans are and were disappointed that Bourque didn’t play his entire career in Boston, but are and were happy that he won a title. 

Bourque played 14 regular season games for the Avalanche in 2000 after being traded from Boston tallying 8 goals and 6 assists. He then played 13 playoff games as the Avalanche lost to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars in the conference finals. The next season, Bourque played 80 regular season games and helped lead the team to the title with 4 goals and 6 assists in 21 playoff games. Overall, Bourque played 93 regular season games and 34 playoff games in Colorado. So my question is why is his number retired?

I understand that Bourque is a Hall-of-Famer and helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup title. However, this was not the team’s first championship and his tenure was less than a year and a half. Since I’m a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, my comparison to Bourque is Bryan Trottier, who won 4 Stanley Cups and a Hart Trophy as league MVP during his Hall-of-Fame tenure on the New York Islanders. Trottier joined the Penguins at the age of 34 before the 1990-1991 season and played 115 regular games with 20 goals and 37 assists over two seasons (and played another 41 games in the 1993-1994 season). More importantly, Trottier played 44 playoff games in the 90-91 and 91-92 seasons with a combined 7 goals and 7 assists and earned two more Stanley Cup titles. With players like Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, and Jaromir Jagr among others, Trottier wasn't close to being the team's top star, but he brought leadership and experience to the Penguins like Bourque did to the Avalanche. The difference is that it's likely that the Penguins organization probably never considered retiring Trottier's number. (The fact that the Penguins have only retired two numbers could be a topic for a completely separate post.)

Two other thoughts from the game. First, defenseman Cale Makar scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Even though he's only in his fourth season, he's done significantly more on the ice in Colorado than Bourque. Retire his number now!

Second, Peter Forsberg, another player who (deservedly) has his number retired was in attendance. He could easily pass as a social studies teacher or history or psychology professor now!   

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

An MTV Station Showing Music Videos

There was a free preview of several television stations last week including HDNET Movies, Sony Movies, and the Smithsonian Channel. There really wasn't anything on any of these channels worth watching or recording, but I decided to check out the station MTV Live. This station had a novel concept. It showed music videos.

For those of you under 25 (who am I kidding? No one under 25 is reading this!), MTV, short for Music Television, launched in 1981 and played music videos. The station added other shows over the years and pretty much abandoned showing videos. VH1, or Video Hits 1, emerged a few years after MTV and still played videos after MTV stopped, but they also chose other programming over videos. (RIP VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown). So I was excited to see a station showing music videos again.

Over about 30 minutes or so, I saw videos by Taylor Swift, several K-Pop bands, and other bands/artists I've never heard of. There was a new video by Limp Bizkit that wasn't terrible. Please don't consider that last sentence an endorsement. There was also this cool looking video by Julian Lennon, WHO is ROLLING like STONES as the son of a famous British musician. (See what I did there?)

I checked out the station the next night and saw some of the same videos again. And commercials. I quickly realized that MTV made the right decision not airing music videos anymore. While I still think there is value to a video countdown show, few people are going to sit and watch random videos with commercials breaks as long as YouTube is around. Or just about anything else airing or streaming.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

The Tennis "GOATS"

My friend Josh of Josh's World and I collaborated on this post about the best modern male tennis players. This all stemmed from Novak Djokovic winning his 10th Australian Open and his 22nd Grand Slam and Cory Giger, the Penn State University beat writer for DKPIttsburghSports, to post this tweet:

While I'll give Cory the benefit of the doubt that he means the best men's player, it's the last sentence that bothered both me and Josh. Is Djokovic the GOAT? Maybe. Probably. To unilaterally declare him the GOAT and write that it's silly to deny this is in my opinion, silly. Rod Laver won all four Grand Slams in a single year twice, but since he's before our time, I guess that means he's automatically out of the conversation. I mean, it's absolutely silly to consider anyone from the 60s better than modern-day players. I'm sure that's why people say that Bryan Reynolds is better than Willie Mays. What about Rafael Nadal? He has the same amount of Grand Slams as Djokovic, but what makes Nadal unique is that he's a clay-court specialist. Clay-court specialists aren't supposed to win 8 other Grand Slam events. Nadal is also the younger player in the Open Era to win all four majors and has two gold medals, one from the 2008 Olympics in singles and a second from the 2016 Olympics in doubles. On the topic of doubles, Nadal has 11 career ATP doubles titles while Djokovic has just one more doubles titles than Cory. Oh, Djokovic is 30-29 all time against Nadal. Yeah, that's clearly one-sided and makes him the GOAT, right? Why don't we get really silly here and say that Carlos Alcaraz is the GOAT since he's undefeated against Novak? Sure, it's only one win, but Djokovic has never won against arguably the best young player in the world.  But who is the GOAT? Josh and I decided to settle this debate once and for all. Naturally there are caveats. As I wrote, Rod Laver won all four Grand Slams in the same year, twice. He played in the 1960s. Tennis was a totally different sport then. If you sent Jack Sock (currently ranked #141) back to that era, he probably dominates. Players now are just bigger, stronger, faster than back then. Plus the equipment is incredibly better. That means we have to break this into time periods. We are looking at the top ten greatest players of the modern era. We did not have a specific year, but it felt like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, and Björn Borg were the last players from the pre-modern era (also it may be fun to do that top ten list sometime). Sean’s Note: I just want to share my objection that McEnroe and Conners aren’t on this list for being considered a different era!
Honorable Mention There are three players who are so close to being in the top ten, but they just did not have the resume. -Goran Ivanišević-He won one Grand Slam, while being runner-up three times. He played evenly with many players in the top ten, minus Pete Sampras. He has also been Djokovic's coach since 2019. -Andy Roddick-Another guy who just played during the wrong time. One Grand Slam, five time runner-up. He just never fared well against Roger Federer (3-21), but at least he had a winning record against Djokovic (5-4). -Michael Chang--The youngest to ever win a Grand Slam. He was 17 years 3 months when he won the French Open. Chang was runner-up three times, and like the other two, he just could not win against the other guys on the list.  #10 - Boris Becker

Josh: Boris Becker is probably the guy most fans hated back in the day. It was always nice to root against him when he faced off against Agassi or Sampras. He probably helped kick off the youth movement that ushered in a few of the other guys on this list. He had a powerful serve, and always seemed to be everywhere on the court.
#9: Jim Courier

Sean: I remember hearing a story about a US Olympic athlete being at the opening ceremonies right by the Dream Team. He was going to share his amazement at being next to legendary basketball players like Jordan and Bird to another Olympian, only to discover that that Olympian was Jim Courier. This story might be completely made up and I don’t know who it was, but it’s still fun. #8: Andy Murray

Sean: Andy Murray is fascinating. If he played 10 years earlier, he might have 8+ Grand Slams. Instead, he seemingly could never beat Djokovic, Federer, or Nadal in a big match. He also hasn’t been able to stay healthier than his compatriots. He’s exactly one week older than Djokovic and one year younger than Nadal, but he seems much older and doesn’t come close to threatening to win a Grand Slam. #7: Stefan Edberg

Josh: The only think I remember about Stefan Edberg is that he did not have the hardest serve, and that he played an older style with more spin. But he was athletic and managed to be all over the court after he served.
#6: Ivan Lendl 
Josh: Much to Sean’s chagrin, I made a decision to include Lendl and a few others, but cut off McEnroe, Conners, and Borg. My weird cutoff was players born after 1960. Lendl played against those guys, and he had a great record against them, and then was still good against the guys after him. Probably why he is called the “Father of Modern Tennis.” 
#5: Andre Agassi
Josh: Andre Agassi was my favorite back in the day. My uncle is the one who got me into tennis, and he was an Agassi fan. Oddly enough, my parents also loved Andre Agassi. I felt like back then that it was a fairly even match between him and Pete Sampras, but looking at the stats, it is clear that I was fooling myself back then. #4: Pete Sampras

Sean: Sampras was my favorite. While Agassi was flashy and exciting, I gravitated to Sampras who just went out there and won. Josh: I think you can figure out who the top three are, and honestly, I think you can make an argument for any of them to be number one. 

#3 Rafael Nadal

Josh: I have always loved watching Nadal play. I think it is the fact that he wears gym shorts and cut-off shirts, while Roger would be rocking a sweater polo. I also love how dominant he is on clay. He has won the French Open four times without losing a set. He is 112-3 there, so impressive. Sean: Nadal is my favorite of the top 3. I would put him at #1 just because I like him more than Federer and a lot more than Djokovic. #2: Roger Federer
Josh: There was a period of time where I barely watched any tennis, I would say it was when Agassi and Sampras were waning in their careers. The only event I watched each year was Wimbledon, and I remember seeing the rise of Federer, and after he won five in a row, I just assumed he was the best in the world. A few years later I started watching more and realized the men’s circuit was at another level.  #1: Novak Djokovic

Sean: I think Djokovic is a jerk. He got disqualified from the US Open for hitting a linesperson with a ball. I know it was an accident, but that’s not going to happen to anyone else on this list. He got deported from Australia for breaching the country’s border rules. He called out Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles after their open mental health challenges during the Tokyo Olympics, and then had his own meltdown throwing and breaking a racket in the bronze medal match (which he lost). Yes, he’s the best ever, but I don’t have to like him. Josh: Djokovic has a winning record against Nadal and Federer. He can win on any surface. In 2021, he even beat Nadal at the French Open, something that seemed almost impossible. Sean is correct, Novak is a jerk, but this is not a list of top ten nicest guys in tennis, Sean's final note: Josh really did the heavy lifting on this post. He did significant research looking at head-to-head match-ups, career titles, and made the rankings. (There's data to show his work if you really want to see it.) Josh also got all of the pictures (free photos via wikicommons) and put together all of the graphics. I really just shared the introduction and added occasional thoughts.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Ramblings Round-Up

I usually call these posts "Random Ramblings," but I thought I would mix things up a little today. 

* Earlier this year, we took the kids to see Newsies Jr. at our local middle school. The kids really liked the live performance and the show. Since that time, we have watched both the 1992 Newsies movie (starring Christian Bale) and the Broadway theater performance of Newsies (starring fellow Ithaca College graduate Jeremy Jordan) on Disney+. I mention all of this because I want to take the kids to more live theater and shows. So over the weekend, I took The Moose and Pedro Tulo to the Kennedy Center to see the world-premier of The Mortification of Fovea Munson. It's a musical based on the book of the same name about a pre-teen who works in her parents' cadaver lab. It's a very cute and sweet (and funny) show. 

* I need to take a recertification class and pass a test each year to be a soccer referee. Since COVID began, everything is online. There are certainly benefits to this format. You can break up the learning modules and test over days or weeks and take them at your convenience. The drawback is that I was used to taking a 5-6 hour class every year in December and being done. Without the structured and set class, I only just earned my recertification, so I was ineligible to work any games until now. 

* The focus of the referee class this year was on the behavior of coaches. There is little tolerance for any referee abuse or questioning of calls from coaches or team officials. One warning and then cards come out. I also found it amusing that the US Soccer Federation regularly included a slide showing former national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann seemingly complaining.

* In honor of having a Kohl's credit card for 23 years, the store sent me a $5 coupon and 30% coupon. Will I receive a gold watch for 25 years?

* We receive a weekly report about The Moose's online activities. While he generally spends much of his time on YouTube and ESPN, last week, he visited Redfin multiple times. I had no idea he was in the housing market as a 6th grader!

* Our cat Ziggy now throws up every 2-3 days. He definitely didn't do this when he was younger. While I should probably contact the vet about this, do you find this concerning?

* Finally, The Moose was all in for the women's college basketball conference tournament games last weekend. Because of this, please join the Sean's Ramblings Group Women's NCAA Tournament group on ESPN, and I'll probably create an Oscars pool just for fun too.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Pinewood Derby

When I was in Cub Scouts, I only remember participating in the Pinewood Derby once. I was in a head-to-head race against a kid a grade behind me. I lost. To this day, I’m convinced that he either pushed his car or started early which would have led to a disqualification or at least a do-over.* It did not. He was declared the winner, and I never really thought about the Pinewood Derby again…until several months ago.

When Pedro Tulo joined Cub Scouts this school year, the Pinewood Derby was listed as one of the featured activities. At a late fall pack meeting, we received a box containing the car. And by car, I mean a block of wood, four tires, and four nails. What was I supposed to do with this?

I have no recollection of making a car as a kid, and I had no idea how to make a car as an adult. There is a wood shop at the local Scouts camp, but we weren’t available during any of the open time slots. Fortunately, the dad of another scout had some equipment, so we went over to their house. We spent at least an hour essentially cutting the block of wood in half and then sanding down the rough edges. So now we had half a block of wood, four tires, and four nails.

I bought a weight specifically used for Pinewood Derby cars, and we screwed it into the top of the wood. I learned that the key to doing well in the Pinewood Derby is to have a car as close as possible to 5 ounces, so we just painted the weight hoping that it would blend in. 

Then, we (well, I) managed to get on the wheels. The night before the race, we took the car to the test track and early check-in. The car weighed 4.95 ounces and successfully crossed the finish line every time. This was a huge win. Not a huge win is that I realized in the middle of writing this post that I don't have a final picture of the car. We were unable to participate in the race itself due to a prior engagement/celebration, so the den leader currently has Pedro Tulo's car. With the exception of a few more stickers and some more paint, this is close to the final version.

I have a video of the race, but I feel like I'd need consent by the dozen or so scouts/parents in it in order to share it. You're definitely not missing the most exciting 7-second video in history. Here's a still shot though.

Pedro Tulo's car won! (Assuming that you don't count the other car not pictured that finished before his car.) While I'm glad that I was able to spend time with Pedro Tulo building the car, and I think he enjoyed the experience (especially going shopping for stickers), like the overnight campout, this is another Cub Scout activity that is certainly out of my comfort zone.

* While it's quite possible that the Pinewood Derby race track in 2023 is the same as it was when I was I kid, I don't remember an automatic start. I feel like we were supposed to just let the car go at the same time, and that's why I think I lost from the other kid cheating. Now, you just put your car in position, and someone essentially flips the switch to start. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Don't Leave A Gun In An Elementary School Bathroom

Let me preface this post by writing that this is not about the second amendment or gun control. I'm limiting my writing to the story of the now former Rising Star, Texas school superintendent Robby Stuteville as best I can. If you haven't heard about this, Stuteville left his gun in an elementary school bathroom. A little later, a third grader found the gun and told his teacher. The teacher then asked another student to check the bathroom and confirm that there really was a gun in the bathroom. I'm just picturing what would happen if my third grader was in the same scenario. While I'd hope that he would tell his teacher, he might think it was a toy and play with it.

Texas is an open-carry state, and apparently, it is known that the superintendent and principal carry guns within the schools. In this NBC article, Monty Jones, the secondary principal for grades 6-12, said that he and Stuteville carry weapons because of school shootings that occurred throughout the country. How can you not be disturbed by this statement? The superintendent and principal feel the need to carry weapons because they fear that their schools could be next. While one could argue that the administration is preparing for the worst-case scenario, that's just a sad statement about the state of our country.

The other part of the story is that jumped out to me was that Stuteville resigned because he didn't want to be a distraction. Jones said that "No one to my knowledge called for his resignation. And the board certainly did not." NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! This is a got-to-go situation. Just because nothing bad happened, Stuteville doesn't get a pass. This could have been disastrous. You cannot be a leader and an educator and make this type of mistake where people could have been hurt or killed and keep your job. He needed to be fired. If you go to the Rising Star school district website, this is posted prominently on the front page.

Stuteville did the exact opposite and needed to go.

Friday, February 17, 2023

I'm (Almost) An Idiot

Last Friday, I received a random message on Instagram, which led to a week-long conversation. While I could explain the situation, I thought it would be better just to share the entire conversation.

While I should have been suspicious earlier, it wasn't until she mentioned mobile deposit that alarm bells went off in my head. I asked friends if this was a scam, and the answer was yes. And it was a unanimous yes. No one even said maybe or possibly. 

The photo was taken by my Luigi, my five year old. A mural of it would be pretty cool though I don't think I'm going to see a final product.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

I’m Going To Wichita

About two months ago, I volunteered to take a trip to Kansas. One of my bucket list items is to visit all 50 states. I’ve been stuck at 41 states for over a decade, so I jumped at the chance to visit Kansas and bump that number up to 42. Even better, I could tell people that “I’m going to Wichita” and have The White Stripes’ song “Seven Nation Army” in my head constantly.

Fun fact: If you’re in Wichita in the days after the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl, you’re going to hear a lot of discussion about the Chiefs. Since Kansas City is about 3 hours from Wichita, this was not a shocker. Now this is a shocker!

I had a few hours of free time, so I decided to explore Wichita before flying out. First, I stopped by the Keeper of the Plains, a 44-foot-tall sculpture where the Big Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers meet. Apparently, there’s a nightly ring of fire ceremony around the sculpture, but I didn’t see it.

Then, I visited the Wichita Art Museum. While I’m used to free museums in Washington DC, I didn’t expect one in Wichita. They have some really neat (technical art term) works and exhibits. I love anything made by Dale Chihuly, so seeing his chandelier and the Chihuly bridge was really neat. (I’m available if anyone needs an art critic!)

Here are some other favorites: 

You can tell that "Chess Game" by Will Barnet is a painting, since in real life, most cats would probably go after the chess pieces!

My kids would absolutely love The Living Room. This looks like so much fun!

I learned that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House is in Wichita, but there weren’t any tours available when I looked into visiting. I guess I’ll just need to take another trip to Fallingwater to make up for this. I did, however, stop by the Ulrich Museum of Art on the campus Wichita State University. Again, free! This was probably my favorite work. 

A bar with some weights on it next to a black and yellow painting. No big deal, right? Check out the portion of the video though. 

The artist painted while lifting weights. So cool! I just wish I wrote down her name and the title of her work. Here are a two other pictures I took from the Ulrich:

As I was writing this post, I learned that The Original Pizza Hut Museum is also at Wichita State. Although I didn’t plan on visiting, the fact that I was less than a mile away is somewhat devastating. If I realized I was so close, I definitely would have checked it out.

I had a bizarre restaurant experience. When I arrived for dinner, I was asked if I had a reservation. When I said no, I was told there would be a 30-minute wait. I said that would be fine since I needed to run to Walmart to get a lint brush since some of my clothes managed to have hair from Ziggy on them. I returned and was seated…in a fairly empty restaurant. In the time I was there, I counted 8 other tables with customers and triple the amount of empty tables. My guess is that they were short staffed as there were only two servers. I was told I could only order wine or beer since the bartender called out. The restaurant was also out of bread and baked potatoes. The food was good, but not good enough to deal with slow service and a limited menu. 

I get that the news station’s call letter’s are KAKE, but KAKEland? 

I’m home now, so I guess I can say/write that I have a feeling I’m not in Kansas anymore.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

The Staircase

My street is a dead end. If I want to sound fancy, I can say that I live on a cul de sac though it’s an “L” shape ending rather than a traditional circle. Maybe this picture helps explain the street better than my description. 

Anyway, at the end of the street, there was a fairly steep hill to walk down to the adjacent street. There were several injuries from people falling going up or down the hill and kids would fly down it riding their bicycles. However, people continued to use the hill since it was a shortcut and much more convenient to get to the school bus stop or if their cars were parked on the main street.

About four years ago, the HOA and/or community management company worked with a landscaping company and built steps for the hill. We always thought that the steps looked incomplete, but they were great. No more people falling on the hill. No more muddy shoes from walking on the grass. You may notice that I'm writing this in past tense. About a month ago, caution tape was put up around the steps. 

Then, we received this email from the community manager:

It has recently been identified by the [redacted] reserve study conducted in Fall 2022 that the set of stairs in [my neighborhood] present fall/safety hazards and do not meet current code regulations. After much consideration, it has been determined that the best course of action is to remove the set of stairs, thereby eliminating these risks for our community. [Landscaping company] will be completing this project and will ensure that new landscaping is arranged in these areas to make a seamless transition with the existing garden beds. As always, the intention is to maintain the curb appeal of our community, while also prioritizing safety of its residents. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our property manager.

As my 11 year old would say, this is trash. There is nothing wrong with the steps. There is not a fall/safety hazard as the steps are safer than the hill. This is a liability issue, and the management company (different than the one in place when the steps were installed) is trying to eliminate a potential lawsuit. The neighbors are not happy. To remove the steps and put in some plants will cost $2000. While the management company is in the process of getting bids to see much it will cost to put in steps that meet code, it seems like this will be significantly more. Just keeping the steps isn't an option though that's what the neighborhood wants. So frustrating. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Random Ramblings: Family Edition

* For his latest Cub Scouts meeting, Pedro Tulo learned about knife safety and how to effectively use a pocket knife. I consider it a huge win that he only cut himself and drew blood once during the evening.

* Pedro Tulo also got to carry out the American flag and hold it on court during the national anthem before Sunday's George Mason-Saint Joseph's basketball game. As a tangent, attending Mason basketball games is a very easy and fun family activity. General admission tickets for the men's team are $10, there's free parking, and it's easy to get into and out of the parking lots.

* When talking with a neighbor recently, The Moose said that he doesn't want to play baseball this spring because he doesn't think he has a chance of being a professional player. Of course, he wants to play flag football instead since I guess he thinks he's going to make the NFL. I’m 5’ 7” and could never come close to running a 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, so it seems unlikely that he’ll have the size or speed to play sports professionally. Anyway, I tried to explain that you play sports for fun and to be part of a team. Selfishly though, I'm enjoying the current basketball season so much more than the baseball season. While he usually has basketball practice once a week with two weekly games, they rarely last more than an hour. During baseball season, he would also have games or practices three days a week, but The Moose would need to arrive at his 6:30 game by 5:15, and we wouldn't leave the field until around 8:45. That made for some very long days.

* Luigi did something to the web browser on my phone which reset all of my stats on Wordle, Quordle, etc. My Wordle stats showing only 4 games played looks really sad.

* Luigi’s kindergarten teacher told us that he is one of her easiest kids. He has the teacher fooled! Yes, Luigi is adorable and can be sweet, but he has regular meltdowns at home for various reasons where he screams like he’s being tortured in The Princess Bride. His most recent meltdown was because he wanted to make Valentines Day cards for his classmates and was told no since 1. it’s still two weeks away, 2. it was bedtime, and 3. most importantly, we don’t have the cards yet.

* It seems like the lead story almost every other day on national newscasts is winter weather. There have been deadly and crippling storms throughout the county the last few months. While the DC area has been fairly lucky so far, I have three flights coming up over the next few months going to Wichita (through Atlanta), Denver, and Florida. Really hoping for no or minimal delays.

* Finally, Costco is dangerous. If I see any type of snacks on sale, I’m buying them. Do I really need two monster bags of Chex Mix? No. Did I buy two monster bags? Of course!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

My Terrible Sleep Schedule

As you can guess from the title of this post, my sleep schedule is awful. After a long day of work, taking the kids to their activities, and then getting them to bed, all I want to do is have time to myself. There's often laundry or trash or cleaning the litter box, but when that's done, I sit on the couch and turn on the television. I generally see what shows I have recorded on the DVR or turn on a sporting event. We also have Netflix and Amazon, but I find that I don't use streaming services nearly often as I should.

With the kids asleep or at least in bed, I have a set up with the television on and the laptop or my phone right next to me. It's time to enjoy the long list of shows and movies that I want to watch while also updating my fantasy sports teams, writing blog posts, answering trivia questions, playing chess, or some combination of all of these. Some nights, Ziggy jumps on the couch and curls up next to me.(That's either before, after, or both the multiple times that Ziggy eats paper or the Kleenex box in order for me to give him food. This happens at least 3-4 times a night even though his bowl is full.) And then, I fall asleep on the couch.  

From there, it might be anywhere between 20-30 minutes to a few hours before I wake up. Now if I was smart, I'd go directly to bed. I'm not smart. I'll check my email. If it's after midnight, I might play Wordle. I do just enough to get my brain going again, and then I go to sleep. While I'm still able to fall asleep quickly in my bed some nights, some nights it takes time to fall back asleep. Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck. Some nights, I call it a draw. (There's 1-2 bad words in this song/video.)

On weeknights, between the time I crawl into bed and wake up in the morning, I generally get about 5-6 hours of sleep. This is not nearly enough. The other problem is that this isn't continuous. Approximately every other night, Ziggy wakes me up. Sometimes it's just to jump on the bed and curl up at my feed, but usually it's about him getting older. He's 14.5 now. I carry him to the basement so that he can use the litter box, and then I shake his food bowl, since heaven forbid you can see any portion of the bottom of his bowl. 

This pattern repeats itself almost every night. Any suggestions on how to break this? I really want my time to watch TV and do things I need to get done. However, I know that I need more sleep.