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Retirement is not without Hassles: The Sitter #1765

Up at 5 a.m. and out for a short run. Swim. Write. Trying to stay quiet so I don’t wake everyone up. I feel like I should be rushing to catch a flight, but I’m doing this to take a morning shift with the grandkids. Originally, it was going to be a couple of hours but now a half-day. I’m not very good at this – not sure how to keep them entertained? I know it’s just two little girls – how much trouble could that be? In all fairness, having lived so far apart for all these years there’s yet to form a comfortable relationship. It will also be a long day with an evening drive down to Punta Gorda for Date Night at Carmelo’s. Up early…out late…far from routine. 

The other grandparents take their turn – more than their share. Certainly, I’ll get better at this as time goes on because practice makes perfect. The youngest is three and her sister twelve, practically a teenager. I seem to be afraid of kids, reluctant to pick up a new born. However, I did feed my nine-month old great niece last weekend, but she too was wary. I’ve only had one instant bonding moment with a child and that was a great nephew in my role as GUM (Great Uncle Mike). He was drawn to me for some reason, but sadly I won’t probably see him again for years. 

Everything is shorted this morning, including this post. I have to get ready for what will surely be the longest four hours I’ve ever spent. It’s only a twenty minute drive to my son’s house, as I’ll look forward to the drive back, after my sitting duties are complete. Others look forward to time with their grandchildren, but if I’m being completely honest, I’ve yet to get to that point and feel guilty for my current shortcomings as The Sitter. 



Retirement is not without Hassles: Westward Ho #1717

The Westward Ho was the first hotel I ever stayed at in Las Vegas – must have been nearly 45 years ago. It closed 15 years ago. I thought of it this morning as we boarded our Alaska flight to Seattle, apparently the only way to get from Tampa to Oakland. We did enjoy the convenience of walking directly from our Marriott room to the gates along with TSA-Pre boarding. Since construction surrounded the hotel, I used the fitness center to get my quick early morning mile in, extending The Streak to 4,554 consecutive days. It’s the first time I’ve run on a treadmill in years, but sometimes the only option when you’re traveling. There was one other person in the gym at 4:30a. This blog is my other daily discipline that I’m in the process of completing while waiting to board at 6:30a.

It will be a long day of sitting on planes during the ten-hour duration. I’ll pass the time reading the book Fracture, although it’s a two-volume story that I partially already ruined by mistakenly starting on the sequel called Vengeance before realizing the error. My seat naturally is next to two large people with little maneuvering room. It’s only 5 hours of claustrophobia to contend with, while my wife is comfortably across the aisle with an empty middle seat. The joy of flying! 

I hope to meet up with a college friend once we finally reach our final destination of Oakland. My wife will be spending time with her daughter while her husband works from home. After a couple of beers, the four of us will then get together for dinner at their new home. I’m looking forward to uneventful flights. A nap or two would be nice. Wheels up – Westward Ho!


Old Sport Shorts: BIG10 worries #1543

With the cancellation of the Bucket Game, I was able to focus on Oregon vs. USC for the Pac12 title. USC may very well be I.U.’s Fiesta Bowl opponent but will now appear in that game without an undefeated record. The Ducks saw to that with a 31-24 victory at the nearly empty LA Coliseum. it will give Oregon an opportunity to extend their season with a 4-2 record. It also ends their two-game losing streak. Coach Mario Cristobal’s had his contract extended prior to the game. USC still has the best record at 5-1 in the conference but the Ducks take the title. 

As a Bucket consolation prize that does at least stay in Bloomington, Indiana basketball won a Crossroads Classic game over state rival Butler this morning. In all fairness, the Bulldogs were riddled by both injuries and Covid. I.U. tried to give them the game with turnovers and poor shooting, but prevailed in the end, as Butler literally ran out of gas. Next up for the Hoosiers is the daunting BIG 10 slate starting with Northwestern. I have my doubts if they are built to handle the bruising conference challenge, considering their lack of size. They were once again 35-30 outrebounded by Butler, as was the case in their first loss of the season against Texas.  After the Wildcats, come the #13 ranked Illini with a huge front line, and then the Nittany Lions to round out 2020. The #15 Hoosier women start their BIG campaign against Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois.

The new year for I.U. athletics will start with a bowl game and then basketball against Maryland, #12 Wisconsin, Nebraska, Purdue, #4 Michigan State, #5 Iowa, #19 Rutgers, and #25 Michigan. I.U. will be lucky to end this stretch with a .500 record. Maybe they can at least get a victory over a Top-25 team? I’m much more confident about getting a Hoosier bowl victory. I.U. men’s basketball is in danger of another mediocre BIG10 season and I’m worried!



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