Saturday, July 15, 2006

6/15-17/2006 - Turmoil in Italy

One of these days I'll have to post about the cities I am walking through. Until then...

There is turmoil in Italy over the latest football (soccer) news. No, not the world cup, that's old news. Right now the focus is on a game rigging scandal. 5 are so teams may be found guilty and if they are? Relegation to a lower league. This is what really gets me. Who suffers and what happens if a 1st division team suddenly becomes a 3rd division team?

Owners - OK. Sucks for them. One can imagine that the value of their team would drop by 80%+ overnight. Assuming that they are ultimately to blame, this is probably a good thing.

Employees - I had to throw them in there. I have to think that they suffer big time. They used to work for an employer that was rewarding on both a financial and spiritual level. I am sure that many will lose their jobs and those who stay can't possibly imagine that the job will be as good as it used to be. What burns me here is that the majority of these folks won't have done anything wrong. In the U.S. they could sue the owner. In Italy, that may not be realistic. God bless America and the Plaintiff's bar.

Fans - I live within walking distance of Fenway. How would I feel if it was suddenly a single A ball club? How the heck would they maintain a premiere stadium if it were only a single A ball club. I have to think that I would be a big loser in this scenario.

Finally the players - This is the question that I find most interesting. I imagine that the free agents is the easiest situation - their value gets bid up well by the 5 or so teams that suddenly get inserted into the league (and who have no present talent, so need to move fast).

Elite players under contract? Are the owners allowed to trade them? If they are, they could trade them for cash and get enriched in the process. Alternatively, they could trade them for minor league talent and beat the heck out of their new opponents. They could possibly even do both! You can imagine that the judicial system is well aware of this and will try to do something to prevent it, but those contracts have significant value. Will the courts break up the contracts? Can they? Who knows.

What about the bench? I wonder how I would feel in this situation. If I stay with the team, I have the opportunity to be a big fish and probably get warm fuzzies from the die hard fans. If I get traded, I'll just be bench somewhere else. Other than that, I got nothing on these guys.

So bottom line? It sounds like the owners (who are probably really at fault) may be able to play their way out of this and the real losers will be many of those who were innocent. Based on my totally unqualified opinion.

34,000 cynical steps over these 3 days. Cheers,

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

6/12-14/2006 - Guest post from the Baby


2 steps today.  Cheers,

(Explanation: Today the baby took his first two steps today.  The Wife held him until he was stable and pointed him at Most Beloved Frog.  The baby took two faltering steps towards MBF and pitched forwards onto his face.  It is, perhaps, a little early to break out "baby's first pedometer," but as you can imagine, I'm incredibly proud.

29,900 schepping steps over these 3 days.  Cheers,)

Monday, July 10, 2006

6/11/2006 - Marathon Sunday

Astute readers may have noticed that I have broken with my current practice and posted individual days in this post and the previous one. The reason is that I really wanted to trumpet my achievement for the day (44,700 steps). It is the first time I broke 40k and I broke it with authority!

For starters, this Sunday was "Father's day observed" in our household. For various reasons we weren't going to be able to do anything on the 18th, so the wife gave me my present today: understanding when I got up at 5:45 and walked until about 9:15. I can't remember exactly how many steps I came up with in the 3+ hours that I walked, but problem more than 20,000 (I did take a quick break here and there on my route).

When I came home, my wife was busily setting up a lemonade stand for my eldest. We have greatly benefited from the angels over at Boston's Children's Hospital and my son had elected to sell lemonade and turn over the revenue (not profits - we didn't actually reap any of those) over to the hospital. It was a smashing success. While the wife and child manned the desk, my job was to keep the baby asleep, which I did by walking. I picked up another 8-10,000 steps along the way.

We went home and had lunch, played some games and then it was time for Wife, Eldest and Baby to nap (baby's second of the day). That sent me out on the streets for another 6,000. Adding in a reasonable amount of other steps throughout the day, I came pretty close to 45k!

Not a bad haul.

44,700 steps today! Cheers,

6/10/2006 - Recipe of the day

Mashed potatoes!

  • No wheat
  • No eggs
  • No dairy (I used soy)
  • No nuts
  • Etc.

1) Peel 6 potatoes and pop them in a pot of boiling salt water (maybe half a teaspoon)
2) Slice one onion and one clove of garlic and fry in small amount of oil
3) Throw out fried onion and garlic as I couldn't figure out how to blend it into the mash
4) Once potatoes are boiled and really tender, mash the heck out of the 'em.
5) If possible let 4.5 year old perform step 4
6) In pot that so recently contained unmashed potatoes, heat 1/3 cup of soymilk and melt 3 tablespoons of margarine
7) Spoon mash back into pot, little by little, stirring between each addition.
8) Divide result into two portions.
9) Season one portion with garlic powder, paprika and freshly ground black pepper
10) Give other portion to 4.5 year old.

Mega success.  Not only was the mash as creamy as ice cream (although not quite as cold) but my eldest asked for seconds.  He didn't finish it, but he asked.  The only problem is that it is evident that this is a dish to eat soon after making.  It takes too long for me to whip up a batch between coming home from work and sitting down to dinner, and I worry how it would keep if I wanted to make it on Thursday night but serve it for Saturday lunch.

Still, unlike most of my culinary experiments, it worked the first time and tasted great.  My future work with it will be primarily [a] how to cut down prep time and [b] how reheat.  I think that the easiest way to speed up prep time will be to not hold baby while peeling potatoes.  I also think that I should cut the potatoes up before boiling.  On the reheating side, I'm taking suggestions...

16,000 spud-filled steps today.  Cheers,

Sunday, July 09, 2006

6/7-9/2006 - Back in action

Please pardon my most recent absence. I and the missus (and the eldest and the baby) were celebrating our 10th anniversary in New Hampshire. I'd like to say "the highlight of the trip was" but there are just too many things competing for that honor.

It may have been traversing the Polar Caves with my boy.
It may have been teaching said boy to play ping-pong (he has some work to do).
It may have been walking the baby along the boardwalk and watching the sun rise.

But it was probably toasting 10 wonderful years of marriage and looking forward to the next 10.

Thanks for the ride M.O.M. Where do we go next?

43,600 steps over these 3 days. Cheers,