Thursday, June 25, 2009

Here It Is Sports Fans

Saturday the 20th was a very special day for Nora and I. That was the day she and I participated in the Eureka College Father/Child basketball clinic. The clinic was run by the men's head basketball coach with the help from 4 current players and 1 former that is coming back as an assistant coach. They did an outstanding job. All of the players were patient and considerate of all the children and their various skill levels. They had their work was cut out for them as the kids ranged in age from entering 1st-6th grade.

The head coach ran us through a good warm-up and stretching routine prior to doing any activity. That was followed by good, well explained ball handling skills. They were drills that showed the kids how to get a good feel for the ball, how to use your fingers, not your palms, and focusing on using both hands.

After the ball handling we moved to four different shooting stations. They taught the kids the Mikan drill, lay-up drill, free throws, and a station with the gun. More on the gun later. For Nora and other younger kids they had a 7 ft hoop set up for them to shoot. Nora was a bit hesitant at first because she does not like being put on the spot. After a little calming down she was fine and joined in the fun.

Nora shooting a lay-up.

Giving Nora some pre-free throw advice.

The form may need some work, but the shot was GOOD!

Taking a pass from Nora and putting up a shot.

The above picture was from the a fore mentioned gun drill. The gun is a machine with a tall net up and around the hoop that rebounds the shot and passes the ball back to you. It teaches you how to catch and shoot and put arch on your shot. Since the small kids would not be able to get the ball high enough they had the kids catch the ball from the gun and pass the ball to the Dads for the shot.

After the shooting drills it was time for the Father/Child game. It was actually the kids against the dads. One of the college players acted as the full-time point guard for the kids. We had a blast. The kids won 39-18.

A little in game action.

All in all the day was a huge success. Nora had fun and is looking forward to next year.

Nigel getting ready for next year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What a Weekend

I am not going to tell you a thing about all the good stuff that happened this past weekend except that the Father/Child basketball clinic was great. However, I am going to tell you about the hectic start to my week which actually began this weekend.

Saturday evening I received a phone call from the owner of my company around 11 p.m. He never calls me just to chat, so, I was pretty sure he was not making a social call. We were experiencing major failure with several of our freezer components. The service company was there and working to get things back up and running. The battle raged on until 3 in the morning. Temporary fixes were made and the big work would be done on Monday.

When I got into work Monday we started digging into the guts of the compressors and evaporators. We found several issues, many of which should have been caught during preventative maintenance rounds that were preformed by the service company. (They are in the process of trying to cover their very exposed butts.) I have spent the better part of the last two days going in and out of the extreme cold of the freezers to the blistering heat of a Central Illinois summer (93 today). I have learned a bit more about the various parts that run our freezers. Not enough to ever really fix anything, but enough to know how to keep some of the items in better working order.

I know I promised info and pics from the clinic. Unfortunately I do not have the pictures uploaded yet. The story needs the pics.

Until tomorrow.


Friday, June 19, 2009

It Was A Wet Day

We had some pretty serious storms come through the area yesterday. They started as I was on my way into work around 4:45 a.m. I was treated to one impressive light show as I was driving. It sprinkled a bit but did not let loose until I made it into the building. When it let loose, boy did it come down. In fact it rained so hard that it overwhelmed the gutters on the warehouse. Water backed up under the flashing and was pouring into the building in buckets. One of my employees spent over an hour and a half moving pallets and mopping and sucking up water. Fortunately the storm was short lived and the amount of rain that came down was pretty unusual.

The water was too much for our gutters at home as well. We had a wet basement. There were a few boxes of stuff down there that we were either going to donate, get rid of, or find a better place to keep. They were just down on our priority list. The water moved them to the top. Robin did all of the moving of stuff while I was at work. When I got home I took over and cleaned up the remaining water. On the bright side, the basement floor is mopped.

Robin and I are looking forward to a few dry days. Oh is supposed to rain Friday. Yay! I think the weekend looks good.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Blew It

This actually happened a while ago. I missed sign-ups for baseball this year. Nora will not be taking the field. In my defense, Eureka does not have a park district. So, if you do not know the individual people running the league it is hard to get any info. By the time I was able to track the right guy down it was too late. Nora made the waiting list. So far no luck. She is taking it in stride and says she'll be ready for next year.

Instead, we are filling the summer with other activities. As I sit and type Nora and Robin are at the library participating in sit 'n' stitch. People get together, chat, knit and crochet. She has also been taking part in 4H and loving it. As for a sporting activity on Saturday Nora and I will be taking part in the Eureka College Father/Child basketball clinic. It is open to kids (and their Dads) entering 1st - 4th grade. At the end of the clinic there will be a Father/Child game. I am so going to dominate those little rug rats. I will own the low post! Nora and I are very excited. There will be pictures.

Robin and I both ran tonight and enjoyed perhaps one of the few remaining cool days. Tomorrow is going to be 88 and humid. Not good. You all need to have an extra glass of water for me.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Dodged a Bullet

I had a close call at work today. It requires a bit of a back story so bare with me.

It all stemmed from a cooler door being damaged by my night crew at work. One of the guys ran into the door as it was closing with his fork lift. The resulting damage was significant and would require replacing parts, not just getting the door back in shape with "gentle" persuasion. I looked over the door and thought we would be able to get away with just replacing one section of the door.

I called the manufacturer of the door, explained my situation, gave measurements of the damaged section, and asked if we could replace the damaged part. The man on the other end of the phone said, "oh, a door leaf. Yes we can do that".

(Side note: the word "leaf" denotes section, right?)

So I ordered my EXPENSIVE door leaf and patiently awaited its arrival.
Today was the day. My leaf arrived. My 8' x 10' leaf. I was not shocked. I was petrified. What had I done? I quickly called the manufacturer again and asked why my "leaf" was so big. Turns out, a leaf is the whole door. I missed the measurement detail in the quote.

This could have been a huge problem for me. Fortunately, it was the only option we had. We could not replace only the one section, the entire door had to be ordered. We were not expecting the door, but it does make the price of the leaf easier to swallow.

Long story short...sweat the details.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Trying to get back into the swing of things.

I have been keeping myself pretty busy these days. So busy in fact, that I have completely neglected my blog. I have spent most of my afternoons and weekends running in preparation for the Firecracker 5000. It is a 5k race on the Fourth of July on the Riverefront in Peoria. I am hoping to take home another award for a top 3 finish in my age group. Stay tuned. That, however, is not why I am so excited about the run.

For years Robin has kept up the mantra, "why run if no one is chasing you?" Well, I guess after a year of watching me she decided to see what all the fuss is about. A little over a month ago Robin went out for her first run. Since then she has purchased quality running shoes, excellent running attire, created a run playlist on our sansa, and signed up to run in the Firecracker with me. I think she has been bitten by the running bug just like me. I gotta say I am very proud of her and myself for making a convert.

On the home front we are making slow and moderately steady progress on the kitchen. We have all the cabinets repainted and new hardware. A few of the doors need to be planed down a bit in order to close properly. The wall paper is mostly stripped and the ceiling is cleaned for painting. Now we have to patch holes in the walls and ceiling, paint the ceiling and hang the new wallpaper. Once that is down we will tackle the floor and counter tops. We should have it all wrapped up by 2010.

In entertainment news the no satellite experiment is gong great. The kids do not miss the extra shows at all. They spend way more time playing together and spend more time outside. Most importantly we are not hearing the phrase, "I want that", after every toy commercial. Thanks to the website hulu and our computer we get to watch most of the shows we watched with satellite with the added bonus of limited commercials. This is the way to go for sure!

Nora is enjoying her summer off after first grade, and Nigel is enjoying his summer before the start of kindergarten. Nora had great final marks. She exceeded expectations in reading, writing and math. That's our girl. Nigel can read, draws very well and is very well prepared for school...thanks to big sis.

That is life here in a nutshell. I will try to keep you more up to date with our summer adventure.