Friday, June 28, 2002

World Cup Predictions


Korea 2 Turkey 2. Korea wins third-place match in penalty kicks.

Germany 2 Brazil 1. Ronaldo (Brazil) will score.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

A Swing Set

Tonight, I put together the biggest toy yet for Mia: a swing set. What an ordeal.

The "My First Swing Set" (from Hedstrom) was a mish-mash of pipes and screws and molded plastic parts. I started this endeavor on Monday.

I'm the kind of person that reads the manual a few times, and then strategizes over the appropriate order to put things together. Unfortunately, when it came time to connect the metal pipes together, I couldn't drive the driving screw (R84 in the swing set manual, if you must know). My humble Philips head screwdriver kept jumping off the head. I stopped, convinced that the screws were "not right". I called Hedstrom customer service, and the woman did acknowledge that the screws would be difficult to drive, and that in fact, I most likely have the right ones.

So last night, affirming my man-hood, I made a trip to Home Depot, to buy a tool to help me drive those screws. That's right: I bought a cordless power drill.

My Ryobi 12-volt cordless powerdrill (HP1202M) is the essence of a good tool. It feels good in my hand. It's sensitive to the pressure I put on the trigger. And it had the right "bit" to securely hold then drive the screw. I can't think of a recent purchase that has given me such satisfaction.

There were fourteen of these screws, and I used the drill for each one. It felt great. It felt "right". This drill is now my favorite tool, and I'm not a do-it-yourself type. I almost wish I had something else to put together.

Mia should be happy playing with this swing set. I know Daddy had a happy time putting it together.

Friday, June 21, 2002

US Soccer

What a game!

While most of the United States looked on with raised eyebrows ("our boys are where, playing what?"), the rest of the world marvelled at the progress of American soccer. I'm so proud to see our country beginning to shine in this global sport. In 1978, when I first started watching soccer, the only real telecasts were on the Spanish channel. During the second round matches, I remember network TV breaking into the game to play commercials, and it was then I realized how little America understood this sport.

Now, our team (my team!) has held themselves admirably against a three-time winner of the World Cup, soccer-power Germany. Who would have thought this in 1978?

Alas, we are now out of it in 2002, but I have fond memories. I will be actively watching the rest of the tournament, hoping for beautiful soccer, hoping for a dramatic new winner (Spain? Turkey? Senegal? Korea?). Jenn and I have started talking about maybe travelling to Germany for the next World Cup. I hope the American team will make there too.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

World Cup: US v. Germany

For once, I wish the United States soccer team was playing its World Cup match at 2:30AM. Instead, I'm off to bed now, anxiously awaiting the start of the match against Germany. I don't dare hope for an upset. It's better to be realistic.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Father's Day Thought

As Father's Day approaches tomorrow, I am humbled by one overpowering thought: I never want to see my daughter die.

Just the other day, Jenn, my wife, was coming home with Mia from day-care, and there was an ambulance outside one of our neighbors' driveway. Their daughter had to be taken to the hospital. She had somehow stopped breathing. Thank God she is OK. Apparently, she didn't even have to stay overnight.

We have been blessed so far. There have been no frantic visits to the hospital. Some minor doctor's visits. Colds. Fevers. A rash on her face. Nothing more. Mia is a healthy baby.

I want to be celebrating many dozens of Father's Days. And I want Mia to be a part of them. I can't wait for her to express herself on these days, as a young girl, then as a teen-ager, then as a young woman. I'm desperate to know that this will happen, but of course I can't know the future. Days like tomorrow remind me of how precious life is.

So I hope she stays alive. So that I can teach her how to throw, how to ice skate. So I can hear her say "I love you". So I can give her lots of money. So I can take her out on special occasions. So I can send her e-mail. So I can be her father.

I hope she stays alive. A simple thought. A thought that is taken for granted, to be sure, but it's my one thought on Father's Day.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

NBA Finals: Lakers v. Nets

Last night, I fell asleep watching the LA Lakers and NJ Nets in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Sadly, NJ couldn't produce a victory to extend the series. The Sports Illustrated this week has Shaquille O'Neal on the cover. Apparently, when he finishes his pro basketball career, he wants to become a policeman. I'll believe it when I see it. (Prove me wrong, Shaq!)

Monday, June 10, 2002

World Cup: US v. Korea

I went to bed last night at 8AM. Almost six hours later (1:55AM), I got up so I could watch the United States match versus Korea live. Go US!

Wednesday, June 5, 2002



I subscribe to A Word A Day (AWAD). Today's word was helpmeet. An interesting word, I read about its origin in the AWAD daily e-mail. Basically it's a misspelling of "helpmate". But it has seeped into the language.

Today, I encountered this very word in the book I'm reading. I wanted to read a few pages to pass the time before the NBA Finals started. And there was the word.


Early Morning Soccer

I woke up a few times in the night, anticipating 5AM. When it was 4:50AM, I trudged downstairs, and turned on the TV. I feel like such a world citizen, tuning in to the World Cup.

Warning: Soccer result coming!

The result was more than I could have dreamed. The United States scored two quick goals against Portugal (one an own-goal), an acknowledged soccer power. A terrific third goal (Brian McBride). Portugal scored before the half. Jeff Agoos potted an own-goal in the second. But thankfully, the scored stayed like that. This was very much a historic result, one that I'll be telling everyone about when I get to work shortly.

If you're reading this in the United States, and you'll be home at 3PM EDT, this match will be replayed on ESPN.

Tuesday, June 4, 2002


Yesterday marks the seventh year that my wife and I have been married.