Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Two New Wires
Thursday morning I was back to Dr. B. Since my last visit I had not lost any brackets!

When I arrived they did a panoramic xray. I took a look at the film and noticed that the wire on the lower right moved significantly upward as it approached my molar. It made that tooth look like it was out of place. For several weeks that wire had been popping out of the bracket. I had called them about this and they told me to use something to fit wire back into the bracket. At first I had used some tweezers. Then as I grew more bold, I used some curved hemostats. Well I pointed this out on the xray and they told me that I had bent the wire. Dr. B. asked me if I had been eating nuts - suggesting that this was the cause. I exercised my right to not to self incriminate on the nut question. Then I suggested the bent wire occured when I was forcing it back in the bracket with the hemostats. They didn't buy that. I swear that's what happenned.

Probably as punishment, Dr. B decided to give me two new SQUARE wires! Acckkkk. The Torture Wire was a square wire!! Yikes. Run!!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were pretty bad. The pain has largely subsided now. Thankfully. Also of interest is that I have not lost any brackets in the the last few days - which was the trend before; I'd get a new wire then BAMO the brackets would start popping off.

It should be something like four more months.

Brewers Note - 1.054 SG
Todays batch resulted in a 1.054 specific gravity. That is exactly the same as the last batch. In spite of that, this batch should have a decidedly different character due the use of completely different hops. I also used 12 grams of Saaz for finishing rather than the 8 grams that I had planned. It turns out that I still have one more Hallertau plug in spite of my earlier comments.

Fran got a bit upset with me today. As I was planning my brew this morning, I commented that I could use a good digital scale that weighed down to the gram and that such a scale would make a great Xmas present. Fran looked at me the way only a wife can look. Then she marched over to one of our cabinets and dug out a box that contained a digital scale. She thrust that scale into my hands and said, "Do you mean like this one that I gave for Xmas last year??"

ehhh, yeah just like that....

The new scale is awesome, BTW. Its a Phillips Essence 2394. Highly Recommended.

Texans - 2 Longhorns - 4
Marissa is still on crutches and did not play in this game either. It's too bad as well, because Marissa played on a team with the opposing coach, 'Silent' Steve Sietz. Silent Steve is one of the few coaches that Marissa really does not like. The Horns have one of the worst records in the division. Our girls should have beat them.

I have noticed that our girls do not play well at 8:00am. Today was no exception. They have never given up four goals or more except to teams in Division one or Division two. This was a new low.

One more game to go against a team that has no wins (hmmm, just like us.)

Texans - 1 Everton Silver - 2
After the United game the girls had a sleepover at Carolyn's house. A bunch of them, including Marissa, were on the trampoline and somehow Marissa fell off the tramp onto the concrete right on her heel. It is badly bruised, she has a splint and crutches and is prohibited from play or practice for two weeks. So Marissa did not play in the Everton game last week.

At the King Tut tournament we played this team to a 1-1 draw. In that game we were up 1-0 with less than five minutes to go, when The Toffies scored the goal to even the match. Everton is at the top of our division this season.

The girls gave up one goal early but then came back quickly to even the score. In the second half Everton scored the winner and our girls were unable to find the net. They played well against one of the best teams in the league.

SuperBlue - 3 Blue Lightning - 0
Logan and I arrived a bit early and had a great one on one warmup. We did some passing drills and then some one on one keepaway. As we were doing this Kimber, our manager walked up to me and said very quietly, "Don might not make it. He is sending Dave to coach the game. He asked that you warm up the team." Right!

So I called the girls together, and had them do some quick dribbling exercises to warm up then some stretching, and then some shooting. The ref came over and lined them up for a equipment check. This is really an outstanding and exceptional undertaking for the ref. But in all my years of youth soccer, I have never had a ref line up the girls like that!

Then it was time for the coin flip. No coach Dave. Then it was time to start the game. No coach Dave. You can see where this is going, right? Back in my coaching days, I had a system for figuring out which players to play and making sure everyone got even playing time. I used a notepad to keep track of who played in each Quarter and which position they played. I started to panic, because I did not have my notepad. I needed to focus. Ok.

First I sent Logan in at goal. She needed to get her keeper jersey on so that would occupy her for a few minutes. Then I sent the two best forwards in at forward. Then the I sent on two mid fielders. Finally I sent on two defenders including Holly.

We had won the kickoff and the team pressed forward quickly. We drew first blood within a couple of minutes. They drove the ball to our end and Logan had two very nice stops followed by two great punts. Both of these punts when to the midfield line. One of them rolled all the way to the other keeper. Logan was pretty proud afterwards. "Did you see that Dad? I almost scored a goal from keeper position with that punt. That would have been cool!"

Before the end of the quarter, Coach Dave showed up. Thank heavens. I handed the game over to him and walked to the parent side of the field. I got a nice round of applause from the other parents.

Logan played defender the second quarter. Rode the bench in the third quarter and played forward in the fourth quarter. This was her best effort at forward that I can remember. She likes to play back, but yesterday she ran into the goal box on attack and was right there ready take some shots. I was very pleased with her game.

Holly, had some really great plays as a defender. After the game I told Holly's mom how well I thought she played. She reluctantly agreed. She told me that she played defender well even though she usually plays forward. I thought that was a weird comment. Later I realized that she was telling me that I put her in the wrong the place on field. At this age, I don't believe in assigning positions. Nor does coach Don. In fact Miss Holly played defender very well! It is this aspect of the game which turned me off to coaching. Parents. Sheesh.

Important Note: Coach Chris was the coach of record for the winning goal. You got that. Right?

SuperBlue -1 Dixie Kicks -3
Blogging had ground to a halt over the last two weeks. I spent over 120 hours at work - that's like a whole extra week! Sheesh!

So this is the report on LAST weekends game.

Except that I don't really remember that much. Logan gave up one of the three goals. The team played well against a well matched opponent. Our girls just failed to get the ball in the net. Their girls did better in that regard.

Brewers Note - Results and New Production
I have been sampling the Oct 16 production
. It is spectacular if I do say so myself. That batch used the last of the Hallertau Hops that I had on hand. Yesterday Logan and I made a run to the Brew Store to pick up some more supplies.

I like to use fresh whole hops. They had some Saaz (3.5%) and some Kent Goldings (6.5%) in stock so I bought a bag of each. Today we will make a variation on Big Ed's Munich Style which is called Big Ed's Triple Threat. The main difference is that we will use 3/4 ounces of Challenger Hops, plus one ounce of the Kent Goldings as our boiling hops. Then we will use a half ounce of the Saaz to finish. Nice. :-)

The kettle is already fired up!

Sunday, October 16, 2005
Brewers Note - Bottling today.
As noted previously, the current batch of Big Ed's had a starting specific gravity of 1.054. Today it is at 1.013 a difference of .041 which indicates 5% alcohol. The formula for krausening the beer given by Papazian would lead to adding somewhere between 35 to 38 ounces of gyle. I have generally found that to be a bit low, so I'll probably go with at least a quart and a half of gyle added back before bottling!

SuperBlue - 1 Celtics - 5
Two weeks ago we moved divisions in order to get more competition. This team gave us problems last year. Well they gave us problems again this year. The girls passed the ball around pretty well but they need to be a step faster when they play more difficult teams.

Logan sat in the first quarter. In the second quarter she played midfield. Logan is fast, and she is really good about running down players when they break away. She had a great play where she stole the ball from the other team on their side of the field, she dribbled the ball across the field and on to their side. Then made a perfect down field pass to the forward.

In the third quarter Logan played keeper. This week she started complaining about playing keeper. Thursday, she passed on the opportunity to train with the keeper coach, opting to train with the team. She told me that she was bored playing keeper. That was understandable as she had several games in keeper this year where she never touched the ball! Today was different. She got beat on a breakaway and almost made the stop. And she had a short punt which was picked up by the Celtics who drove for the easy goal. That was balanced by a bunch of excellent stops and three punts that went over the midfield line!

In the forth quarter Logan played sweeper, which is her natural position. Logan loves to stop the offense. She is really good at taking the ball away and getting it upfield to her players. She is patient too - she was play her position rather than running all over the field.

In the soccer world Logan is classified as a 99 (under 7), which is mostly first graders. She is playing a year 'up' with the 98's (U-8) which is mostly second graders like her. On Friday Logan practices with the SuperBlue 99's since she will be eventually playing with them (in North Texas players are not allowed to play up in U-11 and U-12). The 97's practice at the same time as the 99's and the coaches let Logan move between the groups as she sees fit. For the past couple of weeks she had been practicing with the 99's. This week she was with the 97's. During practice she went 1 on 1 with one of the biggest 97's and she faked her out and stole the ball from her. One of the moms complimented Logan about that.

After Friday's practice Coach Don told me that they would start the 99 team soon and that Logan could continue to play with the 98s if she wanted to, but that she should definitely play with the 99s since she will be unstoppable there. Logan doesn't see it that way though. To her it is insulting to ask her to play with the 'little' kids. I can see I'm going to have a bunch of work to get her to see this picture differently.

Texans - 0 United FC - 0
A while back Coach Joe, who is from Ghana told me that African coaches never loose to British coaches. United is not a big club in the area. In all of our years of competitive soccer we had never seen a team from "United". So we did not know much about them or what to expect.

The girls played this team well, but as it was against FC Dallas the girls did not allow a goal, but they could not convert a goal either. On Monday the refs demonstrated a lack of understanding of the rules. Yesterday the first half ended after 25 minutes instead of the 30 that are required. It is amazing to me that the refs generally have no concept of the rules in this league.

Marissa played 15 minutes of the 55 and did well. She was pleased with her efforts so that's worth something too.

After the game, one of the parents hosted a get together at their house for the team including a sleep over for the girls. I continue to be impressed with the parents in this group. I think that the sleep over will help the teammansship of these girls.

Before the game Coach Joe asked me if I knew anything about this team. One of their mom's had told me that their coach was British. So I told Joe, "Well Joe, they have a British coach." Then I reminded me of what he had told previously, "And as you know Joe, African Coaches never loose to British Coaches. So I think that's all we need to know!" Joe laughed and looked at me said, "that's true!" And his streak continues.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Texans - 0 FC Texas Red - 1
The Skins lost a heartbreaker this weekend at Denver by two points. Interestingly, at one point in the second half, the Skins had Denver pinned inside their five yard line. Jake the Snake, fumbled the ball in the endzone. The Skins recovered and were awarded a safety. Denver appealed the ruling and amazingly, the call was reversed without any basis in the rules of play. The two points was of course the difference in the game.

Monday night, some squalls were moving through Dallas. Just as the Marissa's game was about to kick off, a line of showers pelted the field. Everyone was scrambling to get their jackets on and open umbrellas and so forth when the ref started the game. Immediately FC went on the attack and quickly scored. The Texans had only ten players on the field; one short. IT IS THE REFS JOB TO COUNT THE PLAYERS ON THE FIELD BEFORE THE START OF THE GAME. This did not occur. Coach Joe also missed it, as he was trying to get his jacket on due to the rain.

The Texans promptly added the missing player and spent the rest of the game on FC's side of the field, but were unable to make up the lone goal.

The Texans, like the Redskins, were unable to overcome a horrific job of officiating.

Sunday, October 09, 2005
Texans - 0 FC Dallas - 0
It was cool and wet for yesterday's game. FC Dallas had four losses in a row with no goals scored in any of those games. This was a team we should have beat. The intensity that the girls played with last week seemed to be missing.

Marissa complained that her knee was sore, so she strapped on her knee wrap before the game. I think Coach Joe saw that and as such limited her playing time. In spite of that, Marissa had some nice plays on the ball including a nice shot on the goal.

The girls play FC Texas tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 02, 2005
Texans - 2 Tornadoes - 2
After the drama of last week, I was pretty dejected when I went to handicap this game. The first match up I looked at was Everton Silver. We scored a goal early against the toffies but they matched it in the last five minutes for a 1-1 draw. The Tornadoes beat them 5-0 or 5-1. I was not optimistic about the results of the match.

In spite of my assessment, the girls came out strong and scored a goal early. Then they scored again to take a two goal lead at 20 minutes. This team has never in its short history had a two goal lead! They were in uncharted waters. The half ended at with the girls leading 2-0.

Marissa played the last 10 minutes of the first half and then started the second half. She had a bunch of great touches on the ball. Playing forward, she received a pass from a defender right at the center of midfield. She one touched the ball 90 degrees to the side of the field. It was a nice play and she received several compliments from the parents watching the game. Later she got the ball about halfway between the right post and the corner. She made a perfect pass across the goal, putting the ball right at the feet of her teammate Carolyn. Carolyn was unable to convert. The play was very similar the one she made two weeks ago when she assisted Tori on a goal.

At 45 minutes the Tornadoes staged a very nice attack which resulted in a goal. After that, they had a break away where our keeper missed the ball, but Tori was able to clear it. I felt like we were having a divine intervention.

At 58 minutes, they got another breakaway. Our keeper came out to play the ball but hesitated at the edge of the box. She had the ball in her hands, but it squirted out and they scored. This is the fifth time that we have given up a goal in the last five minutes.

So we came away with a draw. BUT, they team played at new level. The girls kept their positions on the field. And they played with a new intensity. They are on the verge of getting to the next level of play.

Marissa did not want to go to today's game. She threw a big huge hissy fit before we left the house. Part of her issue was with Dan. After the game she was much happier, although she told me told me that she wanted to play with her friends from her old rec team next year. I asked Marissa if it felt good to be up 2-0. She admitted that was fun. Then she got really mad when she pointed out that she delivered the winning goal to Carolyn. I was happy to see her competitive spirit kicking in.

Tivo Down
Wednesday we had a nasty line of thunderstorms roll through north Dallas. This is not unusual. We had several lightning strikes nearby and three homes caught fire about a mile from us. The lightning cause the power to flicker. All the electronics and computers were fine except the Tivo. The Tivo stays stuck on the "Powering up" message. I have it cracked open now, and I think that the power supply is hosed. Life sucks without the Tivo.

Saturday, October 01, 2005
It looked at first like some kid shoved a quarter stick of dynamite up the downspout. Complete destruction. Schrapnel. Upon closer inspection its seems apparent it must have been a critter. But what kind of critter?? The raccoon from the black lagoon??

Reagan Kelley Learns 9-1-1
Reagan Kelley is learning about 9-1-1 in Kindergarten. She has learned a song to help her remember: "Fire, Fire Lizzy McGuire." Now I am not sure how that helps her remember 9-1-1 but is sure is cute.

When Marissa was five and learning about 9-1-1, I had to travel to Europe quite frequently. Once when I was in the UK, Marissa called 9-1-1 and asked to speak with her Daddy. Now that was interesting!

Logan, who is the most analytical of the three, came home from school petrified. She was shaking and would not talk. She became hysterical at bed time and stayed up half the night screaming and crying. Finally, I was able to calm her down and she explained that they were learning about fire and 9-1-1 and she explained that she was scared that there would be a fire and she would not know what to do. So I had to walk her around the house and show her the smoke detectors in each room before she finally calmed down and realized that she was safe.

PS:Both Fran and Logan remember a different version of the last story - they think it was Fran that walked around the house soothing the freaked out kid. That's certainly not my recollection. But old age has taken a toll.

SuperBlue - 5 Groovy Girls - 1
Marissa's game conflicted with Logan's game this week. As such this report is being filed on hearsay. The PSA has two Second Grade Girls divisions. We had been playing in Division 1 and as noted in previous posts, we have not had much competition. Meanwhile over in Division 2 there are several academy teams and some teams that gave us problems last year. So after last weekend's massacre coach Don moved us to Division 2. The Groovy Girls are NOT an academy team and so hopefully the other teams will provide more competition.

Anyway, Logan recorded another shutout in Goal - Both Fran and Logan say that was mostly because Superblue kept the ball pinned on the opponents side of the field. Logan said they won 3-1, Fran said it was 5-1. Neither was paying much attention to the score.

All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012