Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bouncing Benjamin

The above picture was from a birthday party for one of his day care classmates that Benjamin went to last weekend at Sport Bounce of Loudoun.

They have these large inflatable play areas that hold a bunch of kids and in the middle of the facility are open party areas with picnic benches. As you can see Benjamin had a blast. We're thinking about doing the same thing for Benjamin's third birthday (can you believe I just typed that???) in October.

Here is where I spent some time while Benjamin was having his fun. I was on a scoring spree when Weena told me she couldn't believe she was watching two kids.

The good news is after a two hour party, bed time is a snap.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 19, 1989

Dave writes about February 19th today. For me it is a significant day because 19 years ago I had what I hope is my last drink. I'll spare the details beyond that last day. You can find out more about some of my adventures by researching the sobriety link below this post.

It's something I had to do and if I hadn't, I really doubt I would be sitting here posting on a blog. I wouldn't be a member of the work force, a husband, a father. I'd probably be either in jail or dead. That's how much alcohol was controlling me.

By the grace of some good friends (You know who you are), I was able to get my life straightened out. It was a struggle at first but I started to understand the things being said in AA meetings and I applied them in my life. Day by day things started to improve and here I am starting year twenty. Not to say that things became easy once I became sober. It didn't. Today life is good but I'm not perfect by any means. I still have moments when I think like my old selfish alcoholic ways. Thank goodness I have a wife who knows when it is time to kick my ass and set me straight. I do my best to get to meetings when I can. If I am in a jam, I know I can call several friends to talk, get coffee or to take in a basketball or baseball game. That is what I am most grateful for.

Last month at the Maryland-Duke game I was with two life long friends. I grew up with them, went to school with them, drank with them and got sober with them. Standing around before the game, I thought that the three of us have sixty years sobriety. I remember thinking sixty days was a lot of time. Amazing!

I don't know what made me stop drinking but I've never questioned it. I just went along for the ride and I'm still on board for year twenty and then some. I guess I liked the saying I heard after every AA meeting. "Keep coming back". Hell, I was used to being told to scram.

The ticket stub on the left is from the Maryland-North Carolina basketball game from that day. It is the only reminder I have left of my drinking days. After I had a year sobriety I destroyed every drunken memento I had. These were mostly pictures. It was something I felt I had to do at the time. The only thing I kept was the ticket stub. One day I will explain to Benjamin its significance. One day. One day at a time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

#4 Maryland 76, #12 Duke 69

Maryland's Laura Harper, center, and Crystal Langhorne (1) celebrate alongside Marah Strickland (5) in the first half of their victory against Duke

Got to give some recognition to the Maryland Women's Basketball team today for going down to Cameron Indoor Stadium and beating Duke there for the first time in eight years. Let's face it, I love seeing any Duke basketball team on the short end of the score.

The day was also special for Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese, who gave birth earlier in the day to twin boys. (Frese long ago stopped accompanying the team on road games, with assistant coach Daron Park leading the team in her absence).

Crystal Langhorne had 25 points and 12 rebounds and Kristi Toliver added 23 points for the Terrapins (27-2, 11-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Maryland swept the regular season series for the first time in 15 years.

I really need to get out to Comcast Center and see this team play.

Check out the Baltimore Sun recap here.

Read all about Maryland Women's Basketball team here at DC BasketCases

Monday, February 11, 2008

Couple More Benjamin Pics

He got a lollipop from Mommy

And Mommy's present to Daddy, a nice sketch of Benjamin for his bedroom.
This was drawn off a couple pictures Weena gave an artist. Pretty cool!

Friday, February 08, 2008

2008 Maryland Football Schedule

Seven home games for the Terps including the start of a home and home series vs California. Cal replaces West Virginia, who will be back on the Terps schedule starting in 2010. The Red-White annual Spring game is usually held the last Saturday in April and I will probably head out there this year to get my football fix.

August 30 Delaware
September 6 at Middle Tennessee State
September 13 California
September 20 Eastern Michigan
September 27 at Clemson
October 4 at Virginia
October 18 Wake Forest
October 25 NC State
November 6 at Virginia Tech (Thursday)
November 15 North Carolina
November 22 Florida State
November 29 at Boston College
December 6 ACC Championship Game

ACC team by team schedules here

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Benjamin Pictures

Been blogging a lot about sports lately and I've neglected to put up some recent pictures of Benjamin. Here he is just goofing off before he goes to bed.

He loves to show us his animal flash cards. He holds them up and asks us what they are. When we tell him the answer, he makes the appropriate sound. Pretty funny. I guess you have to be here :)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pro Football Hall of Famer's Art Monk and Darrell Green

Former Redskins Art Monk and Darrell Green were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. Monk finally was chosen in his eighth year of eligibility. He played 13 seasons with the Redskins and was one of the NFL's greatest receivers. When he finished his career, Monk held the NFL records for most consecutive games with a reception (183) and career receptions (940). Both of these were surpassed but Monk didn't play in as wide-open an era on offense as many other receivers today. He was one of the most consistent possession and third-down receivers in the league.

I was at two games at RFK Stadium where Art Monk broke NFL records. One was on December 16, 1984 vs the St. Louis Cardinals where Monk set the then NFL record for most receptions in a season with 106. Another was October 12, 1992 vs the Denver Broncos when Monk caught his 820th pass to become the all time pass receptions leader.

Darrell Green was one of the NFL's fastest and most skilled cornerbacks for twenty years. He spent his entire career (1983-2002) with the Redskins. He holds the NFL record for consecutive seasons with an interception (19), and had 54 career interceptions for 621 yards and six TDs. He was a member of the 1990's NFL All-Decade team and made seven Pro Bowls.

He was a cluch player, period. A few examples: Green's first career game vs the Dallas Cowboys September 5, 1983 where Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett broke loose down the left sideline on a long run. All of a sudden, there was Green racing after him. Green caught up to Dorsett and tackled him and saved a touchdown.

January 17, 1988 NFC Championship game vs Minnesota, Redskins ahead 17-10. The Vikings have the ball on the Redskins 6 yard line, fourth down and under a minute to go. Green knocks down a Wade Wilson pass attempt to RB Darrin Nelson at the goal line, giving the Redskins the NFC Championship. The Redskins go on to defeat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII.

But the one play that will forever stand out in my mind happened a week earlier in the divisional playoff game on January 10, 1988 in Chicago. The Redskins vs the defending Super Bowl Champion Bears. The game was tied 14-14 and Green returned a punt 52 yards for what turned out to be the game winning touchdown. Green can be seen at the end of the return clutching his side. The reason: He tore rib cartilage while making a cut trying to avoid a Bears defender.

I always tell friends I was proud to have seen a lot of games in person of what is easily the greatest era in Redskin history. These two classy players are a big part of that history and it's great seeing them elected in together.