The Bandits

I received information and my team list for my Babe Ruth Fall Ball team yesterday afternoon.  I will be coaching the Bandits, sort of a cool name.  With a quick search of the Internet, here is a cool logo:

Bandits Logo 1

I have no idea what our team colours will be for the season, I have not seen the jersey’s as yet.  We start this week with a practice tomorrow and another on Thursday.  We will start play either Friday night or Saturday I would presume, no schedule released as yet – that will come today.

I am excited about coaching. The 6 weeks off of baseball has been good, but I need something to do with my time in the evenings. It is a good chance to scout out some talent for next years Babe Ruth draft, both from my team and the other 4 teams.  Several of the Rockies players are playing Fall Ball including two on my team.  One of the parents has volunteered to coach with me so that is great and one of the coached from the summer is coming back, pending his school and work schedule of course.  The parent coach isn’t concerned that I will be away for a couple of weekends for my trip to Ontario, so that is good, there will be coverage.  I was worried about that.

Today is my last super early day on a Monday morning.  I’ve been starting at 4:40am all summer, well, all of July and August anyway. It worked well in the summer, I am up anyway, but now that we are edging towards Fall, I am not as eager to get up early.  This morning, I was woken up by my alarm at 3:15am, a rare event – I typically wake up before the alarm ever gets a chance to go off.  I didn’t want to get up so the dogs have suffered thus far with no walk – we will go at lunch.  My sleep was broken up though with Hera wanting to go out at 2am.  Who does that?  Hera, apparently.  Now, she’s peacefully sleeping of course.  Dogs…

Enjoy your week, and, wish this team some luck.  Any wishes given in the summer for the Rockies fell on deaf ears apparently.  :)

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A good sports day on Saturday…

The air has finally cleared in Calgary and hopefully the rest of southern Alberta.  It has been lingering for a week now from forest fires in BC and in Washington. The winds have been relatively calm so the smoke stayed around.  When I was in Lethbridge for work last weekend, it was way worse than what we had in Calgary and Calgary was worse than Red Deer. Winds have finally picked up and cleared out the smoke – it no longer smells like a campfire is burning near by and the sky was a normal blue last night.

The city had some poor air quality and were advising people to avoid going outside unless necessary. On a scale of 1-10, at one point it reached somewhere in the 20’s – not good.  When it got higher, someone decided to check the recording equipment and apparently, a spider had taken up residence, skewing results.  So, Calgarians were not breathing in post-nuclear type air – it wasn’t quite as bad as originally thought.  Damn spiders…

Yesterday was a good day for my sports teams. The Jays were on first, 11AM my time. They ran over the Tigers by a 15-1 score. Encarnacion hit 3 home runs, a rare “hat trick” in baseball and was greeted to many hats being tossed onto the field and from the 5th deck into the deck below.  It took a few minutes for the crews to clean up the hats.  I don’t know that I have ever seen 3 home runs from a player in a game before – I know it has happened, I just haven’t been witness to it is all.

Next on tap, and right after the Jays victory, was pre-season NFL action with the Steelers visiting the Bills in Buffalo. The game was on one of the NFL networks which I was surprised I got.  It was a close game to start, didn’t end that way.  The Bills killed on home field, 43-19.  One more game in the pre-season on September 3, they have looked pretty darn good.  I was worried when they signed their new coach, Rex Ryan, but he’s looking pretty good and seems like he’ll be a good fit in Buffalo.  The only thing that may stop them from reaching the Super Bowl is a QB.  We will have to wait and see if the current crop of quarter backs is up to the job of getting them there.  One can hope.

Starting shortly after the Bills started, the Calgary Stampeders played the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.  I tried split windows on my TV to watch both games at the same time, but I tend to do something else when watching football and only listen to the commentators most of the time, looking up when I hear some excitement in their voices or I catch the replays. So, on a split screen, I didn’t have that – didn’t work for me.  No fear anyway, the Stamps blew out the Bombers after a close first half and won by a final of 36-8 and enough to have sole possession of first place.  This was a back to back road week so I haven’t been to a game in a couple of weeks. The Stamps host the rival Eskimos on Labour Day, right before I head out for my trip to Ontario.  I will miss their next home game when BC comes to town, but I have given the tickets to two of my baseball players – I hope they enjoy the game.

So, Saturday was a good day for my sports teams.  Too bad hockey hasn’t started yet, the Flames could have added to the day.  Soon enough.

Today will be a park day for the dogs and I – they need a good run around and swim in the river. With the poor air quality, we’ve been taking it easy this week so the fresh air today will be good for getting out.  Nothing else planned, going to take it easy.

It will be a short week at work, I am off on Friday and holidays start.  I won’t be back at it until the 22nd which will be nice. Fall Ball starts some time this week, not sure when exactly. I should get a team list today perhaps and games start by the end of the week.  No schedule or anything at the moment.  No idea if I have gotten any coaches to help out.  I hope the League has found someone, I will be away for 2 weekends of the schedule. The coaches from the summer will be able to cover but we might have some gaps. I am sure it will all work out, it always does.

Enjoy your Sunday.

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Sleeping in?

I was thinking that today I might actually be able to sleep in. No such luck. I was awake and up at 3:45… Let the dogs out, fed them and then let them out again. Hera seems to have a routine and she’s trained me very well. She needs to go out immediately after eating. Of course, she also needs to go out as soon as we get up…

It will only be a few weeks until I shift into winter mode and have to drag myself out of bed. Saying the word winter at the end of August seems like it should be illegal. I will also start work later in the day, 6:30 instead of 5:30. It was nice starting that early all summer while I was working flex hours. That’ll be over next week. Speaking of next week, only 4 days until I am on vacation. I know I’ve said that before, but I’m looking forward to it.

No plans for the day really. The air quality has improved and the lingering smoke should be gone by tonight or tomorrow. We will likely hit the dog park and river today and I do need to buy some food for the dogs. Such excitement, I know.

At any rate, it’ll be a relaxing weekend. Enjoy yours.

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Weekend is here, well, at the end of the work day…

The weekend is here, already.  I don’t know about you but this week zoomed on by. Monday and Tuesday were very busy days at work so they passed in a blue. I was off on Wednesday and taking it easy, catching up on sleep and what not.  I am not used to working 12 hour days, never mind 5 of them in a row.

Thursday was a bit of a slow day at work, I was able to catch up on outstanding requests. After today, I only have 4 more days to work and then off for two weeks.  I would like to have a clean slate when I finish on Thursday.  Should be doable.

So, the weekend. No real plans. I am hoping that the air quality improves so I can take the dogs to the dog park and river – temperatures are supposed to be nice. A week ago today, Calgary, or at least parts of Calgary, had snow.  Yes, snow.  In August. That is rather disgusting… I prefer my snow in November and beyond, ending in March.  But, that’s me.

Anyway, I don’t plan to do much. Maybe have a fire out in the newly constructed fire pit in the yard, presuming that the fire ban is lifted. I do have some stuff to do around the house as well.  All in all, it sounds like a fun and exciting weekend. No baseball as yet, I think it starts next week but I don’t have information as yet.  I am looking forward to it.

Whatever you do, enjoy your weekend.

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Ontario, here I come (well, soon)…

Another week of work and I am off for two weeks.  Mostly off anyway.  I am in Ontario for two weeks, I have enough lieu time and vacation time that I am only working one day while in Ontario as opposed to a whole week.  I am going to our National office for a day.  I will be able to meet some co-workers that I have never met before and I will see others that I haven’t seen in just about two years.  It will be a good day I am sure.  I also lost a bet to my boss two Super Bowls ago so I am finally paying the debt off – lunch. We are heading out with a small group to somewhere called the Irish Embassy – the menu looks good.

The primary reason for my return visit is my sisters memorial. It is being held in my sister and brother in laws back yard which, through a lot of hard work (and some efforts, apparently, from the Munchkins from Wizard of Oz) into quite an oasis.  It will be nice to see family and friends, wish it was for another reason.

I am also seeing people that I have not seen in a couple of years.  There are many planned meals with friends.  One of my favourite places in St. Catharines is the Mandarin, a Chinese food buffet. We are heading there for lunch the day after I arrive – no sense in delaying that. I am also planning a trip to Duff’s, the best pizza and wings I have ever had – I am hoping nothing has changed. I am also hitting up Carlos Cantina in downtown St. Catharines the day I arrive – it is amazing Mexican food and I am going with a former co-worker.  Red Lobster will also, hopefully, be having their Shrimp Fest – all-u-can eat Shrimp.  Mmm mmm mmm…  There are also the old breakfast places that I like.  We call one of them the Greasy Spoon, at the corner of Welland and Geneva in St. Catharines.  It is actually called Golden Brothers.  There is also The Lancer on Queenston St. My sister doesn’t care for it there, so she isn’t going.  :)  It appears that I am hitting Ontario for the food.  Maybe…  I haven’t found places in Calgary that I love like some of the places in Niagara.  There are other places I like to go, but, unless I want to eat out 7 days a week, I don’t think I will have time – never mind the money.  I am also hoping to meet a friend from Ottawa for lunch – we meet at the approximate half way point, Peterborough.  There is a place there called Hot Belly Momma’s and it might be my favourite restaurant of all time.

I am also going to a Jays game with my brother in law. It is almost sold out and will be by game time for sure. I was able to get two seats together, in the 5th deck and because it is or will be sold out, there is no moving to the field level for us.  Oh well…  I can’t find my Jays jacket, I must have left it in Ontario when I moved and I am sure it was sold in one of the many yard sales my sister had.  I do have a Jays hat, guess that will do.

The dogs will be in boarding again.  They seemed to love it there, can’t blame them, it looks like they had an awesome time.  I will miss them over the 11 days I am away for sure, but, it will be nice to see my sisters dog, Chloe again.

All in all, I am really looking forward to the trip. Will be a good one.

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National Dog Day

So, according to multiple posts on Facebook, today is National Dog Day. I hadn’t heard of that particular day before. It seems like we have a different day every week. Oh well, I guess celebrating dogs is a good thing. For those dogs who have forever homes, I’d think that every day is National Dog Day. Don’t get me wrong, and those of you who have dogs know, they give us at least as much as we give them.

At any rate, to my dogs, Blondie and Hera, my sister and brother in laws dog, Chloe and all the other dogs that I’ve come across, I hope today and every day is a good one for you !!!

Happy National Dog Day !!! Woof woof !!! :-)

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Back to the routine, well, tomorrow anyway…

Today it is back to the regular routine, sort of.  I am off work today.  After working about 60 hours in 5 days, I wanted a day off.  I don’t know how my brother in law does it, he works 60 weeks for weeks on end at times and his job is slightly more physically intense than mine is – he’s in construction, I sit at a keyboard all day.

We all discovered that we are no longer use to working on our feet for 10+ hours a day, not at all.  Our feet were killing us, so were our legs.  I presume, naturally, that there is more gravity in Lethbridge than in Calgary.  Makes sense.  What else could it be?  Age?  Nope…

So, today I am off, no real plans.  The air quality outside is horrible. There is a blanket of smoke over most of Southern and Central Alberta from wildfires in BC and Washington. It is advised to stay inside if you can with the windows closed. What fun.  I think it is supposed to clear by tomorrow.

I have some running around to do but if the air is really bad, I may not be taking the dogs to the park and river today – we will see.

Speaking of the dogs, they were happy to see me when I picked them up last night. I was worried that Hera would go nuts. When I go across the street to the store, she acts like I’ve been gone for 6 months.  Last night, she also acted as if I was gone for 6 months.  So, apparently, to a dog anyway, going to the store and being away for 5 days is the same thing – what a concept of time.  Blondie was regularly happy to see me – she’s been left before and I am sure she knew I’d be back.  I did miss them.  It was nice having them back last night.  A repeat will be done in two weeks when I head to Ontario. That time, it will be for 11 days.

So, wherever you are, enjoy Hump Day. :)

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See ya Lethbridge, hey there Red Deer…

I got back from Lethbridge shortly after 7pm last night. It was a good drive back, despite a missed exit in Fort McLeod but that happens. I had the gps turned on leaving Lethbridge as I wasn’t sure of the route, then, once in the highway I figured I (and my passenger) could follow signs. Guess not. Oh well.

So, it was a pretty good weekend, all in all. Tiring for sure, long days. I slept well which is odd. I typically don’t like hotel beds. Not the case here. The room was interesting. It was new furniture, all in good condition but it looked as if it was frozen in 1960 or so, maybe 1970. Sort of cool, really. The bathroom was also done in 60’s or 70’s style too. Hey, everything worked and it was clean. The restaurant provided most of our meals and they were all buffets. I’m going to miss a hearty breakfast this morning.

I am shortly off to Red Deer for the day. I’m sort of tired of driving but I’ll survive. At least this is a day trip. On the way home, I’ll pick up Blondie and Hera. I’m sure they’ll be happy to see me, I know I’ll be happy to see them. They’ve apparently had a great time boarding. A few pictures have been sent and they look happy and Hera has been working on her manners.

Only the rest of this week, and I’m taking tomorrow off of work and then a 4 day week next and then I’m off to Ontario. Blondie and Hera will head back to boarding. I’ll be boarding as well, 5 star accommodations at my sister and brother in laws place. It’ll be good to visit family and friends.

Well, stuff to do before I’m back on the road. Enjoy your day abs safe travels.

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On being a morning person…

I have become, over the years, a morning person.  Not all year though, only in the spring, summer and early fall.  I get up early and can function from the moment that I get up – without any real issues.

I am no longer a night hawk.  I am not sure I ever really was.  Maybe back in my youth when I would go out to the bars until all hours of the night and then end the evening sitting in a coffee shop with my friends until the sun came up.  I could do that then, now, no.

Yesterday, we worked in the new Lethbridge office and around 9pm, I was done.  I was out of energy and decided that I was returning to the hotel.  The other guys didn’t argue.  I slept from about 10pm until this morning at 5:40am.  That is the longest that I’ve slept in for a LONG time.

The good thing that might come out of the this weekend of work is that I am hoping I will be able to break the habit of having a nap after work.  Right now, I am waking up at around 4am each day.  I take the dogs for a walk and start working at 5:30 and I finish at 3. I let the dogs out after work and then around 3:15 or so, we have a nap.  We do this just about every day. I think I’ve become dependant on having that nap, unless I am busy in the afternoon and evening I guess.  In those cases, I seem to be able to drag myself through. I am hoping that if I drop the nap, I can wake up a bit later and then sleep through the night.  Guess we will see.  A Saturday afternoon nap is still a good idea though, gotta love those.

Anyway, it has been a good weekend.  We’ve gotten a lot done too. I am looking forward to returning to Calgary tomorrow.  Then, I am off to Red Deer on Tuesday and Tuesday night, I will be reunited with my dogs – looking forward to that as well.  They do seem to be having a good time, but I am sure they miss me a bit at least and I know I miss them.

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Lethbridge, here I come…

I am heading to Lethbridge this morning for the weekend, well, actually, until Monday. The office is moving, right around the corner apparently. I think the lease was up in their old space. The new space is also larger. Three of us are handling the move. My co-worker and I are driving from Calgary and another tech is coming in from Kelowna to handle the phone systems. Hopefully everything goes well.

Blondie and Hera are spending the weekend with someone who boards dogs in her home. I dropped them off yesterday afternoon. I’m hoping they don’t cause any issues, they are pretty good dogs though so I think all will be well. When I said I was leaving, Blondie immediately went to the front door, looking up at me saying she was ready to leave.  Hera didn’t seem to mind staying and I’m sure Blondie was fine.

It was quiet in the house last night. I was able to sweep dog hair up without two dogs investigating my every move. I also had the whole bed to myself, I still slept at the edge, the part that the dogs let me have of THEIR bed. :-)

So, a couple of days of extra work, no relaxing time for the weekend, but I’ll survive. Enjoy your weekend.

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