Friday, February 29, 2008

Video Friday.

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This is video of Maxim helping to retire one of the senior All-Stars banners. The senior is Jared Wold who is a friend of ours, so it was cool that Maxim got to skate his banner.

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This is something Stephanie shot...we laughed at Brecken's eyes and mouth...I don't know how he did it, but it was funny.

Phoenix here we come.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

10 years...

10 years ago this week Steph was preparing for our wedding...hard to believe we have been married for 10 years.

In that 10 years we have lived in 5 different house/apartments, I have had 4 jobs, we have gone through 8 different cars and added 2 boys to the mix...and I wouldn't change a thing.

On our honeymoon we went to Florida and the Bahamas...we went to a Cardinal's spring training game, laid on the beach and just enjoyed each other. To celebrate our 10th year we are doing the same thing...kind of.

On Sunday morning we are leaving for Phoenix, I have some conferences, and then we are staying a couple extra days for a little time together. We are going to watch my beloved Chicago Cubbies play on Sunday afternoon...I am stoked about that...then throughout the week we will do whatever, and we are also going to watch the Coyotes play the Ottawa Senators (NHL Hockey Game). I got some super good tickets on Ebay.

This trip couldn't have come at a better time, as we are both sick to death of winter, along with everyone else in the upper Midwest, and we are ready for some warm weather. Let's face it...Steph needs a break.

Right now Phoenix is boasting a balmy 80 degrees...perfection.

Grandma and Grandpa Decker are coming to stay with the boys. I feel a little bad leaving them alone with the boys for 7 days, but it will be good for them to hang with their grandparents that they don't get to see a lot.

You might not see a lot of posting on the site for the next week, but I might post some pictures just to give you a feel for what we are doing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Zamboni.

"There are 3 things in life that people love to stare at, a crackling fire, a flowing stream and a Zamboni cleaning the ice." - Charlie Brown, Peanuts

"This office needs to be Zambonied!" Me, about 3 hours ago.

I sat down in my office today with piles of junk every where, I started thinking wouldn't it be great if when I left for lunch or the evening a little Zamboni would come out of a garage and sweep up all of my "ice shavings" from the day.

That got me thinking how many times this year I have seen a Zamboni, or if I was in Watertown an Olympia, come on to the ice to give me a clean sheet to skate on.

With reffing and coaching the mini-mites I estimate that a Zamboni cleaned up after me, and a bunch of other skaters about 230 times since October.

Zamboni Facts:
It takes about 12 minutes to flood the ice.
The average Zamboni travels about 2,000 miles a year around the ice rink's surface.
When the Zamboni comes on to the ice it is carrying about 1,200 pounds of hot water.
When finished with the rink the Zamboni is carrying about 1,500 pounds of snow shavings.
A Zamboni travels about 3 miles per hockey game.
The Zamboni made it's Olympic debut in 1960.
The first Zamboni's were built on Model "A" and Jeep chassis.
Zamboni is actually the company name, Frank Zamboni started the company, the actual name is Ice Resurfacing Machine...how boring would it be if we all called it that?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hockey Season Comes To An End.

Hockey is over...now it is time for SPRING.

Since Steph and I will be in Phoenix for 10 days at the beginning of March my schedule won't allow for me to officiate any of the state hockey tournaments. So I reffed my last hockey game of the year last night.

It was a good year, I only had one really off game where I went into the locker room afterwards and called myself names, and offered myself some new glasses. Otherwise I felt I was always fair but firm.

I actually think being a hockey official prepares you to be a parent to boys. For instance, there are times when you have to hand out punishment, and there are times when you tell them to go ahead and drop the gloves for a little fight....and then step in to curtail the carnage.

Yes, even if it is a mis-match fight between a 5 year old and a 22 month old...sometimes fighting is needed, and the only way Brecken can earn his respect from his older brother.

I'll probably regret writing this in 8 years when one of them comes out of a brotherly-love fight with a broken tooth or black eye, but I know from experience growing up with a sister who could pound me that a lot is learned about life when you are pinned to the ground by your sibling with spit hanging out of their mouth ready to drop it on to your face.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Montana again.

I was in MT all week, and what a crazy one it was in BIG SKY land. Especially in the sky.

On the plane ride from Denver to Bozeman our plane made a crazy hard turn in the middle of what is usually a very straight flight...so I looked out the window and about 2 minutes later saw another plane go screaming past, as close as I have ever seen...I could actually tell it was a Delta plane from the tail markings.

I snowboarded at Bridger on Sunday and the sky was clear and beautiful all day, I rode in a sweatshirt for most of the day.

Then early Tuesday morning...while I was sleeping...a meteor slashed across the Northwest and caught the attention of most people outside at that time in Montana and it ended up crashing in Oregon, you can read about it here or here or watch the CNN report here.




Then on Wednesday night I was in Bozeman for the full lunar eclipse. I was out grabbing some food and I saw these guys looking at the eclipse on the edge of town with a telescope, so I stopped made quick friends with them and looked through their telescope.

It was the best telescope I have ever looked through, not the kind you buy from your buddy for $50 either (T-Meyer), they had that thing so tight on the moon at times you could not see the edges of the moon and they were showing me different areas and locations on the moon. They were from the University and were all in a astronomy students.

I got back long enough to coach hockey practice and pack for tonight's hockey reffing assignments in Mitchell. Steph and the boys are coming with and we are going to have an "I hate winter party" at the new water park at the Comfort Inn...should be interesting to watch B-reck tear the place up!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dilbert hits home...

If you have been around me for any length of time you know I am addicted to my BlackBerry, well it seems Dilbert is as well. A buddy sent me this cartoon mocking my addiction to checking e-mails...


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Regulator Robert...The Final Installment.

Writer's note: Sorry I've been keeping you in suspense...I was traveling. Now where were we...

The bullets piercing the air above and the frozen ground beneath kept bringing him back to reality...he was in a pickle and there was no escape. Any learning his mama ever gave him couldn't apply to this situation, he would have to get out of this one on his own.

He needed to get a better look at his attacker, so he peered over the berm of dirt. He couldn't make out numbers, but it looked like there was more than 2 hombres, and a horseless carriage, or a "car" as some people called them.

Just as he ducked back into the safety of the switch grass poking through the crusty snow another volley of projectiles whizzed overhead.

He yelled again...but the wind muffled his plea.

The shooting had stopped, and he knew they were out of bullets because he had been counting the shots. So he knew he had to take action now. His only way out was to ride right at them while they were reloading, and take them on bare-knuckle-style...he'd have to be fast, and that was Cookie's job.

He looked up at Cookie, that horse had been mighty good to him...he looked him square in the right eye and said, "Are you with me?"

Cookie snorted and stomped his foot as if to say, "TO THE DEATH!"

He stood up and was ready to throw a leg over for the ride of a lifetime....

Just then he heard a slam, then a motor fired up, and the car took off. The cowards were yellow-bellied sap suckers. Running away from the fight they started. Good for them...it saved their life from a cowboy that was set to defend his cattle, his horse, his land and his good name, to the death.

He kept a mental picture of the car, just in case he saw it parked at the local watering hole...he would remember this day forever. A lot of thinking was done in those 20 minutes of human peril.

On the ride back to the ranch he vowed to take better care of his family, to reach out to his preacher-boy son-in-law and ask him about the faith he proclaimed. He would take interest in his sissy-boy son's writings...he would hold that woman of his a little bit longer in the morning, he would start packing his .45 on days in the saddle, and he would become the fastest gun in Central Beadle County...things that matter in this world, things you can hold on to

It became clear to him that day, that his whole life was a preparation for that moment...those bullets flying over his head...after all when he was 8 and digging on a pile of dirt at their homestead, it was his daddy that said, "Leave that pile of dirt alone son, you never know when you'll need a pile of dirt in front of your house."

Funny, a pile of dirt saved his life.

(For the most part this is what happened, I know you are a bit dissappointed with the ending, well in real life I was too...dad didn't even call the cops. If someone shoots at me, you better believe I'm calling the cops, and my dad.)

The End.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Regulator Robert...continued.

Writer's note: I'll admit I didn't know this would turn into an epic blog-novel...I actually got bored while writing it the first night and just left it as a cliff hanger. The next installment was going to be the last, and then I saw how insane it drove Verlie that I didn't write anything for about 3 days, so that gave birth to the epic it has become. (This is a good thing because my real life has been super routine lately.)


KA-ZZZZZING!

"Bullets make sounds in the air," was one of the thoughts running through the cowboy's head as he ran his trusty steed Cookie the last 40 meters.

The other thought was, "what is going on here?". "Have I wronged someone that's looking for revenge, have I been mistaken for wild game, is someone looking to take my horse." When you don't have a known enemy or arch nemesis it is hard to know what puts you in predicaments like this.

Finally he made it to cover...he had some time to clear his head and think about his next step. He tried yelling.

"Hey, quit shooting at me!"

"Hey, there is people out here!"

His voice was cracking with fear like a 14 year-old boy going through puberty...but he couldn't help it.

"Why are you shooting?"

"I have a wife and kids."

"Please...let me live!"

KA-ZZZZZZING...another shot.

The wind was strong and blowing from the Noreast, causing his pleas for help to rush away in the wrong direction with the dust and blowing snow.

The gunman was a good 300 meters away or more. He wondered if he could fashion an old style sling shot out of his saddle's flank cinch and some latigo strapping. He had seen a moving picture show about David and Goliath one time and he was pretty sure he could fling a rock a couple hundred feet or more at his attackers.

KA-ZZZZZING....KAZZZZZZZING....KAZZZZZZZING.

They were really bearing down on him now.

The crafting of a Biblical era slingshot seemed like his only defense in case this came down to a fight, but the thought of wrecking $80 worth of tack to throw a rock to save his own life seemed too expensive...so he sat there...like a gopher trapped in his hole. He got mad at himself for being so cheap.

If only he would have brought his unwired communication device along on this ride he could have called the sheriff for back up. That piece of technology too was not within his reach...just like the old gunfighter's Colt .45 and it's custom made holster.

He had to sit and wait for the fight to come to him...or did he...

(To be continued.)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Regulator Robert....continued.

Writer's Note: Sorry I made you wait a few days before part 2. I had a lot of media requests for interviews last week with the Super Bowl and all.

PART 2:

Cookie was one of those horses that only comes around once in a lifetime...enough speed to catch the fastest calf, shoulders with the strength of a Lebanon Red Cedar, his eyes as keen as the Red Tailed hawk, ears like whitetail deer, and a heart like that of Mother Teresa, Ghandi and a little bit of Mike Tyson...in case there was a need for a fight.

The old cowboy trusted this horse, and that's why he talked to him, "What do ya hear? Trouble?"

Just then something whizzed past the old cowhand's head.

Now having never served in the military, due to a knee injury he sustained during a caber tossing competition while he was on a cowboy exchange program in the Scottish Highlands, he didn't recognize the sound right away. But it only took a split second for him to know this was trouble, of a serious nature.

He had been in tight situations before, like the time he had to smote his brother for eating the last of the cookies on HIS 9th birthday. The 10 mile trail ride with his grand daughter where their only rations were a can of soda and some sunflower seeds. The church league softball game where a baserunner didn't slide into home like required...the old boy floored him and kicked some dirt in his general direction, instagating the first ever bench clearing "rubarb" in Huron Church League Softball history. The run in with Campus Security at a college library, and the day he and his family almost came to blows with the overzealous owner of a golf ball driving range at Lake Okoboji. He was always a peaceful man, unless pushed.

There was an inner beast waiting down deep in his soul, the beast was there, just waiting for the message to rip off his shirt to show his chiseled pectoral muscles and defend his honor...this was one of those times.

Staving the urge to rip his shirt off, he refocused his attentions.

Was it what he thought?

Then it happed again...ZING.

Some FOOL was shooting at him.

The days of always carrying a gun had been long gone for this cowboy. He quit leathering a loaded piece 'round about the time when his trusty sidekick "Brother Phil" put a slug of lead into his own leg.

After that mishap and almost losing Phil, his most trusted human friend, the gunfighter image quickly wore out it's welcome. He dropped the "Bob-a-louie-guts" moniker right beside his 9-shot pearl handled .22 pistol and it's holster.

He would be a cattle man, not a gunfighter, but he never could quite walk away from his gunfighter past. He did it now for competition. Wax bullets shot at an old street sign. The people called it Cowboy Fastdraw, and it was the only way to harness the beast within, as the new era of society didn't look kindly on those who packed iron.

So this day, as like most days, his trusty Colt .45 was sitting in his house. Just when he needed it most, he had left it behind. There was no fight to be had from his end, just flight.

Quickly he surveyed the area. There isn't much cover in these parts. The tree belt was to thin and there was a chance for a stray bullet to make it through the maze of branches. He noticed a dried out dugout stock dam, pulled the reins on his horse and dropped his spurs into the breast of the horse for action.

Cookie, being the brains of this operation, was already thinking the same thing. Just make it to that cover, before we take a piece of hot lead in the flesh. He turned tail and ran, like Barbaro, without the broken leg.

Then another shot rang out...KA-ZZZZZING...just over their heads.

Only 87 meters from safety...but could they make it in time.


(To Be Continued)