Friday, January 10, 2014

On This Date in 1999 (January 10)

I didn’t get much done yesterday as far as continuing this letter is concerned. And I almost didn’t get much done this afternoon. I couldn’t get the tab key to work, so I exited the Word program and started over again. Still no luck. Then I shut down the computer, but when I booted it up again I got a fatal error message. Nothing serious, as it turned out. I simply turned off the computer again and rebooted and the tab key is now working as it should be. I tried using the appropriate “Help” screens but they, of course, are written by geeks who have no idea how even a marginally computer savvy person thinks. For them, it’s all or nothing; you either understand my geekspeak or you’re on your own.

Andy’s basketball team split their weekend series. They won yesterday’s game against Mount Horeb 30-23 but lost today a thriller to Sauk Prairie, 24-23. Their offense seems to be going on a vacation. 40 points in game one. Then 30. Then 23. They missed a lot of scoring opportunities today. In fact, considering the talent they have – it’s a team with a lot of depth -- they should have won the game easily, but the boys just didn’t click. A lot of bad passes, missed free throws, easy shots in the paint off the mark. Although he scored no points in either games, Andy is probably the best rebounder on the team and had at least one steal in each game.

Andy’s basketball schedule seems to put our weekend free time at a premium. Today, for example, I got up, exercised on the Walkfit, and after taking a shower, Andy and I went grocery shopping. That took up most of the morning. At 11:30, we left for Sauk City/Prairie du Sac (the school district is combined, therefore the Sauk Prairie designation) to eat lunch at a restaurant near the Wisconsin River, where the eagles soar this time of year. The communities have a number of special events, none of which we had time for, of course. We did spent about 5 minutes in a parking lot along the river scanning the clear blue sky for signs of life. We spotted only two eagles, both of them at quite a distance from our vantage point. Andy’s basketball game started at 1:40.

It was 3:30 by the time we returned home, and then JoAnna needed to make a delivery to the east side of Madison, which took a 45-minute chunk out of her day. Now she’s in the kitchen preparing supper: pork chops, red mashed potatoes with the skins on, corn, applesauce. I’ve been on the computer for the past hour, the Wisconsin-Purdue basketball successfully competing for my attention. What an exciting game. The Badgers are leading by 4 points with about 6 minutes left. After losing their first two Big Ten game, Wisconsin came back earlier this week with a big win against Michigan State, ranked 12th, and now is on the verge of beating the 7th ranked team.

I think I’ll concentrate on the game and leave you with this rambling, but hopefully not incoherent, letter.

The Badgers won!

JoAnna and Andy went to the health club for the second evening in a row. The membership was my birthday gift to my wife and, after this weekend, I know she is going to get a lot of use out of it. I should probably go myself, but then I get my exercise each morning on the Walkfit. After that, I figure I’m done my time. Initially, Eddie was quite peeved that he wasn’t invited along. But I have to agree with JoAnna. He’d be too much of a handful. I think he’d quickly get bored, and JoAnna would have to spend all her time keeping an eye on him. He’s in a much better mood now. I told him he could help me make chocolate chip cookies as soon as the two sticks of butter soften. That helped to perk him up.

It’s been very cold this weekend. Daytime temperatures have not been able to get out of the single digits, and we experienced especially frigid wind-chill conditions today. Our only outdoor activity has been walking from the house to the van, from the van to the restaurant, from the restaurant…. We have excellent conditions for sledding but haven’t had the time to take advantage of it, with two basketball games in the middle of the day this weekend. Now that I have a warm lining for my Goretex jacket, I’d’ve probably been ready for an Elver Park excursion. That’s the location of the best hill in our area.

If JoAnna and I didn’t set some limits, the boys would become complete vidiots. The Playstation game system is a big hit with both Andy and Eddie. The hockey game and castle, unfortunately, have not received much attention. I don’t see much realism in the sports games that Andy plays. How’s this for a final score?: Arizona 82, Washington 81. On the other hand, the baseball game that Andy was playing earlier today did have a very close resemblence to the real thing. I have yet to try the system out myself.

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