052/365 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Ever have one of those days where the plan gets derailed? Doesn’t matter how much I try to be patient. Doesn’t matter how much I try to stay positive. Doesn’t matter how much I try to Change My Mind. Sometimes the opposing forces just win and my world implodes.

Stressed. Feeling overwhelmed. Failing in motivation.

Today was one of those days. The evil just came from left field and kicked my ass. It won the battle and wrecked my day (and the days of those around me).

I was left sitting in the corner, shaking my head, and simply asking, “WTF?”

Carry round the secrets
Only heaven knows
Crawl into our darkened rooms where only victims go
Though I feel I’m strong enough to carry all this load
I’m not able on my own


I think I need to go off and pray.

051/365 Vintage Smile

I’ve said before how fortunate I am to have the relationship I do with my ex-wife. Here is an example.

I sent her several pictures I took of our daughter during her soccer tournament this weekend, and she took one of the pictures, gave it a vintage look and sent it back to me.

Very cool.


050/365 It’s In The Bag

Another heart-pounding weekend of soccer for the Wesley Chapel Soccer Club U12 Girls Team wrapped up with a roller-coaster finals game against the host club Florida Soccer Club – Spirit of Tampa Bay.

The MVP of the match was …. the wind.

The Spirit stormed out to an early and shocking two goal league, both scored with the wind at their back. At the half, we hoped the girls from the WCSC Flames team would keep their heads up and use the wind to their advantage as well.

And did they.

With every shot or pass that got through to my daughter Natalie, the goalie, she would flip the field by booming a punt 3/4 of the way to the other goal and letting her forwards track down the ball and put it on goal. Time and time again they came so close to putting it in the net, but things looked hopeless when the game got to about two minutes left and the Flames saw themselves still trailing by one goal.

As play continued, the ball was cleared to mid-field where the Natalie’s friend Giselle, playing as one of only two defenders given the formation was adjusted in an attempt to score, put a foot on the ball and it began to soar. What was meant to be a pass ended up being a wind-carried shot that left the opposing goalie baffled and tied the game seconds before time expired.

In overtime, the Flames exploded with two quick goals in the first overtime period, and then solidified the win with a third goal at the end of the second overtime period.

Both teams played well, and the Flames sat patiently as the Spirit received their runner-up medals. Although it was disheartening when they found out their prize for winning the tournament championship game was a bag (yes, a pull-string shoe bag), the girls were all smiles as they held up the championship trophy.

Job well done, ladies.

049/365 Just Rewards

It was a long day on the fields today. Natalie allowed only one goal in two games (and even then the one she let in should have been disallowed because the opponent played the ball while it was in Natalie’s hands), AND Daniel behaved well as he patiently sat through two soccer games. So, as a thank you from their daddy to them, it was off to Cherry Berry for some yummy frozen yogurt.


048/365 Payback

Three summers ago, Lee and I traveled to Cancun for our wedding. It was a dream scenario. Just the two of us exchanging vows on the soft, white sand of the Mayan Riviera.

The year before I had proposed to Lee as we wrapped up a two-week vacation that took us to Costa Rica and Mexico. Now we were returning to Palace Resorts for an experience of a lifetime.

We always travel with a lot of ‘stuff’, and with our fair share of the overhead compartment taken, our travel camera bag was under the seat in front of me. Overly anxious to get our vacation underway, I walked off the plane without our camera bag. When I say “off the plane”, I mean barely out the plane door onto the ramp to get to the terminal. As I realized I left the bag, I sprinted back onto the plane only to find the bag gone. Just like that, our digital SLR and our point-and-click were gone.

The fiasco of eyeballing everyone at baggage claim and dealing with American Airlines aside, we managed to pick up a new point-and-click at a Wal-Mart in Cancun (it was just like being at home).

Flash forward to tonight, the evening when my annual bonus from work came in, and Lee calling me to tell my she was on her way to the photography specialty store to pick up our her new Canon 60D DSLR. Not to mention the super-awesome lens she wanted (Tamron 18-275mm) arrived two days earlier. Like our camera bag three summers ago, a chunk of my bonus was just gone.

Payback, as they say, is ……

046/365 Remote Control

Natalie’s mom normally takes her to soccer practice on Wednesday nights, but due to a schedule conflict on her part, I ended up taking Natalie to the all-too-familiar fields of the WCAA athletic complex.

I actually had some work to try and catch up on, so I brought our Black & Decker inverter, my wife’s phone with mobile hotspot, and my laptop. I was working out the back of my truck, and I am sure I looked all the part of soccer dad geek.