Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Endless Summer Day

Yesterday was one of those perfect New England summer days; bright sunshine in a cloudless sky, 90ยบ and dry, with just a bit of a cool breeze blowing in off the ocean to provide a little natural AC. Our plan for the day had been to knock out the yard work early and then attend a graduation party in the afternoon, and that would have been enough, but as often happens on beautiful summer days, a few unexpected opportunities arose, and we made the most of them.

By noon we had the lawn looking like emerald corduroy and the pool sparkling like a sapphire in the sun. As we were wrapping up, one of our sons arrived with his significant other, which was a pleasant surprise. You have to take your moments as they come when you have grown offspring, so although we needed to get cleaned up and gone, we decided to join them in the pool for a little while.

We soaked off the sweat of our labors in the pool, and then out came the lemonade, and then the Bocce set… This was turning into an impromptu party and I was tempted to blow off the rest of the day and stay right there by the pool, but we didn’t. We left the kids to have some peace by the pool, did a fast shower and change, and were on the road by 2:30.

The graduation party was great; family, friends, food and tunes. The hosts live about a block from the ocean and that salt air smell just added to the vibe of the day. While we were there we made the acquaintance of a fine Scottish couple, himself in kilt, that were a pleasure to talk to, and who, as the party went on, turned out to have a serendipitous connection to us. In the course of conversation it came to light that the gentleman had worked for the same airline that my Dad had, and knew him. This being Fathers Day weekend and all, it was a bit of a goosebumpy moment. We had just been swapping stories about the Grampster with our son back by the pool, and then we meet a total stranger that knew him. A kilted total stranger, at that. A cool and yet slightly surreal encounter. Lang may yer lum reek, Jonas.

At this point the day was already memorable on quite a few levels, but we weren’t done yet. We had parked within eyeshot of the ocean, and as we walked to the truck we made the decision to catch sunset at the beach. We opened all the hatches, cranked up the tunes, and took a long, slow, sunset cruise down Shore Drive.

The beach, the water, the people out for a Saturday night stroll, us singing along with Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” as we slow cruised, priceless. I could feel my internal clock running backwards, and the rest of the ride home went by in the blissful blink of an eye.

We had just gotten home and we were starting to unwind when the peace of the long day was broken by the window rattling sound of big time fireworks. We had completely forgotten that there was going to be a fireworks display in the park down the street from our house. As the pets all bolted for cover, we bolted out to the front yard and watched as an impressive fireworks display played out just above the trees. A fitting end to a magnificent day.

Sitting here now and looking back over the day, I still find it hard to believe that we squeezed in all that we did, but that’s what summer is all about. Long days spent living in the moment, and rolling with what life gives you.

I leave you with this quote from Annie Dillard;

“Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.”

Here’s hoping yours is well spent. Happy Fathers Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Brutal, Just Brutal.

That’s what Tuesday night’s game was, brutal to watch. I kept watching though, hoping they’d wake up and get some kind of a rhythm going, just so they’d feel better about themselves, and maybe carry that feeling over into game 7. Nope, didn’t happen.

I’m gonna go into tonight thinking that Game 6 was a combination of jet lag and being a little full of themselves from the previous two wins. Combine that with LA having their backs up against the wall and you’ve got all the makings of a blowout. Tonight will be the real test, both teams in a do or die situation.

I’m banking on a close, exciting game, and a Celtics victory.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boston Takes Game 5!

Despite a lights out performance by Bryant, the Lakers just couldn’t match the Celtics intensity. Everybody was poppin’ for the Celtics tonight, and now the Lakers are one game away from elimination. Like I said, one man can’t win a game, or a championship.

Phenomenal effort by the Celtics, especially Pierce and Rondo. Paul was overdue for a night like this, and you’ve gotta love Rondo’s hustle!

Final: Celtics 92 – Lakers 86
Full game coverage on

Could We Ask For Anything More From These NBA Finals?

Well, winning the title would be nice, but for now, I’m pretty happy with how things are going. It’s been punch, counter punch through the first 4 games, and the series is all even at two apiece as we count down to game 5

We’ve seen the marquis players go from cold to hot and hot to cold. We’ve seen great bench play, flaring tempers and comic relief. I still chuckle to myself every time I think about Robinson and Davis’ press conference after game 4. Shrek and Donkey indeed.

It’s exactly what I’d hoped it would be; a contest, and an exciting one at that.

The media has been asking everyone that has a pulse who they think will win the series, and those that pick the Lakers always have a slight variation of the same answer, and it goes like this; “The Celtics are a good team, but the Lakers have Kobe, the best player in the game today.” While I agree that he is arguably the best all around player, miles above most in ability, I say; “So what?”

Great teams win championships, not great players. A single great player, or even a team full of great players, doesn’t make a championship team. You need look no further than the ’07-’08 “almost perfect” Patriots to understand this. A collection of great players that never gelled as a team, beaten in the end by someone that wanted it more and played like it.

These Celtics want it more. The role players are elevating their game when the starters aren’t able to, and that’s what it takes to win. Everyone contributing, everyone wanting it. Even Shrek and Donkey.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Celtics Even Series

Ray Allen raining threes and Rondo reigning the floor, now that’s what I like to see!

What a game. Best line of the night, midway through the second quarter; “I guess people were making too much out of a single win…”. Yeah, you were, you chowdahead.

It wasn’t just Breen, Jackson and Van Gundy singing the Lakers praises early though, Scott and company made the pre game intolerable with their premature coronation ceremony. Do these people understand that they’re broadcasting in both markets? I think not. They’re all gonna have to work overtime revamping their shtick before Tuesday. Empty suits.

So now it’s back to Boston for 3 games in what has become a best of 5 series. This is going to be a back and forth heavyweight slugfest right to the end, but I think the Celtics will prevail. In the end, the Lakers downfall will be their attitude. Like tonight’s broadcast team, the Lakers were convinced that they had the Celtic’s number, and they weren’t prepared for the team that showed up tonight. When things don’t follow script for these guys, they start breaking down. Watch and see.

Final: Celtics 103 Lakers 94. Complete game coverage on