Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hey 19

Last Saturday (the 25th) was Jonathan's 19th birthday. He didn't want anything big and didn't even specify a gift (so we gave the gift of money).

I'll always remember that day. It was the day I took over one of the most important roles a man can take (after Christian and husband) which was Dad. I remember rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night. Jonathan was born at 11:01am. I remember that first night when we got the bright idea of sleeping in his room. We didn't get any sleep because we got up with every noise he made.

He was the one that suffered the brunt of our mistakes as fledgling parents. He doesn't seem to have suffered too much for it.

He hears all the time how much he looks like his dad. I know he thinks of the opening scene of the Goofy movie where Max has the nightmare of growing up to look like and be like his dad. I'm personally flattered when people say we look alike.

He (and his brother) have that rare mix of intelligence and athleticism. He became one of the few students at Ballard Memorial to go to state in two sports in the same year (cross country and track). It was his first year in cross country and second in track. Now he's training for the St. Jude marathon in December. He was also the valedictorian of his class.

His college is pretty much paid for. He's won several scholarships. In fact he just got another engineering one. Josh says that he is the luckiest person he knows and things just fall into his lap. I'm a firm believer that we make our own luck though.

We have really good conversations about sports (especially football). He is a fan of New York teams (Yankees, Knicks and the Giants). We've seen the Yankees a couple of times and the Giants this year (see my earlier post on that). He is especially passionate about his Giants. He's caught grief about them for several years but he certainly got the last laugh when they beat the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl. We've enjoyed a thrill that few UK football fans have. We've seen them win two straight bowl games in person (at the Music City Bowl). The last time they did that was in the early 50s. We're hoping for three this year.

He can make me laugh even when I am not happy. He'll crack a joke or do an impersonation of someone and get me laughing. Or he'll say "It's all good" and that I shouldn't worry about it.

He's a great kid (actually not a kid now) and fine Christian young man. I couldn't be more proud of him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I See Blue...

While we were in Myrtle Beach, Josh set us all up for a campus visit to the University of Kentucky. Monday was the day to go.

I attempted to air up the tires on the mini-van using the air pump that runs through the aux power connection (what used to be a cigarette lighter). It worked for a few minutes then quit. The radio stopped working too as we found out upon leaving. I obviously blew a fuse. We stopped at Calvert to grab breakfast and I checked the fuse panel but didn't really see anything that referred to a fuse for the radio. I didn't want to blow anything else out so we left it alone.

The trip was uneventful after that. We got there about noon. They have a parking garage on campus now so we parked there and grabbed lunch at Fazoli's. We registered and walked around a bit on campus. I still managed to remember my way around.

The presentation was fine with the usual pitch of how great the University was etc. Then, we took a campus tour. We saw various buildings and a dorm room. We got to go the in the student rec center where there was workout equipment, basketball courts, an indoor running track and a rock climbing wall. There were also tennis courts and a pool nearby as well as Commonwealth Stadium.

They also discussed the possibility of getting a technical degree coupled with business courses (as we walked by the business college). Josh was very intersted in that since he plans to start his own tech company.

We stopped in the William T. Young Library. We didn't get to tour all of it (we'd done that with Jonathan before). A special feature of it is that it has retractable and expandable book shelves that allows it to hold more books. In case you are wondering who William T. Young is, he developed Big Top Peanut Butter which was renamed to Jif peanut butter when Proctor and Gamble bought him out. He also raised some horses but I prefer to talk about the peanut butter (which is the only brand in the Yancy household). It's actually manufactured in Lexington.

Josh of course loved the campus. It solidified his desire to go there. He was so excited he talked all the way home (which was good since we had no radio). He even had trouble going to sleep because he was so excited. We've got a deal that if he can get enough scholarship money to pay for everything, he can go all four years there. I'm really not looking forward to that though...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

5k the third

Jonathan and I signed up to run in the Great Pumpkin Race in downtown Paducah (put on by Rehab Associates). Jonathan was to run in the 10k and I would do the 5k again. I was too chicken being afraid I'd finish last.

Josh was running in a high school meet at Marshall County (the Marshall County Invitational).

It was a bit nippy (50 degrees), but we got warmed up and were OK. We lined up at 8 o'clock and took off. I hit the 1 mile point at 7:45 again. I didn't even try to get any water.

They didn't have the people available to announce times after that so I just tried to keep a good pace. As I got to the last stretch, I could see that my time was in the 24 minute range. I managed to finish in 24:48! I couldn't believe it. Jonathan finished in 45:05 (his goal was 50). I knew he'd get an award for his time so we hung around for that.

They started with the 5k and they got to 40-49. I was amazed to hear "2nd place, Stuart Yancy". Jonathan had to push me up there because I was in shock. When I came back, he said "Dad, quit looking so surprised". Jonathan won his age range in the 10k.

We hustled out and go to Marshall just in time to see Josh run. ..

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Myrtle Beach - the finale

We made our annual trip to Myrtle Beach for the yearly family vacation. This is our 11th time to go. We bought a timeshare from Fairfield (looking back I wouldn't do that again but I digress) in 1998. You have a lot of resorts you can use. We picked Myrtle Beach for the first trip and loved it so much we've gone there every year.

This was the first year without Jonathan. Being in college, his fall break didn't line up with Josh's plus it was only two days, so he didn't go. We missed him on the trip.

We left Saturday after Josh ran in the Paducah Tilghman XC Invitational. He ran his best time ever 19:37. We headed out after that. We picked up a rental car in Nashville since it's much cheaper even with parking than renting in Paducah (I'll save my rant about rental cars and taxes for another post). We got to our usual stopping point of Spartanburg South Carolina and checked into the Fairfield Inn to spend the night.

THe next morning, I ran and then we went to Boiling Springs church of Christ. We've gone there for several years on the way there so people know us. We ate at Zaxbys (a place we always go when we can) and headed out. We got to the Wyndham Westwinds and then went to Myrtle Beach church of Christ.

On Monday, we laid in supplies at Wal-Mart. We hung out at the beach for the day then ate sinner at Lone Star Steakhouse. Tuesday, Josh and I went to the Nascar Recepark. They didn't have any of the tracks for older people open. Josh wanted to ride the ones restricted to people with a driver's license but it wasn't open. So, we went to Atlanticus Miniature Golf instead. It's my favorite course. Part is inside and part out. We missed Jonathan. Whenever he had a shot close to the hole, he'd want to go ahead and tap in saying "But, I've got a good shot". We played three rounds and went back to the resort and swam in the ocean. We went to Myiabi Japanese Steakhouse for dinner.

Wednesday, we just hung out at the resort. Josh cooked dinner (bacon and biscuits and gravy). We went to Myrtle Beach church of Christ for Wednesday night Bible study.

Thursday, Josh and I went to Dino's Pancake House for breakfast and got stuffed. Then we went to Magiquest. We've been there several years in a row. If you love role playing games, you'd love this place. You get a wand which you buy minutes for. You can do all sorts of things with it. You can open treasure chests, play games, get information and even fight dragons with it. It's really neat. The wand stores your info and progress, so we bring them back every year to do the new quests they add. When our minutes run out, they have a wizard dueling area that we always do. I actually won once, but Josh whipped me every other time. We went back to the resort.

We went to eat at Fuddrucker's. I generally try to go to these wherever I see them. They have really good burgers plus a bakery/ice cream area which is really good. I got a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. Josh got a chocolate milkshake (one of those made in the metal container that is really two milkshakes). Donna got a hot fudge sundae that was huge!. Needless to say, we were well stuffed. Donna and I took our traditional last night of the trip walk on the beach.

Friday, we got up and finished packing and headed out. The trip out went better than any other we'd ever had leaving Myrtle Beach. We generally hit a massive traffic jam either right before or after Asheville, but didn't this time. We were making such great time that I cancelled our hotel in Newport and we went as far as Nasvhille and stayed there.

We ordered from Ruby Tuesday to go. I was surprised at how good the food was. We used to have one in Paducah and we gave up eating there after a few tries because the service was bad and the food mediocre.

We got up on Saturday and I returned the rental car and we headed for home. We got back around noon.

I'll miss these trips a lot. We made an immense amount of family memories on our Myrtle Beach vacations.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cardinals - Cowboys

I am a long suffering Arizona Cardinals fan. I started rooting for them in 1974 when they were in St Louis and stayed with them after the move. They had really good teams then with Jim Hart, Mel Gray, Jim Otis, Terry Metcalf, Dan Dierdorf, Roger Wehrli, and my favorite Jim Bakken. When they failed to make the playoffs in 1976, I never dreamed they'd only make the playoffs exactly twice (and one of those in a strike season scenario) in the 30 plus years to follow.

I hardly ever get to see them on TV. Therefore, I was glad to see them in the Sunday afternoon nationally televised game on FOX. They were playing the Cowboys an old rival from their NFC East days. Troy Aikman was doing the game though and he (in my mind) is a severe Cowboy "homer".

I've always detested the Dallas Cowboys. The Cardinals used to beat them with some regularity when I was young. Sometimes though, Dallas would pull off wins with the help of bizarre calls. For example, I remember Roger Staubach having been put down on a tackle and sticking his legs up into a Cardinals player trying to jump over him to get a "Late Hit" penalty. Jonathan (being a Giants fan) of course shares my deep dislike of the Cowboys. I get tired of hearing "America's Team". I've found that most NFL fans either love or detest the Cowboys. There is no middle ground.

This is a good slideshow about "Why we love to hate the Cowboys".

The game started out great. JJ Arrington ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. Then, it turned into a struggle. Tony Romo fumbled three times but only one was ruled a fumble. Once he was ruled down "by forward progress" on a sack. The second time, the infamous Brady "tuck" rule was wheeled out. That one cost the Cardinals a touchdown since it happened in the end zone. Romo was already whining and saying and motioning "tuck" before the ball was even recovered. I even had several Dallas fans tell me after the game that they thought these were fumbles.

"I just told the D-line, 'That's America's team, don't expect no calls,' " said defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, who caused both those fumbles.

Dallas tied it up and it was 7-7. The Cardinals fumbled the ensuing pooch kickoff. However, Nick Folk ended up clanging a field goal attempt of the upright (it was the loudest clang I've ever heard on a game) so it was 7-7 at the half.

The Cowboys promptly scored to start the 2nd half. They held the Cardinals and I was starting to worry. But finally, the Cardinals scored to tie the game. I left for church with it 14-14.

I followed the game on my Blackberry and it was 21-14 Cardinals at start of services. I handed my Blackberry to Donna (to avoid temptation).

When worship was over, I checked and the Cardinals had won 30-24! It was an eventful 4th quarter as I later found out. The Cardinals kicked a field goal to go up 24-14. With three minutes left, Romo throws a short pass to Marion Barber which he takes 70 yards to make it 24-21. The Cardinals go three and out and Dallas drives to the Cardinals 40 with 4 seconds left. The Cardinals have a lineman trying to limp off of the field with an injury so Dallas snaps the ball and the refs call him for being offsides! I guess he should have just fallen down and started screaming instead..

Dallas lines up for the field goal and it's blocked. But alas, the refs spotted the Cardinal coach calling a timeout so it must be rekicked. The field goal barely makes it through from 52 yards out and to overtime we go.

Dallas wins the toss and goes nowhere. They line up to punt and the Cardinals Sean Morey raced in untouched and almost took the ball right off of the punter's foot. Monty Beisel recovered and ran three yards for the winning touchdown. It was the first overtime game ever won on the return of a blocked punt for a touchdown.

The Cardinals could have folded up but didn't. I hate to get my hopes up for winning the division and making the playoffs, but I am optimistic for the first time in years.