Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Things that get by Security

I received on of those unsolicited, random emails that my work firewall usually disposes of. This one snuck in and it's absolutely worth sharing.

Be understanding to your perceived enemies.
Be loyal to your friends.
Be strong enough to face the world each day.
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.
Be generous to those who need your help.

Be frugal with that you need yourself.
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.
Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.
Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.
Be last to criticize a colleague who fails.
Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.
Be loving to those who love you..
Be loving to those who do not love you; they may change.
Above all, Be yourself.
Just Be Yourself.

Nicci Ray
City Magazine
Roanoke VA

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Passing of the Torch

I'm sure that every culture has a something that celebrates the moment when a father sees his son for the first time as something other than a child. Sometimes, it's cloaked in ceremony; sometimes its a silent recognition of something done right. For me, I got to have that experience this week.

Kyle and I went out on a 3.5 day tuna trip into Mexico. I told him the normal rules didn't have to apply (as in 'what happens in international waters stays in international waters....'), but that he still had to be respectful of others on the boat.

At then end of the first day, I had landed a couple of 15-20 pound yellowfin tuna, but Kyle had not even seen a single bite. As the sun was setting, I heard the cry of "FRESH ONE!", meaning someone was hooked up. I looked down the boat to see Kyle fighting to hold onto his rod, which was darn near bent in half.

To my fear and dismay, he was using a freshwater quality reel on a light weight rod bass rod that did not have the backbone to stand up to a tuna. I knew what the end result would be and prepared myself for consoling Kyle with the 'that's why they call it fishing, not catching' speech.

The fish walked him 4 times around a 95 foot boat. That poor rod looked like a pretzel. And Kyle? He was shaking from the strain, trying to grab his back, which was seizing up. He was seriously hurting. He could hardly manage to get the rod tip up just to crank in some line.

The deckhands were surrounding him giving him advice; I'm right behind him yelling encouragement and doing everything in my power NOT to reach in and help him raise that rod. It's his moment, and even if it means losing the fish, he'll do it on his own. After 45 minutes, we could see the fish under the surface. It was a monster. As soon as it saw the boat, it peeled off line heading for the deep. But Kyle kept fighting.

Then I heard the deckhand yell "Just a couple of more cranks..." Up and down the boat, 24 other fisherman on the trip were cheering him on. With a final lift, the fish was gaffed and in the boat. When it hit the deck, thunderous cheers broke out and men swarmed Kyle to congratulate him as one of our own. They saw what I did; a kid taking on the big fish and not quitting til the hard work was done.

And me? We'll, you know the buttons were busting off my shirt! And not just because of what he'd done. It was the comments through out the trip of what a fine, polite young man Kyle was and how they'd "share a rail, anytime" with Kyle; the highest praise in the world of off-shore angling. And they are right. I look forward to sharing a rail with him for many years to come.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Great American Experience

So, if you follow my wife's blog, you had to laugh your ass off about her comparing our camping trip with the classic "The Long, Long Trailer" with Desi Arnez & Lucille Ball. Can't say I blame her! As with any maiden voyage, I was pretty sure the car would overheat, or the camper would become unhitched, or the fridge would open in transit, sending food items flying everywhere. I was waiting for the "I told you so...." But, I'll be damned if it all went off just fine. Except for not knowing how to turn on the furnace the first night (which was remedied for nights 2 & 3), it was a great family experience; like I remember when we had a camper and would go to Myrtle Beach. Cooking trout on a campfire, watching meteor showers in the Sierra sky, and luxuriating under the warmth of a good shower at then end of the day- just a few memories spent with my two favorite people. Oh, and honey if you read this, I seem to recall that the Long Long Trailer brought Ricky and Lucy closer together than they ever could have imagined. I look forward to many more adventures!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rugby Camp Re-cap

Kyle and I rolled down for his first summer camp experience; Rugby Camp at UCLA. Actually, the experience began as soon as we got into Kyle's Coach's van to drive down. You see, Bill (his coach) has 10, yes 10 kids. 7 of them went to camp, along with Kyle and I.

At one point, Bill asked Kyle if he had brothers or sisters. Upon hearing he was an only child, Bill just laughed and said, "Well, you are in for an experience..." I have to hand it to Bill. His kids are great. But, even great multiplied by 7 in a van is something to behold! I enjoyed being able to chat with Bill, who is a good father and coach.

Camp was fun. We shared the field with a cheerleading camp that had Kyle staring off into the distance on more than one occasion. The Barcelona FC soccer team (one of the world's best) was also practicing at the field.And, right next door was the LA Open Tennis Tournament.

For Kyle, it was a crash course in rugby. He really picked up on the nuances, though he was frustrated he wasn't as good as some of the other campers. I had to remind him he was 14 and only had 4 games under his belt whereas the kids were older with several years playing. Plus, you know it's a serious camp when the girl players show up with t-shirts reading "RUGBY- No Pads, Just Balls"

And finally, I practiced with them. No hitting or anything, but the movements were enough to leave me hobbling at work until Wednesday. Guess I'm not as fast as I remember!