Monday, October 1, 2012

A Little Update...October

Decided since I am sitting at Chase Field watching the Dbacks take on Colorado in the last homestand of the season, it's the perfect time to update you on some doings. health.  Things are going really well.  As of today I am down 35 pounds since June.  Combination of eating better and pretty good gym work is making it a smooth transistion.  Down almost a couple off pants sizes too.  Still a long ways to go, but it's fun along the way. Ethan is in kindergarten and having a good time and learning a lot.  He can read by himself, for the most part and enjoys reading to anyone who will listen.  Ethan is still having some trouble listening in class, but he is trying his hardest.  We have an award system set up, so he is motivated...I think.

Nicole is still trying to fund raise for the Susan G. Komen foundation 3Day walk coming up in November.  Check my, or her, Facebook page to find out more about her latest fundraising effort this weekend, or if you just want to donate to her cause.  She is working hard on this and I am very proud of her. 

This turned out to be a short update, for once.  Hope everyone reading this is having a wonderful day and a better life.  Cheers!!


Friday, August 3, 2012

It's August...Thank You!!

Well July has passed and I am happy for that. (see two blogs ago)  Things are definitely on the uptick.  Just a quick word on my health.  I promise I won't bore you with much.  Three weeks ago my wife an I decided to join a gym, locally owned Mountainside Fitness.  What a difference it has made. Before going back to the gym, I was already making progress on my diet and lost a few pounds.  After three weeks of gym time, and a couple of personal training sessions, I am down 20 pounds.  Now..I'm a big guy, no denying or hiding it so the change is subtle at best, but I feel good, having a good time and everything is fine.  Now, some of my family and friends probably said, "that's great, but we've heard that before and we'll see after a couple of months" and they would be right.  My track record with this isn't the best I agree.  However, I recently had a battery of tests and found I may have a small blockage that is easily contained by drugs and exercise.  Both my regular and cardio doctor think I'm not in danger and have cleared me for additional training.  So, just to prove to myself and others, today I signed up for training sessions for the next year, so I HAVE to go and can't quit if I wanted too.  Nicole and I are splitting two sessions a week for now, since she is in training for the Susan G. Komen walk (watch Twitter and Facebook for a cool fund raising event for that).  After November, I will go two a week.  My goals are simple, get back into shape and do Pat's Run in April, which is something I have always wanted to do.  I'm not a runner at all, but it's for a great cause and in memory of a great man.  I still have a long way to go, but it's been fun getting back in the gym again and working hard. 

Ok, now for what this blog is built for.  My sports takes.  Let's start with the only team playing games in Arizona right now, the Diamondbacks.  As of writing this, the D'backs are playing the Phillies in the opening game of a three game road series.  The roll they are on right now is very similar to late last season.  Everyone is contributing and Kevin Towers is making the right moves to make it work.  They are in a great spot to make a post season run, and it's been fun lately watching them play.  Still a lot of baseball left to play.  So far, so good.

Next..the Coyotes. Still waiting for new ownership and Shane Doan.  Coyotes fans have been waiting a LONG time for new ownership and should get some soon in Greg Jamison.  He is a hockey guy with a history of success that has a smart business plan to make this situation work out in Glendale.  He has the right general manager in Don Maloney and the right coach in Dave Tippett and certainly the right goaltending coach in Sean Burke, who has transformed Mike Smith into an elite level netminder.  I still hope all will be resolved very soon and the Coyotes will be here for 20 years plus, and Doan can wear the "C" again in a Coyotes uniform.

Cardinals.  Training camp has started and the boys in red will be playing in the Hall of Fame Game this weekend against New Orleans.  Preseason is horrible, but I'd watch bad football over anything really, so bring it on.  All indications say the Cardinals will have a stellar defense, some believe top-five in the NFL.  However, quarterback and offensive line are still question marks.  The offense doesn't have to be world-beaters, just be average and score 17-20 points a game..that's it.  The defense will do it's job.  We will see how this all pans out.

Sun Devils Football:  New energy, new attitude, new coaches.  I have high hopes for Todd Graham and the Sun Devil Football team.  He has made a lot of positive strives inside and outside the program already, but now it's time to earn the paycheck on gameday.  Realistically Sun Devil fans should hope for a bowl game, any bowl game, which we know these days is .500 football.  Next year's recruiting class is already looking special on paper and high school football hasn't started yet.  I also LOVE what he is doing in-state.  High school football players in this state has been virtually ignored by both ASU and UofA over the last five years or so and it's time for that to change.

Suns: Honestly..I dunno.  This team could challenge for a playoff spot, or could tank horribly.  I like Luis Scola.  He could be a very good player in this system.  The have some scoring on the outside, but is it enough?  I don't know.  I think we will let this be until training camp, so we can at least see a roster to see who is even on this team.

Well, that's about it.  If you read this far, get a cookie.  Me..well I'll have a protein bar or shake. They actually aren't that bad.  Thanks for reading and mostly caring. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Goodbye Jessica

Like I have said in the past, when something is on my mind I turn to writing.  Again, this post comes with bad news. 

When I woke up this morning, I did what I usually do and that's check Twitter for the latest news before going to work.  I saw the reports of the shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  My initial thought was that it was going to be a long, busy day, like it usually is with breaking news.  The next thing I saw stunned me stiff.  A report of a person who I have corresponded with over the last four years was in the theater and was one of the 12 people who died.  Jessica Ghawi, or professionally Jessica Redfield, was an amazing person and that is an understatement. 

Let me give you a little background on my time with her.  She wanted to work in sports in the worst way.  Whether it be as a blogger, beat writer, in radio in TV.  It didn't matter.  She was going to do what it took to accomplish her dream.  I first met her through a message board then email.  Jessica was interning for a sports radio station in San Antonio and started blogging on the local AHL hockey team, the Rampage.  The team there was a minor league affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes at the time.  Whenever I had a question about one of the players in the system there, not only did she have an answer on the guy's skills, but she had knicknames, favorite music and more.  We exchanged emails and messages often.  Then, the Coyotes affiliation moved to Portland, Maine and she moved to Denver.  Through Twitter and social media, her and I kept up relations.  She mostly wanted to know how the "kids" were doing, most notably defenseman Chris Summers who she had become friends with.  But, recently our hockey conversations turned.  She was in Toronto visiting her boyfriend when she had a notion to leave a shopping mall, just minutes before a gunman started opening fire.  She was the first to alert people to it via Twitter.  I saw her initial tweets and asked her if she was ok.  Jessica said she was, but she was shaken obviously.  When news broke on TV I was able to tell her where to go to be safe.  When things settled down, she thanked me for helping her and of course, I was happy to do it.  Since then, our messages have been one here and one there, but she always responded to me and vice versa. 

The one thing I am glad that is being shown about her today is how much she loved the sport of hockey on how much she was driven to become a success in the profession she dreamed of spending her life in.  Jessica had picked up a few jobs along the way.  From blogging about hockey on a website, to working games as talent help for the Colorado Avalanche hockey club, she did anything and everything to be in a hockey arena to cover a game, which makes today hard to swallow.  Someone with so much drive and enjoying it regardless of the road bumps is hard to find in a person these days.  Jessica made friends everywhere she went, especially with hockey writers and broadcasters in the business.  Not one person has a mean thing to say about her.

The one gift she gave me in her short life, is the gift of willingness to help others in my profession.  I remember an ASU student that wanted to be a hockey beat writer so bad it drove her crazy, some times wanting to give it up and try something else.  I knew what kind of writer she was and how good she is, I wouldn't let her quit. Now, she is a Coyotes owner away from being the Coyotes beat writer for the Arizona Republic, Sarah McLellan.  Sorry Sarah, you're my best example.  There are a couple of others I am trying to help now and hope for the best for their future in this tough business. 

Jessica inspired me to help others, especially the next generation of writers, broadcasters and reporters.  I will take her spirit and drive with me the rest of my days. 

Goodbye Jessica.  The reaction of your death around the country proves to me that you touched many lives.  You will live on with many many people.  Thoughts and prayers to her brother, boyfriend, family and friends. Her, along with the other 11 victims of today's horrific event, will be missed and remembered.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Month In The Life Of Me's another non-sports blog.  I should just drop the sports out of the name, this is ridiculous.  Anyway, one thing I have learned is if things get really bad, writing seems to help.  If you are reading this at whatever time it is, your first thought is "uh oh."  Before writing this I posted something on Facebook prefacing what this will be.  I also once again thank the one's who have been through this with me and apologize to the ones I may have upset along the way. 

This. is a month in the life of me.  If you are still reading, I appreciate it.  My current state of life isn't in the best shape, mostly due to nothing of my doing.  Which is odd if you know me.  Let's start at the beginning:

We lost our main air conditioning unit about four weeks ago.  It was the original a/c unit from when the house was built in 1974. Impressive I know.  However, we couldn't get another one up and installed until.....Saturday.  Luckily we have a unit for one room and borrowed a portable for the bed room.  It wasn't the best, but we made do.  Then..about two weeks into the extravaganza, our fridge goes out.  If you are keeping score at home, we are down a/c and fridge at this point, but we are holding on.  On top of all of this, I bought a car from POWER TOYOTA and had the remaining balance of a previous loan worked into the new contract.  No problem right? Ha. Six months later they still hadn't sent the check to the lender. we have no a/c, no fridge and impending financial doom, again.  All of which, we didn't do to ourselves.  Mix in my current health condition, which isn't the best at this time (see last blog post) and trying to work through tests and decisions and there is the month pretty much in a nutshell.  Even though I am probably leaving other small events out for whatever reason.

Now, you may ask "how is you and Nicole through all of this?"  Great question.  The answer is it has challenged the both of us to levels we never thought we would come to.  But, the great thing is that we are best friends and with that solid friendship first, we are working through all of this mess.  But, all of this has taken a toll, and probably would for most people.

So, here we are.  Tuesday July 10th, 2012, not knowing what tomorrow holds.  I have been very lucky to have been surrounded by great family and great friends.  Even as of today, some friends have come, some have gone and some are hanging in the balance.  I can only do and control so much. That lesson I have learned over my life.  It's hard not to think or stress over things, especially when it means the most to you.  That's when you learn to deal with life's challenges.  I thought I was pretty good at that until now.  What's funny is just when you have things figured out, even for a long stretch of time, God always throws a curveball at you.  It's what you do with it that defines who you are and who you may become.  See...ended up throwing a sports term into this.  I guess this is a sports blog afterall. 

If you got THIS far.  Thanks.  That means you care and that's truly all I need.  Thanks to everyone in my life.  There is a special place in my heart for all of you.  Maybe that's why I have an enlarged heart. True story.  It all makes sense I suppose.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Blog Since Jesus Rose From The Tomb....Timely I Know

Sorry for the nearly year off from blogging, but for some reason Twitter has become a short blog for me.  140 characters is all I need.  Usually this thing is reserved for something sports related.  I'm going to go away from that and deal with something pretty personal to me that I want to share.

As long time friends and family know I have been a big dude for a long time.  I've learned to play off it and just kinda live my life this way.  I never really ever got down on myself or anything like that and have stayed pretty positive.  Since this is the year I cross into 40, I wanted to do something pretty radical.  I have decided to have bariatric surgery to get rid of this gut of mine.  I knew I had to do something when I kept seeing pictures of me just way too big.  The scale tipping at 360 doesn't help either.  I don't know what procedure I will do or when, I am at the beginning stages of all of this.  Insurance may dictate what I can and can't do.  I have an excellent doctor who is going to fight the insurance company to try and get the right thing done.  I've thought about doing this for about six months, but since I was in a car accident back in October, I had to deal with all of that first. 

The reason why I am going to do this is to be around for my family for the long haul.  I have been battling high blood pressure for a while, but so far I am pretty clean from other diseases.  I want to keep it that way.  Call it a preemptive move on my part.  I know a lot will change, both physically and mentally, but I am ready for the challenge.  I have an amazing support group of friends and family.  I have a lot of goals for myself after surgery is done.  I'll do my best to keep this updated as I go along. 

Surrounding this is a family trip to California for about 5 days for my birthday in June.  We are going to hit Disneyland, then drive down to San Diego and hit Sea World during that time, along with staying with family along the way.  I wanted to be a kid for my 40th birthday and share that with Ethan and Nicole.  We are all kids anyway..:) 

So, to wrap it up, it's going to be a heck of a battle the next few months working this in with the rest of my duties, but that's part of life.  Thanks for reading and listening and I can't wait to get back to my high school weight, which is my ultimate goal.  Wish me luck.