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Bill Roper's Journal
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18th-Jul-2018 10:15 pm - Catching Up On Things
Headed down to the doc for a physical and blood tests this morning, then back north for lunch, and immediately back south to get fitted for a new set of orthotics. The net result of this was that I spent most of the day on the road and in doctors' offices.

Tomorrow should be less -- well, I'm going to the Cubs/Cards game, so maybe not that much less chaotic. :)
17th-Jul-2018 11:12 pm - More Interesting Than I Expected
Well, the American League won the All-Star Game again, but it was rather more interesting than I expected, given that the NL tied it up with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. And then one of the players on my fantasy team, Alex Bregman, homered to win it for the AL in the next inning.

There were a lot of home runs... :)
16th-Jul-2018 10:24 pm - The Electronic Shuffle
It was Prime Day. Not all things were accomplished on Amazon -- a trip to Sam's Club was needed -- but I now have a new iPad with more storage (good for recording work), Katie gets my old iPad, Julie gets a new Fire tablet, and Gretchen gets the old tablet.

Whee!
15th-Jul-2018 10:14 pm - In the Absence of Softball
Softball being over, I found that I could make it to today's Capricon meeting. I covered the points that needed to be dealt with for music at the con, then headed off to pick up Katie from her play date. At the grocery store, we picked up ingredients that became an excellent, if not traditional, orange chicken stir fry in Gretchen's hands later in the evening.

Gretchen and I watched the first episode of Take Two this evening, or as some people call it, Reverse Castle. I might say Queen-Side Castle, but I used to play chess. It's an ok series, but it looks like it will not be around long. I think I preferred Deception.

I should also mention, for the benefit of anyone looking for something to watch this summer, that CBS is burning off the remaining episodes of Me, Myself, and I, a series that deserved a better fate. If you're looking for a comedy series that is filled with characters who you might actually like, you should catch this while it remains available. It won't be for very long, I suspect...
14th-Jul-2018 11:55 pm - Season Over
And the Des Plaines All-Star team lost their elimination game tonight 10-9. The girls gave it a great try, but couldn't quite pull it out in the end. In any case, they are a great bunch of girls.

In other news, the people who run the tourney deserve to be severely chastised for changing the posted tourney rules after their initial posting without letting all of the coaches know that they'd posted an updated set of rules and what the changes were. When we have one set of rules in our dugout and the other team has a different set of rules in their dugout, there are not going to be any good outcomes.

Sadly, it did make a difference.

But it didn't stop the girls from trying. And good for them.
13th-Jul-2018 03:47 pm - License to Chill
In a few minutes, Gretchen and I will be heading off to Wrigley Field to see Jimmy Buffett in concert. It is going to be damnably hot down there.

We will chill anyway. :)
12th-Jul-2018 11:00 pm - All-Stars Redux
The Des Plaines tourney All-Star team played its first game tonight. It could have gone better, but the girls were playing a more experienced tourney-dedicated team (which is a concept that seems more like a travel team than a house league All-Star team to me, but perhaps that's just me) who had already played under the tourney rules, which are largely a preview of what the girls will see in the next age group up next year.

All that considered, they did pretty well and improved as the game went along.

Tomorrow's game will, no doubt, go better, but I will not be there to see it, as Gretchen and I have tickets for the Jimmy Buffett concert down at Wrigley Field.

So we will be working on our License to Chill tomorrow while the girls are playing.

I wish them all good luck!
11th-Jul-2018 10:31 pm - Coding Away
I finally managed to finish coding and testing a small subsystem change at work. It is checked in and I can now work on something else. :)
10th-Jul-2018 10:32 pm - One Down
Katie has gotten through her first day of school. We have also arranged a carpool to school that will leave at the much more reasonable hour of 7:35 AM for the 8:00 AM start instead of a 6:53 AM bus. :)

Now if we could just get a lunch menu. The posted menu is still from May.

Ah, well. Growing pains. :)
9th-Jul-2018 09:58 pm - The Last Day of Summer Vacation
The last day of summer vacation has arrived precipitously early, as Katie is off to Iroquois tomorrow to start school. This whole thing is going to be a shock to the schedule, as school at Iroquois starts at 8 AM, as opposed to 9 AM at Terrace. And the bus that Katie takes to school leaves at 6:53 AM. Eek!

We are not morning people here. This is going to be a major shock to the system.

But we'll make it work. :)
8th-Jul-2018 10:41 pm - The Last of Coach Pitch
Today was the All-Star game, where I got to be the head coach as our team had won the division. I asked the other coaches in the division where their girls should play and arranged the lineup accordingly, setting things up so that all of the pitchers would have a chance to pitch, even if that meant changing pitchers in mid-inning. This worked almost perfectly. Sadly, the umpire was late, the game started late, and the umpire seemed in a hurry to leave, so we ended up losing in 4 1/2 innings by a score of 6-5 and the girl scheduled to pitch the fifth inning for us didn't get in. (I apologized to her. She was ok with it.)

But the girls played well, had a good time, and that's what counts.

The All-Star game, Bud Selig notwithstanding, is an exhibition game. :)

But this was my last responsibility as a coach at the 3/4 level in our league. At the 5/6 level, where both Katie and Julie will play next year, coaches no longer get to pitch to their team in the game in lieu of walks. (And there can be a lot of walks!)

I will miss coach pitch. It was fun when I threw a fat one and one of the girls took full advantage of it.

Ah, well. There's always batting practice. :)
7th-Jul-2018 11:52 pm - Time For Bed
Our new deck of Uno cards arrived today and Katie wanted to play, so Gretchen and I set out to play some three-handed Uno with her. It takes a certain amount of something to lose 14 consecutive hands to start the game, but that's what I did. I eventually scored on two hands, but it was pretty much a two-person race to the finish with me somewhere in the backstretch.

Ruby was not bothering us, it being a rather late game. She was lying in a chair in the family room with the television that we had left on. I walked in and said, "Ruby, time to go to bed." She walked over, nosed open the door to her kennel, and was lying there waiting as I brought over her bedtime treat.

One of us is well trained. I'm not sure which one.
6th-Jul-2018 02:03 pm - Surprise!
I was in the middle of a meeting at work and put the work phone on hold so I could answer the home phone. It was a call from the school that Katie had hoped to get into, but had not managed to, because her name wasn't drawn. They had a late drop. Would Katie like to go there?

Well, Katie was out shopping with her mom, but I said "Yes!"

Then I called Gretchen in the car. There was a remarkable amount of screaming coming over the phone. :)

School starts Tuesday! Now all we have to do is to get ready for it...
5th-Jul-2018 11:23 pm - Back To Work
I think that was the world's shortest weekend that I just experienced.

In any case, I quickly coded up a fix at work today. Now, if only the database would let me test the fix.
4th-Jul-2018 11:14 pm - Less Than Perfect Timing
The one problem with holidays that are tied to a fixed date rather than being allowed to float -- take, for example, Independence Day -- is that it will eventually land on a Wednesday, neatly bisecting the week.

I appreciate the day off, but it's hard to get up much of a head of steam, especially when the weather outdoors is one big head of steam. Nevertheless, things were accomplished today.

  • Katie and I walked with the Des Plaines Girls Softball group in the town's Fourth of July parade.
  • Katie, Gretchen, and I cleaned the kitchen and isolated and disposed of the source of the godawful smell.
  • While cleaning the kitchen, we bundled up 16 grocery bags full of grocery bags and took them back to the store for recycling.
  • I grilled some nice steaks for dinner.
  • We watched the new episode of Steven Universe.

    And now, we are going to bed. :)
  • 3rd-Jul-2018 11:24 pm - Parade Tomorrow
    The softball league will be marching in the Des Plaines Fourth of July parade tomorrow and the girls and I expect to be there.

    This probably means that sleep is a good idea. :)
    2nd-Jul-2018 11:22 pm - That's Different
    It is somewhat strange to contemplate that softball is over.

    Well, except that I'm the head coach for the All-Star team, because we went to the finals.

    And that I've volunteered to help coach a second All-Star team for the Niles Tourney.

    And that fall softball will be starting next month.

    Hmm...
    1st-Jul-2018 11:10 pm - Season's End
    The girls gave it a great try today, but couldn't quite manage another comeback win, losing the Crosstown Championship game by a score of 7-2. But they never did quit, loading the bases in the last inning so that the tying run was on deck. That's a fine thing, as is the fact that they improved a lot during the season.

    And they had fun. That's another.

    Winning? That's gravy. :)

    They are a great bunch of girls and I'm proud of them all.
    30th-Jun-2018 10:38 pm - Off Day
    The girls went to a party for Katie's softball team today. I sat and chatted with the folks there. Gretchen stretched out at home.

    All in all, this was a relaxed day.

    Tomorrow, there is one more softball game for Julie's team to play. Wish us luck!
    29th-Jun-2018 11:54 pm - League Champs!
    I am absolutely delighted to let you know that Julie's team, the Des Plaines Rand Red Hots / Red Warriors won the league championship tonight, coming from behind to beat the Morton Grove Dolphins by a final score of 3-2 in eight innings. It was another remarkable game on a brutally hot evening, with lots of great pitching and defense and just enough timely hitting to get by.

    The game was running long and there was another game scheduled on the field after ours, so in the eighth inning each team was allowed to start the inning with a runner on second. This is an amazingly scary prospect, especially after we had escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh. (And while I had a quick plan for how to arrange the lineup in the seventh inning, I had to devise a way to arrange the lineup in a legal way for the eighth so that we would be ready to play the ninth inning if the game went that far, so I was using all of my remaining brain cells about then. :) ) But our pitchers (Kylie, Alexis, and Ava) did a great job all game, including in the extra innings where Kylie and Alexis held the opposition scoreless. And with a runner starting on second in the bottom of the eighth, then advancing to third on an infield hit, the winning run was finally able to score when Julie put the ball in play off the opposing pitcher (not off of coach pitch!) to bring Kylie home on an infield out.

    It was an incredible game.

    And I am so proud of all of these girls.
    28th-Jun-2018 11:38 pm - Softball Fever
    Julie's team pulled off an amazing comeback win tonight, beating another of the Des Plaines teams as they scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to notch a 5-4 victory and move on to the divisional finals. As I told the team after the game, they have no quit in them.

    Katie's team had a later start, so we hurried over there after Julie's game. Sadly, Katie's team lost by a score of 7-1, so their season is over. But they had a fine season, finishing tied for second in the regular season. And they had a lot of fun.

    And fun, after all, is what this is all about. :)
    27th-Jun-2018 11:34 pm - Softball Chaos
    Yesterday's deluge made for some interesting activity today. Conveniently, this resulted in Katie's suspended game being moved to Rand to be completed. I say "conveniently", because the suspended Lincolnwood vs. Lincolnwood game was moved to the other field at Rand so that they could play Julie's team immediately upon completion of their game. And this meant that we (and Uncle Jeff) had the chance to see both games.

    Katie's team fell behind by a score of 9-5 going into the bottom of the fifth. And I called out to the girls on the bench, "Come on! You can score five runs any time! I've seen you do it."

    And they did, to take a 10-9 lead. Then they held their opponents scoreless in the top of the sixth and that was the game.

    The Lincolnwood vs. Lincolnwood game ended as a run was scored in the bottom of the sixth for a 2-1 win, which meant they could now turn around and play Julie's team.

    The girls broke a 1-1 tie with a five spot and went on to win by a score of 9-1, tying their season high for runs scored. It was impressive. :)

    So there will be more softball tomorrow for both Katie and Julie.

    And this is good.
    26th-Jun-2018 11:25 pm - It Rained!
    Uncle Jeff came by to watch Katie's first playoff game today. As my team's first playoff game wasn't scheduled until tomorrow, I went to help keep score. The weather forecast was ominous and some rain had already fallen shortly before the game started, but we played nearly an hour before the lightning detector went off and caused us to pause with the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the third.

    It was a good time to pause as we went to hide in our cars, because the deluge followed.

    The game will resume tomorrow at a different field, next door to the field where Julie's team will be playing. Uncle Jeff is expected to return for the conclusion of one game and the entirety of the other. :)
    25th-Jun-2018 11:30 pm - And We're Number One
    In the regular season, anyway.

    The final standings were posted today and we have the number one seed going into the playoffs. I am delighted with how well the girls have played.

    In theory, we were supposed to play our first playoff game on Wednesday, but due to predicted thunderstorms on Tuesday, that may slip to Thursday. It's complex. :)

    Katie's team is either number two or three in her division. There is some confusion there that needs to be sorted out. We'll see how the sorting goes...
    24th-Jun-2018 10:54 pm - I've Been Carnivaled
    We spent the afternoon today at the local fundraising carnival for high school athletics. I am tired and I didn't go on any of the rides! :) (But the girls did! A lot!)
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