Already?

Already?  Really weekend just like that you’re over.  It seems like just five minutes ago it was 6:00 pm on a Friday night and the work week was behind us.. Yet here we are, nary a blink the eye has gone by, back to Sunday night and the beginning of another work week.  Although we accomplished as lot this weekend, it feels like we made no progress. I could definitely use a third weekend day to make me more productive around the house.

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In exciting news, we continue to add-on to our new tank.  In case you missed it, we’ve installed a 120 gallon saltwater aquarium in our living room and our remodeling the room accordingly.   Saturday we added a kole tang, macro algae for the refugium and a couple of coral frags.   Thankfully, the new creatures are acclimating to the tank very well.  Both the frog spawn and green star polyp corals have opened up, which is exciting.  They’re small frags, so we’re anxious for them to grow and cover more of the rocks.

Goalielocks is leading the project for the aquarium as he is the marine expert in the household.  We’ve had several freshwater aquariums and a nano saltwater tank before, but this is still a major undertaking.  Maintaining a saltwater tank is a lot more complex than maintaining a freshwater system.  Nonetheless, Goalielocks is well prepared.  Moreover, the tank is really starting to take shape and look great.  We’re anxiously waiting for our paired clownfish to host in the anemone, but they’re taking their sweet time.

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In other news, playoff hockey continues to be great.  The games have been high-octane and thoroughly entertaining.  Tonight the Vegas Knights, the first expansion team to reach the finals, won the Western Conference title and are advancing to the Stanley Cup. Not for nothing, but the Florida Panthers’ missteps clearly had a positive impact not he Knights.  After all, it was not too long ago that the Cats fired Gerard Gallant (huge mistake) and sent him packing in a taxi.  Then they dealt both Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault away as part of the expansion draft.  Along with Lars William Karlsson, these two gents make up the Knight’s lethal top line.  Needless to say, they’ve had a pretty good season.

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Tomorrow night the action will be back in D.C. as the Caps take on the Lightning in a must win game.  The puck drops at 8:00 pm, so I am assured another late night.  With the adrenaline of playoff hockey, who can sleep right after a game ends? I know I can’t.  It would be nice to have a Florida team in the Stanley Cup Finals, but I’ wouldn’t be disappointed if the series went to seven games.  I know, I know I’m a little greedy, but the hockey has been outstanding and I don’t want it to end.

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In non-hockey news, I have to wish my Great Grandma Brown a very happy 102nd birthday.  You read that right, she’s 102 years old. For context, when she was born we were two years into World War 1.   When I think of all the changes she has witnessed in her lifetime I’m astounded.  I can’t fathom how much our world has changed in the 102 years she’s been on this earth.  It’s an incredible thought.   Moreover, she still lives independently with her little dog.  I hope I got her genes.  Please join me in wishing her a very happy 102nd birthday.

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I had thought about going back to the daily prompt and writing about narcissism tonight, but I just didn’t have it in me tonight.  I thought hockey, saltwater aquariums and my great grandma would be infinitely more interesting. I’ve written about narcissists before anyway and really don’t wish to give them anymore airplay.

Wow, almost forgot there was this huge wedding this weekend. I didn’t get up to watch it.   Don’t get me wrong, I like the pomp and circumstance, but I am not a morning person.  Later that day I watched the highlights on Hulu.  It looked like a beautiful event.  Of course, the single best picture of the day was of David Beckham.    Who else watched the wedding?  What did you guys think?

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Late Nights

I love playoff hockey, but the late nights get tougher with each passing year.  This year’s playoff run has been full of drama, fun to watch and a little gross (thank you Brad Marchand.). Admittedly, I’m sad that my Wild didn’t make it past the Jets in the first round.  Nonetheless, there are several Minnesota boys to support in the conference finals.   Of course, as I’m writing this I have the Mayor to my left – cheering on the Lightning and Goalielocks to my right cheering on the Capitols.    This makes for an interesting game experience.

My favorite moments of this playoff season are Dustin Byfuglien manhandling two players at once like they’re a toddler.  The man, pure and simple, is a beast.  He’s unequivocally one of the players to watch during the conference finals.   Check out these awesome clips of Byfuglien being Byfuglien.  The first clip even includes a nice view of Fleury’s ear tickle on Blake Wheeler.  Yeah, you read that right.

I can’t wait to watch the Jet vs. Knights game tomorrow night.  Both teams are incredibly fun to watch.  Plus between the the Knights’ amazing pre-game entertainment and introductions, you know with these two teams you’re going to get a fast paced, physical game. As for now, with the Caps/Lightning game winding down, I should probably head to bed.

P.S. I thought about posting the infamous licking video, but honestly can’t bring myself to give that guy any publicity.

Wheels Up Pt. 3

The hardest of part of travelling out of state for hockey tournaments is trying to fit all of the luggage and all of the players into the trunk.  It’s a bit of a game as you fight with the hockey bags, maneuver the suitcase and ultimately decided you can live with the sticks in the passenger compartment.  Success comes with a true sense of accomplishment once you finally get it all to fit.  Once we got the luggage jigsaw puzzle figured out in the trunk, we headed to my parent’s house in the Northern suburbs.  The ride home was filled with the boys laughter and excited energy.  They were excited to finally make it to our destination, and we were too, but we were exhausted and they were wired.

Once at my mom’s house, Michelle and Andrew got acclimated and felt at home – like most people do at my parents- in short order.  My mom was ready for us with plenty of fresh cookies to go around.  My dad, two weeks post hip surgery, was surprisingly agile and mobile compared to what I had expected.  My parents and my niece and nephew were thrilled to see us and our friends.  Thankfully my parents were able to help us convince the boys they should take a nap before we headed to the Wild game.  They fought taking a nap, but were soon asleep.

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After a nice, lengthy nap we got ready and headed down to St. Paul to see the Minnesota Wild take on the Chicago Blackhawks in game 4 of round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  It was a must win game for the Wild, so the Mayor and I were hoping our squad would show up.  While I’ve been to several Wild games in Minnesota and Michelle had been to several Chicago home games, our boys had only been to Florida Panthers games.  This was going to be a completely different experience for them.

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We got to the game with plenty to spare having hit much less traffic than I had anticipated.  Since we had the kids, we couldn’t really pre-game at McGovern’s or Tom Reid’s so we headed into the Excel Energy Center after buying some nice souvenirs.  The kids were quick to notice that unlike at the Panther’s games, a lot of the crowd starting to file in was already drunk.  Fortunately, neither the Mayor nor Andrew were shy about sharing their observations with others.  They were a magnet for trouble and for the second night in a row, Michelle and I were convinced we were going to get shot or beat up on account of their mouths.

The pre-game started and their mouths were agape.  The game experience in the Excel Energy Center is second to none as is the energy in the crowd.  Having only been to Panthers games previously, the boys’ mouths were agape.  They had never seen a building alive with that much energy.  For them, the experience was incredible and one they still talk about to this day.  As the festivities continued, the fans continued to file in and the boys continued to comment on how they were so drunk they had already spilled beer down the front of their pants.

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Unfortunately for the Wild, the most dynamic part of their game was the pre-game and the introductions.  They were flat the entirety of the game.  The few chances they did have, they did their best to make Crawford look like a god of goal tending.  While the Wild’s play was lackluster, the entertainment from the crowd around us was not.  A couple comprised of a Wild and a Rangers fan, got into a huge fight and at the behest of the surrounding crowd and his other friends, he ditched her.  There was drunk goal to the right of us that managed to fall down two rows barely spilling her beer and not hurting herself.

Perhaps the best moment of the game, was when Andrew started talking smack to the two fans sitting behind him and the Mayor.  They were both drinking and one was spitting some chew.  Andrew felt compelled to tell him that he was going to call his mother and let her know that her son is a drunk that chews.  Thank god they had a sense of humor and  thought that the boys were hilarious.

By the skin of our teeth, Michelle and I survived another adventurous night with our crazy boys.  The Wild lost and the Blackhawks went on to become Stanley Cup champions that year.  Two years later, the Mayor still talks about how incredible it was to be in the Excel Energy Center that night and be a part of the experience.  Making new memories and sharing great experiences with my boys, their friends, and my friends is one of the best parts of having our kids participate in a travel sport.

Part 1 and part 2 of the story can be found below:

Wheels Up

Wheels Up Pt. 2