Category Archives: Comedy

Movember is BACK

We are in the middle of #BreastCancerAwareness Month, and the Women’s Swim team did a fantastic job selling T shirts in September in preparation. We sold over 125 T Shirts with the proceeds all going to the Susan G. Komen foundation of SE Wisconsin.

But now November is right around the corner. And that brings us back to Movember!!

The past two years I have actively grown a mustache. And although the family supports what I am doing, I am pretty sure they all hate the mustache. Maybe Michelle can write a post on her new blog site on how much she does not like it 🙂

It all starts November 1st!

Movember2014The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. They achieve this by challenging men to grow, and women to support, mustaches during Movember to spark conversation and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

Of the funds raised in the US in 2013, 83.8% has been committed to programs supporting prostate cancer and testicular cancer initiatives. The Movember team is proud of the high percentage of funds committed to programs, which is above international best practice of 80% of funds raised invested in programs.

This Movember, I’ve committed my upper lip once again to help change the face of men’s health by growing a mustache, now I need your support:

I’m passionate about this cause because too many men are dying unnecessarily from testicular cancer, the most common cancer in young men. Current treatments for testicular cancer are pretty good, but pretty good is just not good enough.

The Movember Foundation is working around the clock and around the world to improve the lives of men and their families affected by testicular cancer. I need your support to fund this important work. Together, we can create a world where no man dies of testicular cancer.

You can donate by:
– Donating online at


– Writing a check to ‘Movember’, referencing my registration ID: 4877585 and mailing it to:  Movember, P.O. Box 1595, Culver City, CA 90232

The past two years I was able to raise $400 each year.  Hopefully with your generous support I will once again be able to reach that goal.



Pit in Your Gut

Couple of disappointing things took place this past weekend.  And these are in order of which they occurred:

  • Badger game on Saturday night.  Excellent game that my team ended on the short side of the scoreboard.  Had a chance to win but failed to close it out.  Guy from Kentucky that hit the three pointer did not attempt one the entire regular season and has hit a couple big ones in the tournament
  • Realizing that the Badgers lost.  Back in January of 1996, when the Packers lost and thus not in the Super Bowl against the Steelers, Michelle said we should go on a vacation.  Went to the travel agent the next day, booked our trip to Mexico and watched Larry Brown pick off Neil O’Donnell not once but twice.  The realization that we are adults now and cannot just fly away is just a little harsh at times.
  • And finally, watching the Bad News Bears last night on MLB network – the original one with Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal.  And this is the major piece of the article.

Back in the day I thought the Bad News Bears was a good heart warming story of a guy who originally needed money so he coached a team but then realized winning at all costs was more important.  The movie was originally produced in 1976.  But now as a parent of kids playing at a higher than rec sports level, I see it as more than that.

BadNewsBearsI never did see the remake with Billy Bob Thorton that came out in 2005, but if you want to relive the concept of parents being out of control wrecking youth sports, you can just go to any local indoor soccer field, a little league diamond, or dare I say it, your local swim team.  ((My sport is not immune to these parents)).

The coach teaching a kids pitching skill that throws out her elbow.  The coach telling a kid to get intentional get hit t o get on base.  The coach then pushing the same kid when he swings the bat.  A parent telling the coach to not put in the subs because they have a chance to win the game.  A player telling the other team to take the trophy and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.  And this all happens in the last 20 minutes of the movie.

If you ever wanted to know what is wrong with youth sports today, I think it all started with this movie.  I am sure there are critics that will say I am poo-pooing a baseball classic, but give me Sandlot or 8 Men Out, or even Cobb to teach me better live lessons.

Finish Line

The finish line is in plain view.  We are almost done with Week 27 of 28 of what has been a great, exciting, strange ride from the very word go.  Girls High School swimming officially started August 13th of 2013, and the Boys High School season will end next weekend on the 22nd of February.  And let me tell you there has been a ton in between.

But on the night of WIAA State, then we will have 24 Hours of Happiness and maybe a night to relax 🙂

The question I get asked the most since this is my first time coaching the boys team is this: Which season do you like more?

It is a tough question.  And both have their ups and downs, both have their pluses and minuses.  And maybe this year does not totally count because my daughter was on the team, but there is no easy answer.  And I probably will not give you a direct answer on this.

What I do know is that we already need to start planning for August and the start of the Girls Season.  Just had an open house with the incoming freshman and talked to them about the season.  When two seasons takes exactly half of a year to complete, there is really only about 6 months to plan for the upcoming season.

It is a journey, not a destination.

Already talking to the potential captains for the fall.  Already talking about creating covenants with the boys for next winter.  Putting finishing touches on the schedule for the fall.  Talking about bringing back the Northstar Invite for the boys.

So although the meet and day to day practices will be over soon.  The seasons really never end.

Normalcy Restored

Just for those keeping score at home, things are back in their right spot.  The new 20th anniversary ring has arrived 🙂

Ring is Back

It fits perfectly, looks like it has always been there.

Not sure much more needs to be said.

End of the World

Partially inspired by my fraternity brother turned endurance athlete David, partially because my kids are on a snow day and the phone has not rang once in the past three hours at work, and partially inspired by Lou Holtz, I write this blog today.

David’s blog is here, and is pretty funny.

Lou Holtz wrote a book called Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography.  It may be hard to believe, but I did read it and took some things away from it.  One of the things Lou did was write down 100 things he wanted to do.  And once he was done, he wrote another list of 100 things.  It was not so much of a bucket list, but a list of things he wanted to do in life.

So, I got writing.  It was hard.

I have done a ton of things in life already.  Been to Australia, been to Canada, been to Mexico.  Graduated college.  Will be married for 20 years next summer.  Coached a team for over 20 years.  I am still employed after all this economic crisis stuff.

I got to about 45 and I stopped.  That was 2003.  Time to revisit the list today since the world is ending, either from this snow storm or from the Mayan prophecy.

I have actually completed some of these.  For the sake of space I will list a couple here and the rationale of why they are on the list  This will come to a shock to no one that there are some sport related ones.  There are also ones on the list of making sure I see the kids graduate HS and see them get married.

Here is the list with the number that they appear on my list.

1.  Goto a football game at the Big House in Michigan.  Already been to Notre Dame Stadium, Lambeau Field, Soldier Field.  This is just next.

5.  Goto Australia again.  It was a great learning experience the last time I went.  Would just really enjoy going and taking the kids with us.

7.  Shoot a round of regulation golf in the 70’s.  Have come close a couple times, problem is that there is not enough time in the day/week/month to practice enough.

15. Go to a baseball fantasy camp.  And yes, the video is how I image it happening if I go to one.

17.  Take a dance class with Michelle.  Have no idea why in 2003 I thought this would be a good idea.  None whatsoever.

18. Go to any sporting event at Madison Square Garden.  Was going to add Big East Championship game or a Rangers Playoff game, but since both are pretty much non existent any more…

21.  Officiate at a high school state Championship meet.  This one to me is more of a “just a matter of time” thing.

33.  Eat Eggs in any fashion.  Took me until almost 2004 to actually eat eggs.  Bad Boy Scout experiences with Spam and Eggs probably was the rationale on this one.  But now I eat scrambled, over hard, and even omelets.

42.  Play in a high stakes poker tournament.  Not too good a bluffing, but love counting cards. 82-82-82. De3finately 246.

43.  Run for political office at any level.  Something about this that I just find interesting.

Looks like I have some work to complete before midnight.  Hopefully the snow holds off and the fireball does not hit.

End of the World

Stroll Down Memory Lane

Two friends of mine from the old Boy Scout days, took a trip down memory lane last Friday with at visit to the old Scout House of Troop 61 in Milwaukee.  The scheduled event being a surprise party for Doc Harrington, the Scoutmaster of all Scoutmasters.

Here is video of the surprise part.

But before we could do that, we had to take a drive around the old stomping grounds.  Hard to believe but is has been 25 years or more since we have been in the area on a regular basis.  Some things are the same.  Some have changed.

The one constant is Troop 61.  Troop 61 is a great organization with great leadership that turns young men into fine adults.  I heard the active chapter is around 75 strong.

Steve, Ed, and I had a great deal of laughs remember the old days.  In fact, there were computers set up inside the Scout House for people to view the over 75,000 pictures from throughout the years.  I was told that they are about half way done converting the slides into digital pictures and attempting to classify them into trips/outings.  It was also good to see those that stopped by.  Some of them I had not seen since graduating High School.

On the way home, Steve said it was pretty scary on how much some of the things had stayed the same.

I agreed, but it was great to me in the sense that this how I remembered it all happening.  I remember struggling with Roman Renk on getting my cooking merit badge.  I remember Steve Paul accidentally drinking oil thinking it was grape cool aid.  I remember Kevin Malloy doing “fire tricks” with a burlap bag wrapped a pioneering pole to light campfires and that one time the burlap bag flying off the pole into the woods.  I remember Brian Mo getting chicken pox’s and John Kastner burning in the sun so bad that he wore long pants in Lake Powell.  I remember going to Noyes pool for swimming on Saturday’s and then going to Kopp’s on 60th and Appleton afterwards.    I remember “Stay Away from the Bear”.  I remember “Wild Rice Lake”.  I remember Father Tony doing mass at Summer Camp and telling the best stories at the campfires.  I also remember the Minoqua Bat Ski Show at Summer Camp.  I remember playing a lot of Sheepshead.  I remember Harry Debris at the Zoo.  I remember going to Paul Bunyan’s for breakfast when you went to Summer camp a day early.  I remember getting to the Scout House early on Friday’s to play softball on the upper diamond.  I remember the Paper Drives.  I remember failing at the mile swim three times before making it the first time.

It was part of who we are.  So, things have not changed in terms of the physical building, or even the leaders of the camp.  But I am glad that it is the same.  It is how I remember it.

Full 2011 Swim-A-Polooza Wrap Up

45 Hours later and one of the greatest Team events I have ever worked on and participated in is complete.

Thursday at 4 PM we got on the bus and went to Hartford for our first dual meet of the season.  Great start of the season for a good number of the younger swimmers to get a strong taste of what to expect.  There is a full recap in the previous post here.

8 AM on Friday we gathered at the North Aquatic Center (Editors Note: With all the capital improvements we are planning, I figure it is time that we give the pool a much better name) to start prepping for the day.  First point of business was to clean out the entire coach’s office so it could be cleaned, purged of junk, and repainted.

Starting the Relay Challenge

Once the office was cleared out , we had our first of 5 meals.  Then onto a team swim for a over and hour and a small game of water polo.  The Silver  Streak defeated the Black Thunder 10-8 for those keeping score at home.

Then it was onto the Relay Challenge.  The first swimmer in was Senior Jessica Zillmer.  The three seniors swam the first hour.

The early after noon started the first of our two stroke clinics.  Coach Dan Meinholz from All American Aquatics came in and worked on proper streamlining and did some hands on stroke analysis for the swimmers.  Coach Meinholz was barely out the door when Coach Blaine Carlson from Waukesha Express came in and brought in Coach Cam which is an underwater video camera so we could get front and side views of the swimmers from under water.  This is a tremendous asset to the swimmers.

Food Pantry Collection

Then at 6PM the team gathered and went into the community and did a scavenger hunt for the Waukesha Food Pantry.  Point values were assigned to different food items and 5 different teams went out into different areas and collected 697 food items.  And because we wanted the relay to continue, we had 7 brave Alumni come in and swim for the two hours while the current team was collecting food.  The Alumni managed to swim 7,800 meters in that stretch.

Couple more relay teams swam and a bit more eating was done until 9 PM.  That is when we had a massage therapist come in for an hour and 15 minutes.  And once that was complete we had a Yoga instructor come in also for an hour and 15 minutes.  Both activities were much appreciated by the athletes and a great deal of fun.

A little Nap

Then the long haul of eating, swimming, watching movies, and sleeping began.  By this time the office had already been finished being painted, so some time was taken to reload only necessary items back into the pool office.  If you are in the area you should see the new and improved office.

The last group jumped in at 8 AM.  And the last swimmer in the water as time ran out was Allie Smith.

Then around 9 AM the Alumni started arriving and then kept coming and coming and coming.  23 in total arrived spanning the past 15 plus years.  6 Alumni Divers started the meet off, and then we had a modified swimming portion.  The meet concluded around 11:45.

Our final meal of the day was brought in by Alumni Parents.  Mr. and Mrs Bubolz cooked hamburgers and pulled pork, while Alumni Jessica Massman made a spectacular cake for us.

Alumni Meet Cake

Final Notes:  Swam over 74,000 meters.  During the stroke clinics we did not really count laps.  And the divers received 25 meters for every entry into the water during their hour….We raised over $5400 towards our capital improvement project….The parent support for this was OUTSTANDING especially Julie and Wendy.  Without them this would not have been even close to possible….North Booster Club came to the Alumni Meet to sell spirit wear….No one that was in attendance could have claimed to not have enough to eat

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