This day has been a long time in coming. For me, I was eagerly awaiting its arrival. For Trina, it was a day to dread. This is a red letter day and a highlight to the year so far. I am of course talking about the day that Season Ticket final payments are due. Sure, it means I have to shell out my hard earned cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks to pay for the upcoming season. But that is just looking at the pessimistic side of things. I like to think of myself as an optimist so today marks the day that Section 133 Row 12 Seats 14-15 are completely mine. Before, they were only half mine since I had only paid half of the cost of my tickets. Now though, they are all mine. I can hardly wait for that first Spring Training game at Bank One Ballpark on March 30. It is at that time that I will be able to finally “move in”. It is just like getting a new house, I have so many plans on how I want to decorate and landscape my new place. I was thinking of putting in grass and maybe even a swimming pool. And of course I want something where I can look up at the stars during the cooler spring and fall temperatures but I also want something that can protect me from the stifling heat of an Arizona summer. What would be great is if my new place had a retractable roof, that would be cool!


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“Honey, remember when you said you really wanted to go on vacation and how romantic it would be if we traveled to some exotic foreign country? I was thinking, we should really do that, like maybe this week. How would you feel about going to Culiacán, Mexico? I hear it is really beautiful this time of year.”


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I consider myself to be a religious man. Each spring I thank God that Spring Training has finally arrived after a long off-season where I have had to put up with football and basketball. For opening day each year I sacrifice a virgin scorebook as I keep score for each home game. By the all-star break each July I am cursing the umpires knowing full well that many of them are probably indeed direct descendants to Satan himself. By fall I am calling once again upon the Lord to direct the Diamondbacks into one last play-off run. As the season ends, I take the opportunity to thank God for the bountiful season we have just received. That in a nutshell could describe pretty much every baseball fans religious experiences. I do not profess to be a bible scholar by any means. I somehow get lost somewhere in the book of Exodus around the time that people begin begetting. I have a hard enough time trying to remember my own kids names without trying to figure out who all these other people’s kids are. I have though come to a profound understanding of many of the principles of the bible. For example, when they talk about the falling of the church after the death of the 12 apostles. I fully understand that concept. The same thing happens in baseball. Once the designated hitter was introduced into the game, the pureness, the truth of the game has disappeared. The baseball prophets have ceased to do miracles. Baseball fans like those who proclaim themselves as born again Christians are both waiting for the same thing, the second coming of Christ. We just may be waiting for this event for different reasons. Oh sure, I think it would be great to hear the teachings of Christ, but more importantly, I think he is probably the only one who has enough power to have Major League Baseball eliminate the designated hitter rule and have all 30 teams play on real grass fields.


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It is interesting to note the differences between baseball and football. These differences are magnified once you reach the post-season. In baseball, there are just 4 play-off positions in each league and a team must show they can maintain an advantage over an opponent in a series of 5 or 7 games. In football, it seems as if there are hundreds of teams that make the play-offs and the post-season seems to go on forever. In baseball, the culmination of the league championships is the World Series otherwise known as the fall classic. Here two teams do battle on a home and home basis so that the hometown fans can see their teams in action and celebrate their successes as they happen. In football, the end game is the Super Bowl played at a neutral location. It is very difficult for me to get enthused about a game named after something I would put cereal in each morning. Next, I have no feelings for either of these teams nor do really any of the people in the stands at Tampa Bay since neither of these teams are from this area. In fact, neither of these teams even played in Tampa Bay this season outside of this game. That coupled with the fact that neither of these teams were even in the play-offs last season make me fairly apathetic towards this game. To top it off, neither of these teams have much of an offense so I was fully expecting this game to be 2-0 in overtime with the winning team being crowned when the opposition’s punter missed the ball and it went out of the back of the end zone. About the only thing going for this game was the commercials being played during the game. Needless to say, I was not disappointed, some of those commercials were pretty funny. Oh, they football game? I slept through most of it. The best thing about it was that I was at least dreaming of baseball season.


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Being Accepted

I am not usually one to care what people think nor do I ever pay attention to whether they accept me or not. I have tried to instill this sense of character independence in my children as well. But there are times when it becomes necessary to ask for acceptance. Today happened to be such a case for Ashley. She is now a senior in high school with dreams of going to college. She has been a successful high school student having good grades throughout school. She has many extra- curricular accomplishments to her name and her college entrance test scores are very good as well. Her problem is that she only wants to attend one college, that being BYU. I cannot blame her for that, after all that is where I graduated some 20 years ago. Her heart is set on going to the “Y” and if she does not get in, she will be heart broken. BYU is quite hard to gain entrance to and I have tried to tell her that even though she is a good student, there is a possibility that she will not be able to get into the school. She seems to understand that but she still will only consider Brigham Young. For the past several weeks, she has been working on her application and all the documents that go with it. She has written essays, had interviews, made phone calls, and done everything in her power to try to get into this college. Today, was the culmination of her efforts. I went to the mail box today and there found a letter from the BYU Admissions office. I took it into the house and found Ashley to give her the mail. She looked at the envelope and her hands were shaking in anticipation. I could tell she was nervous and a little frightened to open it. Finally, she tore it open and begin reading. After the first paragraph, she began to scream and tears appeared in her eyes “I’ve been accepted!” It was a wonderful moment for her as her dreams and hard work met in one moment as her goal was accomplished. Then it hit me, “Oh great, she got accepted!” I could almost immediately feel my wallet become lighter.


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Carpal Origami

For Christmas, my kids bought me a desk calendar to sit on my desk at work. I thought they game me this so that I could keep track of when the Arizona Diamondbacks had a game or how many more days until Opening Day. Instead, none of these dates are highlighted in my calendar. Instead, it is a calendar filled with Origami. I had never fashioned myself as someone interested in the Japanese art of paper folding but since the calendar came with instructions I decided I would play along. Each day of the year I am given instructions on how to fold the previous day’s calendar entry into some form of animal or object. It didn’t take long before I was way out of my league. It seems that each day builds upon the previous day and before long, these paper folding exercises became very complex and time consuming. Besides which, the instructions given each day read something like a Japanese stereo manual. What started out one day to be a crown soon ended up looking like an in-bred sheep. My first reaction was, “Oh, this is a right-handed calendar.” That is the standard answer ever left-handed person gives when they encounter something confusing or motor-skill taxing. My kids assured me that the calendar was indeed ambidextrous and that I should be able to fold paper with either hand. Now I did not want the calendar to get the best of me so I continued to attempt each day’s entry. Soon though I began to feel discomfort in my wrist. After a couple of weeks, it hurt to fold paper. I was starting to be concerned and decided to do a little research on what might be happening. After visiting a few web sites, I came to the conclusion that I am beginning to develop Carpal Origami. I think maybe I better just leave the calendar alone for a while. I guess it will be January 26, 2001 for a while.


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I remember when I first became a father, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt very inadequate and very nervous. I could barely take care of myself let alone try and care for a defenseless infant. With every major purchase I had ever made, the item came with an instruction manual. This baby did not. How was I supposed to learn how to be a father without severely warping the child I was raising? These were all interesting questions none of which did I have the answer to. Like other men though, I struggled through it and learned from my mistakes. Some of these lessons were easier to digest than others. I am still not comfortable with the idea of a teen-age boy dating my daughter and I definitely do not want to see them kissing. I fully understand that is part of the dating ritual, just don’t do it in front of me. Through the years though, I have learned a few things that I will now pass on to others about fatherhood.


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