New Years Eve has always been an interesting event. I always have wondered what it was within the psyche of the human race to find it necessary to count down to an event especially when that event is the turning of a page to a calendar. Who came up with the idea that there should be a celebration when a calendar is used up and a new one begins? How did it evolve into something that included strange cardboard hats, drinks laced with large amounts of alcohol, strange little noise making devices, and the throwing of shredded colorful paper? I am not anti New Years Eve; I just have to wonder why it gets celebrated over some of the more important events? Why isn’t there an Opening Day Eve celebration?


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Shortly after Thanksgiving we begin to decorate for the holidays. This has been a tradition ever since I was a young boy. My grandfather made a big deal about Christmas and his house was always the one that people stopped in front of to admire the lights and decorations. When he got to the point where he could no longer decorate, I went over each year and placed the decorations up for him. It became a service project I looked forward to each season. When he passed I inherited his outdoor decorations and I have diligently set them out each year in his memory. It is always fun to retrieve the decorations from storage and remember all of the times we spent together. It is exciting to place each strand of lights around brightening the dark winter evenings. The kids are always on their best behavior and in great moods to help since the hanging of the decorations signifies the beginning of the Christmas season. Soon though the holiday arrives and afterwards there becomes the task of taking down all of the brightly colored decorations.


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Monster Dot Com

Back as 2002 began I was working for Motorola. It was an awesome place to work. We were building semiconductors for Apple Computer and creating the circuits that would power the next generation of cell phones. We were a rogue bunch of engineers who were defining the information technology space for the next 3 to 5 years. The Winter Olympics were coming to Salt Lake City Utah just a few short months after the September 11 tragedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks crowning as world champions. My friend Jeff Isaacson and I had tickets to the Olympics to attend about a dozen events. I could hardly wait to see what the Olympic experience was like. Of course I was dressed in the warmest Diamondbacks apparel that I owned as we made our trek to the frozen tundra of Utah. While watching the women’s halfpipe snowboarding event I received a phone call from Trina. She said that she thought I had just been laid off from my job as a large amount of money was just deposited into our checking account. The amount did sound like a severance package so she was probably right. Given that I was now unemployed I asked if it would be ok if I stayed a little longer at the Olympic games. She agreed so I had a few extra days to play in Utah.


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Word coming out of New York today is that the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees are negotiating a potential trade that would send Randy Johnson back to the Diamondbacks in exchange for young pitching talent. At first glance you have to wonder whether this deal makes sense given the youth movement the Diamondbacks have been touting for the past several months. Wasn’t this the same team that told fan favorite Luis Gonzalez in no uncertain terms that he was too old to play here? Last time I looked, Randy Johnson was 4 years older than Luis Gonzalez. Furthermore, Randy was always one who walked to a different drummer and did not endear himself as the most approachable guy from a fan’s prospective. A prime example of that came the day that Randy was signed in 1999. Channel 3 reporter Gil Tyree thought it would be cool to go to Randy’s house and interview him unannounced. That was about the last time that Gil was seen anywhere near a Diamondbacks player. Personally I applauded Randy for that action since Gil was a jerk but that is best left for another time. So as these rumors swirled, I had to wonder what exactly was up with this idea.


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At our house, we barely have time to clean up the aftermath of Christmas before we are back in the party mood. Trina’s birthday is two days after Christmas and I am not allowed to forget that fact. Growing up with you birthday this close to Christmas must have been murder. After all, no one is going to be interested in sending a kid to a birthday party this close to a major holiday. And gift giving kind of gets lost between buying Christmas presents for everyone then having to come up with a birthday present besides. I’m sure there have been times where Trina got pajama tops for Christmas and pajama bottoms for her birthday just to spread the gifts out across both occasions. Sure there are perks to this like you never had to go to school on your birthday but then you never had a chance for your mom to bring treats to elementary school and have the kids sing to you either so I guess it can go both ways. I’ve always been sympathetic to this dilemma and since we’ve been married I have tried to do something special for her.


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There are two days that I try to avoid shopping. The first is the day after Thanksgiving since that is typically the day that everyone on the planet goes to the stores making it impossible to find what you are looking for or if you do find it you are likely in line to pay for at least three hours. The second day I try to avoid is the day after Christmas since this is the day where everyone is returning all the items they bought the day after Thanksgiving because they don’t work, are the wrong size, or you just have no idea what the person was thinking when they bought you this item. For that reason I typically try to preplan my Christmas gift purchasing to make sure that what I am buying is the right size, color, style, thing so that it doesn’t need to be returned. Usually that means that I buy from the team shop since no one would ever return an item from the team shop.


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Ah Christmas morning, nothing brings back memories quite like that. After a night that never seems to end, daylight finally starts to break and the first rays of sunlight pierce through the stillness bringing anticipation and hope everywhere. It is those first moments when sleep is the farthest thing from your mind and you lay there in the warm and toasty bed listening to the quiet and wondering what joyful bounty Santa Claus has left under the Christmas tree. You are also intently listening for a sound from anyone else in the family since you don’t want to seem overly eager and you are just hoping that your brother or sister is likewise in bed waiting for someone else to make the first sound thereby signaling that it is time to get up and begin the gift unwrapping festivities. In what could be described as cruel and unusual punishment in many countries, Trina has decreed that no one is getting up before 8:30 AM and that alarm clocks have been banished for a 48 hour period of time. She of course used me as the scapegoat stating that I needed to rest by doctor’s orders. She obviously underestimated how many kids were in the house and who would be most excited for Christmas morning.


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