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Calling All Soccer Referees and Baseball Umpires

March 6, 2006 at 11:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Those of you who’ve read this blog for a while know that I am a soccer referee and baseball umpire. The spring soccer and baseball seasons are about to start up, so if you’re interested in officiating either one, now is the time to speak up. Sports officiating is a great way to learn more about your favorite sports, promote youth and amateur athletics, stay in (or get into) shape, and, of course, to earn a little extra cash.

Lincoln desperately needs more sports officials in most every sport. This high school soccer season, for example, few sub-varsity games in Lincoln will feature a full three-referee crew, and even some varsity matches may have to do with only two referees. In youth soccer, many games are refereed by only one referee, which is a poor situation for everybody involved. The situation in baseball is only marginally better. Each year Lincoln adds more baseball teams, but umpire numbers are basically stagnant. There simply aren’t enough umpires to go around.

In other words, if you want to be a soccer referee or baseball umpire, you can pretty much work as much or as little as you like. You can only do two games per month? Great, we’ll take you. Seven days a week through the entire spring and summer? Great, we’ll take you.

Soccer has no inherent age restrictions; if you can do the job, you’re good to go. I think the local baseball umpire organizations have minimum age requirements, but I’m not certain what they are off the top of my head. If age is an issue, I’ll help you figure it out.

Whether you have zero experience or you’re a pro, if you want to get started as a soccer referee or baseball umpire in Lincoln, let me know in the comments, or e-mail me at mrwilson at [this domain] dot com (e-mail obfuscated to prevent spam). I’ll point you to the people you need to know in Lincoln’s various sports officiating organizations and we’ll get you all set up.

Daisy May, Astronomer

March 6, 2006 at 11:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Daisy discovered the moon today. It really wouldn’t have been a notable event, except that she seemed so fascinated by it. She was completely captivated, to the point that she nearly tipped over from staring upwards too long. It was inspiring to watch. I turned my head and looked at the moon, too. It was beautiful, that half moon high in the crisp, blue, springtime Nebraska sky. I looked back at Daisy, imagining how her little doggy brain must have been working overtime trying to figure out what the moon was. Maybe, just maybe, at that moment she was pondering, in puppy terms, the size of the world around her, that it was far, far bigger than the little area she gets to walk around every day. I imagined that maybe she was actually achieving some sort of canine-sized philosophical nirvana. I was so proud at that moment.

Then Daisy looked me square in the eyes, leaned over, and proceeded to lick her crotch. Dogs are stupid.

Freedom From Association Takes a Hit

March 6, 2006 at 7:18pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I’m not crazy about the Supreme Court’s (unanimous) decision to require universities to host military recruiters if the universities accept federal money. The Court’s reasoning seems to indicate that freedom of association does not include freedom from association, a position I view with unease. Granted, the universities in question are suckling at the public teat (another issue altogether), and it seems reasonable for those funds to come with certain strings attached. But it is also a form of government blackmail. That our government engages in this sort of extortion all the time doesn’t make it right; indeed, it bothers me how complacent Americans are about this sort of thing.

If this case involved another government agency—HUD, perhaps—rather than the military, I don’t think I would be as wary of the Court’s decision. But something about the military, of all bodies, squeezing its way into private spaces where it is not welcome strikes me as foreign. A little Soviet, perhaps. Police state-ish. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting an equivalency. But it just doesn’t feel right.

Personally, I’d like to see our government be secure enough with itself that it doesn’t have to resort to this sort of bullying. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Coming Clean

March 3, 2006 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

They say the first step in correcting a problem is admitting it. I have a biggie to admit: I watch Beauty and the Geek. It’s awfully hard to believe that I watch anything on The WB, but in my defense I only get 20 channels, so it’s not like I’m working with a huge selection.

I don’t know what it is about BATG, but I’ve found myself coming back to it every week. It’s not especially well produced, there isn’t much human drama, it doesn’t “challenge” me in any way, and I don’t really relate to the participants. And yet, there I was last night watching Ankur and Jennipher get the boot.

Oh well, I’ve made it this far through the season so I suppose I should declare a favorite. Of the final two pairs, I’m rooting for Cher and Josh. I’m not a big Josh fan—he reminds me of a guy I strongly disliked back in high school—but he and Cher are the best team remaining.

Boy, first I started watching Numb3rs despite the massive suckitude of its writing. Now I’m watching Beauty and the Geek. Where will the downward spiral take me next?

Come on, folks, help me feel better by owning up to some of your own dirty television watching secrets. Please?

Testicular Fortitude

March 1, 2006 at 10:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I had a great lunch over at PO Pears today. I went with the Rhythm and Bleus burger, while my dining companion, Husker Pilot, opted for a more traditional boring burger. But that wasn’t the story of the day. Nope, the real story was dessert: a heapin’ helpin’ of fried testicles. Mmmm! It was my first experience with Rocky Mountain oysters, and I’ve got to say I was impressed. They were a little chewier than I expected, but the flavor was fantastic. In fact, they were good enough that they may have created a new customer for the annual Testicle Festival at the Round the Bend Steakhouse this summer.

On a more general note, PO Pears is a great restaurant. What a wacky place. Every city needs a screwy restaurant like that.

Slimy Ernie

March 1, 2006 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I’m a big Ernie Chambers supporter in general, but when he does things like threaten to block Lincoln-related legislation merely for spite, I really loathe the guy. The source of his ire is Sen. David Landis’ LB1105, which would prop up the Qwest Center with extra tax dollars. (If I understand the bill’s summary correctly, the tax dollars would come from expanding taxable events at the Center, not from the general tax pool.) I completely understand Senator Chambers’ anger. The Qwest is yet another large civic project built on false promises and unrealistic revenue projections. But why go after Lincoln in such a petty and childish (read: Chambers-like) way?

Here’s an even better question: why is Lincoln’s David Landis driving an Omaha-centric bill? Shouldn’t he be focusing on matters a little closer to home?

Sharks in Space

March 1, 2006 at 1:21pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Lawyers in space? Now that’s the kind of thinking I like to see from our state’s leaders.

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