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See You at the Mall

October 30, 2007 at 8:21pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It’s official, the Wilsons will be trick-or-treating at Gateway tomorrow night. I apologize ahead of time to the 8 kids who will find our porch light turned off. You aren’t missing much; it’s not like we would have had good candy for you anyway. The real treat would be if The Missus baked you some tasty desserts. But if she were to do that, some moron parent would call the cops on us:

9-1-1: 9-1-1, what is your emergency?
9-1-1: She didn’t give your kid pre-wrapped, heavily-processed candy?
9-1-1: Does it contain a dangerous item, such as a needle?
9-1-1: The SWAT and HAZMAT teams are on the way, ma’am.

Having one count of “alleged attempted poisoning of trick-or-treaters” on our record would make it darn near impossible for us to adopt again.

If you plan to take your kid(s) to Gateway tomorrow, we would love to say hi. Let me know if you plan to be there.

Thank You Nana and Papa

October 24, 2007 at 7:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

My mom likes to send Robert cards for all sorts of occasions, and she also likes to include a buck or two for his piggy bank. Inside his Halloween card was a crisp two-dollar bill. Here’s Robert saying thanks:

You’re watching history in this video, by the way. The video captures the first time Robbie said “thank you”.

Tying Shoes

October 24, 2007 at 6:07pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I took this photo today while The Missus and Robbie prepared to go to the grocery store.

Sadie and Robbie sit on the floor in the kitchen. Sadie is tying Robbie's shoes.

If Bad Things Come in Threes, One Person is Still in Trouble

October 24, 2007 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A few weeks ago, we had to summon an ambulance to a soccer field because a player was knocked unconscious after a free kick (from his own teammate!) smacked him in the head. Fortunately he came to, and his parents opted to refuse an ambulance transport to the hospital. Hopefully they took him on their own.

Last night we had to summon an ambulance again, this time for a broken leg. I didn’t see it—I was on the far side of the field—but apparently it snapped like a twig. The break wasn’t associated with a foul or anything. Nobody seems to have seen it clearly, but one guess is that he may have caught his toe on the turf while kicking the ball.

In any event, that’s two. If it’s true that bad things come in threes, there remains one more ambulance to be summoned this season. But bad news, folks: I only have four more matches on my calendar right now (plus the potential for one or two post-season matches), so if you see me on your game, it could be you. Or heck, it could be me. Time to check up on that referee insurance…

Two-Thirds of the Way to a Full Head of Hair

October 8, 2007 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I want to congratulate The Missus for donating yet another ponytail to Locks of Love, “a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis”. This was The Missus’ fourth donation, putting her well on her way to donating an entire hairpiece (each of which requires 6-10 ponytails). If you have the ability to grow a ponytail measuring at least ten inches, please consider donating it.

Mind Dump

October 4, 2007 at 3:38pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I have way too many things on my mind right now. It’s causing me a bunch of stress (some good, some bad), and I need to get it off my shoulders. So here’s a quick mind dump:

Robert is awesome. I know I’ve said that before. I’ll say it again. (And again.) I really enjoy spending time with him, and I know The Missus does, too. He is gradually beginning to pick up some new words, which is nice. He has always been a vocal and communicative kid, but not much of a verbal kid. To hear him say “buh!” while pointing at birds in the sky is a lot of fun. (But geese waddling on the ground, according to Robert, are most definitely not birds.) He is also finally branching out in his food choices. For so long the poor kid gagged every time something with a funky texture went into his mouth. Now he is able to try a variety of different solid foods and find the ones he likes based on taste, not based on whether or not he upchucks. The biggest surprise so far: he likes onion rings.

Work is going well. I’m busy busy busy. That’s great, but it’s also a source of significant stress. It’s a good stress, though. Working on several different projects for several different “bosses” really taxes the brain. I love it, and if I can keep the money coming in, I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.

The big stressor of the week comes from an incident in a college soccer match on Tuesday. Over 89 minutes into the game—that’s less than a minute left—there was a foul. Then a chest bump. Then a tackle. Then a really hard tackle. When all was said and done, one player from each team was ejected for fighting, and two other players were cautioned (yellow carded) for related offenses. I have very few qualms with how my assistants and I handled the situation. I was positioned exactly where I needed to be positioned on the field. My AR and I quickly identified the offenders and prevented others from joining in. Once everything calmed down, we stepped back and extremely carefully broke down the situation to make sure we “cleaned up” by the book. We reviewed the sanctions with the captains and each of the coaches. All in all, our response was nearly textbook, and I have been told so by the athletic conference commissioner and my referee chapter’s president. So why am I so stressed?

I think it’s just my nature. I don’t like messiness in my soccer matches. Ejections are messy. Ejections for fighting are even messier (harsher penalties). A thousand people could tell me I handled the situation as well as could be expected, and still I would review the situation over and over in my head.

Plus, it’s just plain stressful having to so carefully review the situation and report it to all the people I’ve reported to. First, the other referees and I talked for nearly 30 minutes after the match. I have spoken twice with the athletic conference commissioner. I have filled out forms and written supplemental reports. I’ve sent and received a bunch of e-mails. Goofing up during the administrative phase can be just as damaging to my career and to the teams as if I had goofed up during the match.

One big positive item is that the incident was caught on video, and I now have the video in my possession. I’ve never before seen myself on video in a “crisis” situation. The video is short (some parts of the “clean-up” are edited out) but very helpful. For example, I mis-remembered how the whole thing started. It’s a great lesson in perception, memory, and reality. My positioning on the play was as good as could be expected, given the context of the play at the time. I closed the distance quickly when trouble first started. At the time the last player earned his ejection, I was literally one foot away from the action. I don’t like the way I show cards to players, though. I look too angry, like I’m trying to bop them on the head with the card. I’ll need to change that. Then there’s the injured player laying on the turf in the middle of all the action, sprawled out, not moving. It looks bad on the video, but no way was I going to let trainers come onto the field until I knew the situation had calmed down. The last thing I needed was trainers getting into it with players.

Anyway, that’s enough of that. There’s my mind dump. Time to get back to work!

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