30 May 2014

The Fix is In.

Stoppable sent on this video clip to me of a alleged fixed soccer match between Nigeria and Scotland.  Seeing that keepers awkward flap reminded me of this story...

When I hear about "fixed" matches in sports, I often wonder how exactly an athlete plans to go about ensuring the fix is carried out.  A vivid memory comes to mind from my own athletic career.  While strictly an amateur event, it seemed no less important at the time.  The fixer was an upperclassman, a senior, who impressed upon me the need to "throw" our upcoming event, the 4x800 meter relay.  The motivation was not money or fame or fear of bodily harm, it was merely that none of us wanted to run a half-mile.  This senior especially did not care to run his leg as he had just finished running a previous race.  I was running the first leg on this relay, the starter, so I was the only one who could false start, get us disqualified and spare our legs and lungs.  While it wasn't "Sophie's Choice," it seemed like a heavy moral load at the time.  Well, not that heavy.  I made my mind up and agreed to jump the gun.  Herein lies the grey area and the part I always wonder about when I hear about "fixes" in sports.  I wanted to jump the gun, but in most situations there are other people involved in sporting activities than just yourself.  In my instance, that person was the starting official.  The 4x800 race starts from an upright position, meaning they do not get down in starting blocks and instead of the typical "On your marks....Set...BANG", they use a shorter "On your marks....BANG."  I did not have a lot of experience with that cadence so as he said "on your marks" I start leaning forward and start taking my first stride and then "BANG."   Not, "BANG BANG" - the double gun means someone has false started and we have to restarted.  Nope, just the single bang.  We were off and running and instead of DQ'ing my team and being a hero who provided 15 minutes of relaxation, I was now the lowly goat who didn't come through on the fix.  Not to mention that I was already a good stride ahead of everyone due to my fantastic start. 
A great story would finish here by saying that we went on to win that relay race.  We did not.  So the next time you here about players who have fixed a sporting outcome, pause and wonder about just how they carried it out.

27 May 2014

Our Wedding Montage

We are so happy with the montage video of our wedding day.  Kyle and Joey did a super job, were great to work with and delivered on time.  We picked the music and they did the rest.  Check it out here!

22 May 2014

Kiva #5 - Janet in Uganda

After full repayment of loan #4, I was able to re-purpose my principal again and finance Janet in Kasese, Uganda.  I only look for loans where I can loan my full amount to one person and it will fulfill their loan need.  Janet needed $200 and hadn't raised any of it yet so I lent the full amount and she will be using it to purchase tomatoes for reselling.  As a 27 year old married mother of four, I'm sure she can use any breaks that come along.

Previous loans: Ney, Raul, (both in Peru), Charlevoix in Samoa, Bakhraid in Pakistan

14 May 2014

Puzzles!

minovia showed amazing determination to finish this 750 piece puzzle last month.  I threw in the towel after all the birds were put together.  From there on in it was a shades of green and not something I wanted to do.  She wouldn't give up though and pushed on until it was done. 
For some reason, I then thought it would be a good idea to get a 1000 piece puzzle.  I thought it looked a little easier with more variety in color.  It's been on our table for close to a month now so I'm not sure that is turning out to be true.

09 May 2014

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Dead fish?

When I get pictures back from our photographer I will work on a string of wedding related posts, until then, minovia has supplied me with this guest post detailing an event from last summer.  It is one of her favorite stories to tell and she has always chided me for not blogging about it...

This story must be told. Many will wonder why middleson has yet to blog about it.  It's a story worth telling so here goes....
Last summer after our beta fish passed away we decided to buy another fish.  However, to make things interesting we decided to each pick out a small fish for our 2 gallon tank.  After much deliberation at Petco Isa picks a tiny black & white spotted fish which she quickly names Oreo, I chose a blue guppie (I didn't get a chance to name her so let's just call her Joan of Arc) and Jake decides on a simple reddish/orange fish.  [Spoiler alert- it's not a happy ending for all 3 fish.]   Each of us is convinced we picked the best fish.  "My fish is the fastest.....My fish gets the most food".....you get the idea. Why do we do this? Because someone in our house loves competition so everything becomes a competition.  I don't like to name names I'll just say that person's name rhymes with rake.

We are home for a couple hours and Isa comes running and screaming that one of the fish had babies. I reluctantly get up to check it out,  ready to give a speech about fish excretion habits but instead was shocked to discover 6 baby fish in the tank!   Cray, cray, right!?! Can fish give live birth? We've all watched Finding Nemo, they're supposed to lay eggs!  We bought 3 fish and now had 9! Crazy!! What's even more crazy is that Joan is chasing the 6 babies trying to eat them. So I quickly take her out of the tank and, not knowing what to do, I called Petco.  I'm told that guppies give live birth, they eat their offspring and if I don't want the 9 fish to put the mom back in the tank and let nature take its course.  Ummm, no.  I put Joan in a clear plastic cup next to the fish tank so she can see her babies and grow to love them so that one day they can be reunited and she won't eat them and instead live happily ever after.  Wishful thinking.   A few days later we give 3 baby fish to a friend and are left with 6 fish.  Unfortunately, Oreo passes away about a week later leaving us with 5 fish.  Sad, I know. Probably overcrowded.

Lest you think this is where the story ends, let me assure you it does not! A few weeks later after a night out of sushi and a few drinks, we come home and I discover Joan 2 feet from the tank! On. The. Floor! Yep, all hard and crispy. She jumped out of the cup and was on the floor! I yell at Jake to come check it out and our conversation/argument went something like this:

Me: (staring at Joan on the floor) You HAVE to admit, I picked the best fish.
Jake: What do mean? Your fish is dead.
Me: Well, I know that but it gave live birth and jumped out of the water. It was probably trying to jump back into the tank to be with her babies.
Jake: Your fish is dead.
Me: I know that but if someone was going to write a children's book about one of the fish they would definitely pick mine.
Jake: Why would anyone write a children's book about a fish that died?
Me (rolling my eyes): Well obviously they would change the ending Jake!
Jake: Your fish jumped to its death.
Me: I know that but it can STILL be the best fish!
Jake: Your fish is not alive.
Me: So what, what makes your fish better?
Jake: It's still living.
Me: I know that but mine had a more interesting life than YOUR fish!
Jake: Your fish committed suicide.
Me: Forget it, just forget it!

And so the debate continues because Jake's fish (which has since been named Lucky) is the last surviving fish.  But not necessarily the best fish. ;)

I'll just end it by saying that my fish continues to live happily to this day, surviving spotty feeding schedules and less than frequent water changing.