Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Big Changes

Do I even still have a blog?
You were probably wondering. Well, I should be able to update it a little more often now that my schedule doesn't include only working and sleeping!
Just wanted to update everyone (all 3 or so of you) on the changes going on with Shanda, Jett and myself.
Shanda left her job last Thursday, while I left the next day. No worries. We weren't both just storming out...although we had felt like it for a while.
Shanda started graduate school Tuesday at UNCC (online for now). She's going to be a school counselor when she grows up....if they don't eliminate that! It's something Shanda's wanted to do for a while and I'm so proud of her for going back.
And I start a new job at the Lake Norman Citizen Thursday. It's a new paper in the Huntersville area that will be somewhat similar to the Herald, where I worked for four years prior to the Lenoir duty. I've been named sports editor for the weekly publication and will cover North Meck and Hopewell highs again.
It's a better situation across the board....better hours, closer to home, better pay, more schedule flexibility, all that. It was really a no-brainer to jump. Can you say no more 44-mile commute? I loathe 321 North at this point!
I've felt like a new person this week. I've been trying to change my schedule and it's going well. No more 3AM bedtime, waking up with Jett at 6:30 and going back to bed (that sucked, but it was all I could do). Now, it's more like midnight and get up at 7. It's so much better. And no more late-night drives. Thank the Lord, in two years of crazy hours and long commutes, no incidents!
I've had 5 days off in between to recharge, refocus and try to adjust.
Saturday, I did a bunch of yard work (was happy to do it) and we went to Patterson Farm in China Grove with Shanda's parents. Jett had a blast and it was great for all of us, too. Sunday, we went to church (first time I wasn't fighting fatigue in a while) and to the parents' house for lunch, then back home to do a ton of chores, etc., that had been neglected and couldn't be any more.
Monday, we went to Kings Mountain Battlefield in the edge of SC, near the NC town of the same name. It was a good getaway. We walked the 1.5 mile trail, with Jett sometimes riding in the stroller and sometimes running. It was good. I have to say, I was really proud when he was carrying the National Park Service pamphlet. My little historian! It's not really that far away and since it's a National Park, it's all free.
Tuesday and Wednesday have been about staying home, chasing Jett and letting Shanda start class. Oh, and more things like getting my truck serviced and taking Slider to the vet.
Honestly, this job change came at a great time. I don't know what we would have done if I was still working second shift with her back at school.
Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick hits from J-town

(Slider in the snow)

Okay, been pretty lousy about updating this blog. Like excuses? No? Too bad. I've got a few. 
But I'll spare you. Mainly, the spring sports season is the busiest for me and I just write too much every day to come on here and write more. 

Anyway, here's what has been going on....

- Jett just fought off a mild case of pneumonia this week. He was pretty out of it Wednesday, but thanks to some antibiotics, he was back to his old self Thursday. Very clingy, but feeling better.

- Jett is doing a lot of cool stuff now. He says a few words all the time, I mean all the time. The funniest thing he does is say "Mama?" or "Dog?," holds his hands out, opens his mouth and has this look of wonder about where they're at. He also notices when there's basketball on TV and says "Ball" while pointing to the tube.

-Shanda's been accepted to grad school at UNCC. She's going to study school counseling. This is something Shanda's thought about for a while and I'm proud she's headed back to class. She's starting this summer.

-My work sidekick, Adam Zuerndorfer, is leaving in a few weeks. He's been accepted to USC (Southern Cal, that is) for graduate school. He's going to study film writing. An unbelievably creative writer, my Jewish bro is going to be big-time. Shanda's already locked in as his first-ever Oscars date. 

-I just finished reading Bob Knight's autobiography. Say what you want about the guy, but he's well-read, intelligent and a dang-good coach. I like him. Now, I'm on The Killer Angels (about Gettysburg) and To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever (about UNC-Duke rivalry).

All for now....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pete was the best

We lost my brother-in-law this week. Pete Spinelli, pictured with my sister Melissa, passed away Sunday.
Pete was 36.
He loved life and loved everyone he met, especially my sister. The two were perfect together, through good and bad.
Pete had an outgoing personality, an infectious laugh and sense of humor and the kindest heart. He will be missed dearly and I was glad, honored really, that Shanda, Jett and I, along with Melissa, Mom and Dad, were nearby when he passed.
We'll always remember him. Not just us either.
The outpouring of support for my sister and the family has been tremendous all week.
You're the man, Pete!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We're way past Christmas

I apologize for not updating this since the week before Christmas. Just got out of the habit for a while with work and everything. But anyway, here are a couple of somewhat recent pics of the Jettman. More to come shortly. I promise.

Here's us hooping it up. He's toting the ball around pretty good now.

Here's one of his infectious laugh.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ready for Christmas

Hard to believe it's just a week til Christmas.
I guess with Thanksgiving being late, there's less time in between.
We decorated the house the weekend after Thanksgiving, have all kinds of stuff up that we've compiled over the years. Our tree is kinda top heavy. We tried to keep most of the ornaments above Jett's reach.
We've still got a little shopping left to do. Well, I do at least. Shanda's always done early. I procrastinate quite a bit.
Can't wait until Jett is older. Then I can get him a game system and play it after he goes to bed...

Jett learned how to put on a hat recently. Nice choice, too.

Here's a shot of him getting ready to go to Catherina's (where he stays four days a week) one day. His coat about swallows him whole.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jett's 1...and a month

Jett turned one about a month ago. In fact, he'll be 13 mos. old Tuesday.
So I figured I better get these birthday shots on here while he's still 'just one.'
Above is Jett with his little cake. He was not interested in it at all. We were there with cameras and video cameras and he just didn't want it.

Here's Jett and his bud Gabriel (they are cousins) playing with the new tractor the Parker grandparents gave him.

Here's the cake the rest of us ate. We went Elmo this year.

And here is us, with a half-eaten birthday cake. This is actually a week after his B-day. We had 20-something people at the house and in all the hoopla, forgot to take a shot of just us three. The old Olympus timer shot did pretty well.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back to work....

Man, it stinks going back to work after a holiday. It's not that I don't like my job, just that once you get a few days off, it's a reminder of how little you get to just do whatever you want.
For me right now, that's hang with Shanda and Jett, watch the magic of Russell Wilson and the Pack, and go to the deer woods.
I had last Wednesday and Thursday off and technically, I had Friday, too. But Hibriten reached the third round of the football playoffs at East Henderson and I thought we (meaning the paper where I work) had a chance to "win" some with that. By that I mean, we could've just taken a call-in on the game and got enough. But instead, I drove to Hendersonville, covered the game and wrote it up. Wrote a 1,200 words kind of write up.
Hopefully, someone in Lenoir noticed....even though Hibriten lost and they'd probably rather forget it.
Speaking of work stuff, I watched Wake Forest play hoops late Sunday night against Baylor. I have a few connections to Wake hoops.
The main guy I covered while he was in high school, Deacs forward Jamie Skeen, is being red-shirted this year. But there are a few other connections there. Point guard Ish Smith went to Central Cabarrus and I got to know him well through him playing in the same conference as Skeen (North Meck). Also got to know Skip Prosser some while he was recruiting Jamie.
Quick story on that....
North won the 2005 4A state title, behind Skeen, Ben Stywall (UNC-G) and a few other interesting characters. Anyway, the regional tournament was in the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem and since Skeen was a Wake recruit, Prosser was always around. Given it was in Wake's arena, well, that was easy.
So the regional final was being played on a Saturday night and I was sitting on press row as the lights went down. They were doing the fancy player intros and there was an empty seat beside me. I noticed that someone had moved into it, but didn't notice who until the lights came back up. It was Prosser.
Now, for a lifelong ACC fan, follower, this was almost too much. I love everything ACC. I mean, I joke about hating Carolina, and I do, but I've sat a few seats down from Roy Williams at another tournament without smacking him. That's progress!
Every reporter has a favorite team they put aside when they're working. I could call out the Pack or praise the Heels if I was covering them. No problem. Wouldn't bother me a bit.
Anyway, off on a tangent. So basically I watch a whole game with Prosser, was getting paid to do that. We didn't talk a lot, but joked some about North's really witty student section. He wrote out the ACC standings on a napkin. This was the day before the whole Chris Paul hitting Julius Hodge in the jewels incident.
Given what happened to Prosser, it's a good memory.
Then last year, the Caldwell County Hospice held its annual ACC luncheon and had Dino Gaudio as the speaker. Now this was just six months after Prosser died and about a week before official practice opened. But I got 10 minutes of one-on-one time (interview that is) with Gaudio. Our nutty photographer snapped a shot. Glad he did. (Gaudio looks bored).

At least I made it this far, if I never make it to full-fledged ACC coverage.

Speaking of the Pack, Mr. Wilson (below) is the first freshman ever to be named first team all-ACC quarterback. He led the Pack to four straight wins to become bowl eligible after they were 2-6. Let's see, they beat Duke, Wake, Miami and hmmm? Who was the other one? Oh yeah, 41-10, Carolina......