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Drew had his last baseball game of the season tonight. The team had its share of unfortunate breaks and wound up around .500 with no championships or place finishes. But, one definite bright side was the coaches. We were very fortunate to have a great coach and assistant coaches who really cared about the kids and kept the focus on having fun while still learning the game and trying out new positions. Clearly not every coach in the league has the right balance and we really appreciate the coaches we've had the last two years. The coaches even got together themselves and surprised the boys with trophies for all their hard work and great efforts throughout the season. Drew wants to keep playing next year or, maybe, again this fall.
Out with the old...the very, very old, and in the new. The old one is my grandparent's Black & Decker U-278 Deluxe Lawn Edger & Trimmer that I inherited. Its gears were so worn that it only spun the blade about half the time and anyone within a mile could hear me edging. Although it had the ability to trim, to the best of my knowledge, it had never been used as anything but an edger. Years ago I went into a brick and mortar Black & Decker store and asked for some replacement blades by model number. The clerk was kind to ask if I had a really old edger. After I assured him my edger was sufficiently old, he sold me some new blades...in dusty packages.
I believe the edger was purchased sometime in the 1970s. The most recent U.S. patent number listed on the edger, 3,330,102, was issued on July 11, 1967, for a "Pivoted Index Latch for Lawn Trimmer-Edger." One guy lists the model as having been manufactured between 1965-1970 as seen here and here.
The new one is a Black & Decker Edge Hog 2-in-1 Landscape Edger model number LE750. It is lighter weight as it uses more plastic than metal. It was $80 at Lowes/Home Depot. Sears had it for $90...*sigh*. I've already tried it out once and it is like night and day compared to the old one. Quick, quiet and smooth! I wonder if it will last 30+ years?
Interesting that it was 115 volts and not the now standard 120. As for the RPM of 8,500...let's just say that it never rotated near that speed while I had it. Two things you never see any more: (1) "For Service -- See 'Tools-Electric' in Yellow Pages" and (2) "The Black & Decker Mfg. Co., Towson, MD., USA." Finally, we put the edger out by the curb in front of our trash and by morning, before the trashmen had come, it was gone.
You might think Will was throwing down some gang symbols, declaring his territory at his brother's baseball game tonight, but you'd be wrong. Will is merely shooting me with his Spider-Man webs.
What do little brothers do at their big brothers' baseball game?
Sit like little angles and watch their big brothers...of course.
Will got his first pair of glasses this week. He picked them out by himself with only a tiny amount of guidance. The metal frames have a blueish tint to them and the insides of the earpieces have a secret color.
Will has been really good at remembering to wear them with no complaints or issues. Just another example of our easy going middle child.
After the quick removal method used to extract his first lost tooth, Will was in no hurry to lose his second tooth. In fact, he had been walking around the house all day with it laying sideways in his mouth attached by who knows what.
Finally, the tooth came out all by itself without event. It was a peaceful contrast to the last time.
There were ominous clouds in the sky and on the horizon tonight. I photographed them and even called the kids out to take a look, all without knowing just how significant they were.
Just 100 miles north of us, Joplin, Missiouri, was being hit with the deadliest single tornado to terrorize the US since 1947. The final death toll was 159 people and estimates to rebuild as high as $3 billion.
Drew had his second piano recital today. The recital was at a church where the piano was located in a slightly sunken part of the stage which allowed me to take this awesome photo looking down at Drew.
Drew has been playing piano for 1 year and 4 months. He played Pyramid Power and The Mysterious Violin.
Drew really rocked the house with the tempo change on his first song. All of Drew's hard work and dedication payed off for a flawless performance. (Vimeo version after the jump.)
Today Drew did something no other Danz had ever done...he played catcher. It turns out his coach had previously ask each player if there was any position they wanted to play that they had not yet had a chance to play. Unbeknownst to Mama and Daddy, Drew told his coach he wanted to play catcher. Today Drew got his chance.
Without any training, practice or guidance whatsoever, Drew donned the the catcher's gear and bravely placed himself behind home plate. At this level of three ball coach pitch then off the tee, some catchers squat down all the way while some do like Drew chose to do and just half squat.
Drew kept close track of where the runners were and was ready at the plate in case a throw could challenge a runner going home. Unfortunately, the opportunity never came.
Drew also showed off some great form at the plate on his way to another hit.
I took the morning off from work and went to Will's soccer practice today. The blog had been lacking in Will activity photos lately, so time to make up for the omission.
The lighting at Soccer City is horrible to begin with and they only had half their lights on but I was still able to get some good action shots.
Note the concentration in the face and the mouth/tongue action.
Will was smiling the whole time today. He really enjoys playing soccer but, overall, there aren't many happier kids than Will. The hula hoop is part of Alien Tag where you try to kick the soccer ball at the alien, the person with the hula hoop. It's a favorite of the kids and always pulled out when the parents are asked to participate.
Just as Will sat through all of Drew's soccer practices, and now baseball games, Landon cheers on Will at each one of his soccer practices. After the jump eight more action shots of Will playing soccer.
Perhaps growing up in Chicago, home of the Sears Tower (don't call it the Willis Tower around me), I am more interested in tall buildings than the average person. The Sears Tower was completed in 1973 when I was seven years old. It was the tallest building in the world until recently and remains the second tallest in several categories. It was always a source of pride and fascination.
With this background I thought it very important that our boys make a trip to Oklahoma City to see the Devon Tower under construction. I think it will be neat when they are older to remember back and see pictures of themselves there while it was still under construction.
We parked by the Oklahoma County Courthouse and, after playing in small fountain for a while, we took this photo looking at the north side of the Devon Tower. "Go Thunder!" refers to the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team who are currently doing well in the playoffs.
This is looking at the south side of the Devon Tower taken from the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge. We walked all around the Devon Tower, taking pictures and seeing every angle of the construction.
Finally, this photo was taken looking at the west side of the Devon Tower. Despite being Saturday, we watched the elevators and cranes take materials to the top non-stop. They were working on the ceiling of the 44th/floor of the 45th story. In a few years, we'll make a trip back and wonder at the tallest building in Oklahoma and remember back to when we saw it under construction.
Today, Will graduated from Saint Benedict's preschool program. We couldn't be more pleased with the program. All of the teachers are absolutely wonderful and Will and Drew both made great progress in their studies during their year there.
During the ceremony, besides performing a myriad of songs, each child was given a profession along with a short recitation which they had to say aloud from memory all by themselves in front of all the parents and relatives. Will had been selected to be a veterinarian and he said the following:
A vet is what I want to be for all God's animals I truly love.
I'll take good care of them and send them on their way.
The proud graduate! Next year Will and Drew will be going to the same school and Mama will get a two year break from back and forth chauffeuring.
We debated whether to pull Drew out of school for Will's graduation. In the end, family triumphed over education. I don't think the half day Drew missed will have much of an impact. It was important that we all celebrated Will's graduation together.