T-Bawl Season

by Telling Dad on May 3, 2014

Our daughter Kamryn, who just turned six, had her first T-ball game today. And it was every bit as adorable as I thought it’d be.

After a grand total of 51 at-bats among all players, her team lost 27-24, victims of a smaller roster.

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In her particular league, every child gets to bat, every child gets to round the bases, and every child gets to score. Every single inning. There are no outs and no strikes, even as kids spastically swing wildly back and forth in an effort to hit the ball resting comfortably atop the tee.

As one of only six parental volunteers in the outfield for our team, my job was to make sure the kids didn’t fall asleep or get too muddy in the infield. While people joke about how T-ball kids spend their innings sifting through clover, staring at the clouds, or jumping away from bugs, you really can’t blame these kids for losing interest.

Because this isn’t like regular baseball, where a ball could be hit anywhere inside the ballpark at any time, T-ball’s action takes place between the pitching mound (er, standing mound) and first base.

As the following reference graphic demonstrates, this is your typical inning in T-Ball:

The batter hits the ball, the ball dribbles to the mound, the pitcher throws the ball to first, and the first basemen runs to retrieve the ball that just went through his or her legs. This happens nine more times and then the teams trade roles.

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Once at bat, a child wearing a helmet two sizes too big carries a bat two sizes too small and approaches the plate. After making sure the kids in the infield are ready to do absolutely nothing, the coach jumps away quickly and tells the child to go for it.

Upon contact, the crowd erupts, and everyone watches the pitcher and first baseman play catch.

Upon a swing and a miss, the child will most likely be looking through the helmet’s ear hole, but that won’t stop him or her from continuing to swing at the tee like it’s a piñata.

The coach, who has seen enough America’s Funniest Home Video episodes to know that an errant bat can de-nutify a person, shouts frantically for the child to stop. Assuming the child hears the coach over the rattling caused by the helmet bouncing repeatedly off the skull, they’ll eventually reset and line the child up a bit more closely to the tee for another go.

Roughly 40% of all swings result in a direct hit to the pitcher, 25% are total misses, 25% obliterate the tee, and 10% end up behind the player and coach after an accurate backswing. Still, when you see the glow in a child’s eyes as he watches the ball dribble away from the tee after giving it a good smack, it makes all the standing, corralling, and base-pointing worthwhile.

Bottom of the 1st inning. Score is 2-0 with 9 errors.

Bottom of the 1st inning. Score is 2-0 with 9 errors.

Kamryn, who assured us she knew all there was to know about T-ball, got to play first base. Upon catching the ball from the pitcher, she immediately made a beeline for second, where she was deemed safe after some savvy base running. Once explained that only the batters get to run the bases, she returned sheepishly to her position and awaited the next throw.

She was placed on first because the original child took a soft lob to the chest after it missed his glove. As with most Major Leaguers, he was relieved and sent to his mother’s awaiting arms until his tears dried.

Another child burst into tears after he was tagged with the baseball because he thought that meant he’d be the only child in T-Ball history to not score. Once assured that there are zero consequences in T-Ball, he wiped away the tears and stood proudly on the base.

Right around the bottom of the 2nd inning, kids were asking how much longer they had to be there. They wanted to go home. After 30 minutes and three thrilling innings, they were relieved of duty, and ready to drag half the mud from the field into their parents’ awaiting vehicles.

All in all, a great day, and if everyone on Kamryn’s team shows up next week, I think we have a win in our future.

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Cat Pimp

by Telling Dad on March 21, 2014

It’s probably odd to make my return with a post about pimpin’ but it makes too much sense to ignore. Just don’t go stealing my idea.

3090036Our 5-year old daughter Kamryn likes to watch a show called “Too Cute,” which is essentially an infomercial for puppies and kittens. If you ever find yourself on the fence about acquiring a pet, this show will shove you with brute force into the waiting arms of breeders and shelters alike.

As Kamryn watches, the shrieky shrills of “Ohhhhhs” and “Awwwwws” steadily climb in volume as puppies and kittens tumble over each other, chase toys, or just nod off to sleep. And should one look at the camera with a slightly tilted head? You can audibly hear Kamryn’s heart explode.

In the episode I sat to watch with her, they were showcasing a breed of cat called Savannahs. They look a lot like cheetahs and leopards, instantly making them totally way cooler than the four ghetto cats we have walking around here somewhere. The Savannahs are bigger, sleeker, purrier (it’s a word, trust me), and just plain gorgeous.

I wanted one.

Considering some people will pay you to take cats off their hands, I figured these things would cost maybe $50-$100 because of their markings and general badassiness. When I saw how off I was in my estimate, the light bulbs glowed above my noggin.

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For males…they sell for as much as $22,000. For females…$35,000. Granted, that’s for some class called an F1, but even going WAY down the line to the least desirables, you’ll shell out upwards of $1,500-$3,000. And that’s for an inferior cat!

You know how much my cats are worth?

Bear with me a moment while I look up the going rate on alleycat pelts.

Okay, they’re worth NOTHING.

In fact, when you consider ripped fabrics, puke logs, and shredded possessions, they’re actually worth negative dollars.

At the rate cats reproduce, these Savannahs would be a goldmine in comparison.

Case in point, my father-in-law has a farm. And on this farm there were two cats. Before he could hum out an E-I-E-I-O, there were three dozen offspring. With a mew-mew here and another cat there, here a cat, there a cat, everywhere another cat. So many, in fact, that he had to dedicate a swath of field to the cultivation of catnip. And because he can’t possibly catch all of these feral furballs to de-nutify them, the population keeps growing. It’s so bad that cows and goats are forming alliances.

I told Heather that we have a surefire business in the making. All we need to do is plunk down $57,000 for a top-of-the-line male and female, throw in another $20 for a litter pan and miscellaneous toys, and BOOM! We’re in business.

Beyond that, what expenses are there beyond keeping these things alive? It’s not like cats need any sort of motivation or encouragement to do the business, so we’ll save on dim lighting, mood music, and Cat Fancy centerfold pinups.

Being the practical one, Heather had some questions.

“How would you even afford $57,000 for two cats?”
This is what banks are for. They simply need to see a viable business idea that’s supported with raw numbers. Considering the gestation period for cats is measured in days, we’ll be cranking out plenty of inventory. Even if our bank doesn’t already have some sort of program for cat pimpin’, they’ll have to take this seriously.

“What about the four cats we have?”
We can sell their pelts. The search results are already bookmarked on the Google.

“How do you plan on keeping them safe?”
This idea isn’t totally fleshed out yet but I’m thinking we get a giant hamster ball. While it may be annoying as the things roll around on the hardwood floors and bump into walls, they’ll adapt. When we have an order, we put them in the same room, wait a few days, and cash a big fat check.

Jackpot.

Jackpot.

“You really think there are enough people willing to pay $20,000 for a cat?”
We can be the WalMart of Savannah cats. Even at fifteen grand a pop, we’re making mad bank, and people will line up for the savings. Best of all, people LOVE the whole “Made in America” dealio, which we can play up with some fancy stickers.

And besides, if you show the following photo to someone with a spare $15,000?

It’s as good as sold:

savannah-kitten

The whole idea is still in its infancy stages but that doesn’t mean I haven’t already ordered my personalized license plate.

This…is gonna be sweet.

ferarri

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The Hiatus is Over

by Telling Dad on March 20, 2014

Hope you’re all ready.

More importantly, I hope you’re all still out there.

Can’t wait!

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In a word…Zikomo!

December 1, 2013

Well, it’s been two months so I figured I should probably write a post. And what better way to break back into the world of blogging than to share the end result of our Flip Flop campaign. Thanks to your generosity and thanks to you embracing our project, we were able to provide every single […]

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With Apologies to Cashews and Almonds…You’re Nuts

November 30, 2013

Earlier today I was given a link to one of the more enjoyable, funny, and sarcastic posts I’ve read in quite some time. It focused on the growing obsession over being politically correct in all facets of speech and communication. Ironically enough, the post wasn’t intended to be funny OR sarcastic. It was definitely enjoyable […]

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Blog Star: A Parody for Bloggers

November 23, 2013

Time for another blogging parody! I was inspired to write this particular song after having my Guest Speaker application rejected by a blogging conference I had previously attended as a panelist. It made me realize that while I enjoyed writing and had a small yet loyal following, I was a virtual nobody in the blogging […]

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Walk a Mile FOR Their Shoes

July 1, 2013

It’s time to pay the piper. Me, of course, being that piper. But I don’t want it for me. I want it for the Flip Flop campaign my wife and I have organized for the Children’s Village we support in Malawi. Over the past several months, I have done dozens of blog tweaks, security updates, […]

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The Five Stages of Orphan Cat Ownership

June 3, 2013

Vet bills. This is the fallout I forget about when fostering my wife’s favorite hobby, pet harvesting. If she weren’t so compassionate and caring, we’d have far less dander in this house. But because her heart behaves like some maniacal co-pilot struggling to take the controls away from her brain, we have a stockpile of […]

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I Love Naked Ken

May 24, 2013

I look forward to Christmas every year. Next to Thanksgiving and the mystery surrounding that lying little rodent on Groundhog Day, it’s my favorite holiday of all time. I just need to remember to avoid Facebook this coming season. If you were on Facebook at any time between December 1st and Christmas Day then you […]

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Kitty Cat Warfare

May 11, 2013

As many of you might remember, I had made an agreement with Michael and Kamryn that if they could go two weeks without fighting and misbehaving, we’d get them a kitten. [See: Kitty Cat Countdown] And, as you can see from the picture below, there are now three furry little balls of curiosity chilling on […]

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In Remembrance

May 4, 2013

Today we gathered at the church to celebrate my mother-in-law’s life and say our collective goodbyes. I was asked to write and deliver the eulogy, which I felt was a tremendous honor. I had hoped I’d be able to do her justice and was so touched by everyone approaching me afterwards to say that I […]

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Do You Have 28 Blogs That You Want To Self-Servingly Promote? I’m Your Ho!

April 30, 2013

Okay, not really, but I must be giving off the vibe that I’m so desperate for blog content that I’m willing to take MY time to post THEIR linkbait without ANY compensation whatsoever. How else can I explain the constant stream of media johns approaching me every single day? Does this approach really work? Is […]

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“The thing about it is”

April 28, 2013

Next to “I love you, darlin’” this was my grandmother’s favorite phrase of all time. When spoken, you knew it was going to precede one of three things: 1) A long, drawn out story with more tangents than a Geometry textbook; 2) A series of made up facts and historical inaccuracies in order to prove […]

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Love.

April 24, 2013

“In good times and in bad.” It’s a promise we made to each other many many years ago while standing before an altar in the presence of God, friends, and family. In too many cases, these vows are merely a recited passage…a formality in the process of marriage. Stand here, say that, and kiss. In […]

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Elmo Makes Music. Kids Make Noise.

March 17, 2013

I learned a few things at the Sesame Street “Elmo Makes Music” concert last night: 1. Triangles have three sides; 2. The letter “J” is a big sponsor; and 3. I never want to do that again. The concert itself was actually really well done based on the portions I could hear. It was nice […]

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