On the Trail Again

It’s fire season, so I am avoiding all back-country camping for a few months. That said, we have Scouts and Scouters who need to break in backpack gear and get used to our packs.

So we took some of our Scouts out on a shakedown hike to Sycamore Falls in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It was warm, a couple of our number did not bring enough water, and it was more strenuous wearing masks, but it was a lot of fun and a real confidence-builder for a Troop that has made car camping a habit over the last few years.

I can’t wait to head into the back country in a few months…

Sports for Me

Class ‘A’ Baseball, San Jose, CA. 2004. (Photo: Rdikeman at the English-language Wikipedia)

While spectator sports will not consume much of my post-career life (PCL), in-person attendance once or so a year at the following will pepper into my plans. At any time you may see a post from the bleachers of the following:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers. Why? I have, for whatever reason, been a Dodgers fan since before I could walk. They had only been in LA a half-dozen seasons when I was born, so in a way we grew up together – or, at least, became Angelenos and Californians together. Give me a choice of any sporting event in the world, and I would choose a normal weeknight Dodger game over any other. 
  2. Arsenal F.C. Why? The LA Dodgers of English football. They’re either winning big or breaking hearts, and they are in their history and in their game an embodiment of all that is good about both sport and soccer. 
  3. UC Davis Aggies. Why? I transferred to UC Davis from UC San Diego for my Junior year, and I have a deep and abiding affection for the University Farm. Mostly a Division II team, it feels more like rooting for your team at a midwestern liberal arts college than a major research university, and that completes the picture of Davis. Go Aggies!
  4. UCLA Basketball. Why? My dad was a Bruin. My son is a Bruin and a basketball nut. I grew up watching John Wooden coach the Bruins from Lew Alcindor to Coach’s retirement. Ergo sum: there will be UCLA hoops.
  5. Minor League Baseball. Why? I love baseball, but I do feel like something like something essential is missing when the game becomes about egos, contracts, and very big business. Minor League Baseball is filled with players who are in it for hope, for a dream, and for the love of the game, and the difference shows in the style of play. What is more, MiLB ballparks have become comfortable, smaller-sized versions of their Big Show counterparts, and tickets are cheap. Minor Leagues are the soul of baseball.

I also have two or three sports-related bucket list items I will be sharing soon, and there might be an essay coming. 

You know you have eaten the right foods when you wake up Monday morning at 5am after 6 hours of sleep, push through an hour of work, make coffee for the spouse, plan the day, and knock out a 20-set weight training session without feeling too winded.

Note to self: Sunday is sushi day from now on.

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