Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wanna go on a field trip? Val visits Math Hell--at a hockey game

Mr. Fun is smart.  Really smart.

Which begs the following question:  Why would someone so smart (Mr. Fun) ask someone else not as smart (Val) to be a fill-in stats taker at a professional hockey game? 

Someone who took algebra THREE times in high school.  (Actually, that isn't true.  I took algebra twice and pre-algebra-- affectionately called "Math for Dummies" in our home).  

Stats = numbers.  Numbers = Val's verson of hell.

But being the true and supportive wife I am, I went to help out Mr. Fun, head stats man for the Missouri Mavericks hockey team--whose team slogan is "Give them hell."  I guess there is a theme developing here.

We are Alaska folks and it is somehow in our blood that we know hockey and we have much stat-ing skill for the game.  That, and I have been watching Mr. Fun play, coach or stat hockey since we were 15 years old.  It is true.  I was a hockey cheerleader in 10th and 11th grade.  For those of you who are reading this and saying "No way!  Prove it"  I have the photographic proof.  See below. 

That is a wig that I found in the theater costume closet.  I just felt like wearing it.  My squad picture was sweet in the yearbook...wig and all.

But I am off track.

So, Friday night found me at the new Independence arena and this is my story.

My job was to track all the players on the visiting team.  It is called "Plus/Minus" and my job was to write down the player who came into the game.  If you have ever watched a hockey game, that is no small feat.  They shift individually and with no rhyme or reason (in Val world anyway.)  You HAVE to watch every minute of every shift because we take the data and if someone scores, they have to know which players are on the ice to have it count for or against their total season points record. 

I guess they can't trust the players.  "Uh, yeah, I was the dorkus on the ice that let that other stick-weilding fellow break-away with the puck while I was staring at the blond in section 103 row 23..."  I guess that is why I was there.  Keeping everyone honest, as it were.

Mr. Fun is the head man.  The Big Cheese of the stats men.  One of his jobs is to make the copies before the game in the special admin office. 

See how fun his copy space is?  I am the librarian for my church congregation, and I can tell you, that I think
it would definately make things a little more lively if I had a cooler next to my copy machine,
 in between the copier and filing cabinet of church music.   ESPECIALLY if we had what this cooler has in it. :)

We were in about the 4th non-exsistant floor of the arena. Like being the catwalk of a theater.  There was no comfy seats.  No stairs to the weird fourth floor.  So literally, we had to climb out on the arena roof to go down that little black path and climb over some weird wall thing to get into our catwalk space.  Who designed this piece of work?  What about when snow and ice are on there?  Did I mention that we had to wear dress clothes. 
 Hello, sports management people!  I am just some lady on your roof.
Anyone heard of a little thing called RISK MANAGEMENT?
Mr. Fun's tiny little space for 8-10 grown men

How smart is it to have an epileptic who is light sensitive on the edge of a 4 story catwalk?

We are so high up that we share the space with the automatic spotlight for the arena. 

It was fun to be at the game unit it started.  :)
That is when the number crunching began.

I didn't notice the face offs.

I didn't notice the plays.

I didn't even notice the score of the game until it ended.
Mavericks lost.  I can't remember by what .
I got distracted by my work...and by the fights.

Towards the end of the game, the boys got cranky.
So you know what happens when boys get cranky...
they fight.
After the fighting, they get dragged to time out.
Not much different then when The Boy was little.

So the game was pretty much a numbers nightmare.
For over 3 hours.
"Will it ever end?" I asked myself.
But alas!

I caught a break with 1 minute and 7 seconds left.
Cranky boys save the day! 

This is what the normal bench looks like
during a hockey game.  Remember they have five
other players on the ice already.
They have 19 players at each game.
This is what this game ended like.
There were only three on the ice.

For both teams.

I wish I could say that I was sad for them and their naughty ways.
But I wasn't.

The average number of penalty minutes given in a game is
between 20 and 30 minutes total.

During the big fights, they rip each other's gear off.
 No one was left to pick it up.
This game:  300 minutes.

This was lucky break for a statistically challenged girl like myself...
It is easy to track those guys coming onto the ice when it is
the same 4 players.
I think the Stats gods answered my desires that day...
even if it was the last 1:07 of the game.  :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More things that make you go humm...

Back by popular demand...ok, not really.  I have been cleaning out my photo files and I found more shots I have taken all summer just to share with you.  Enjoy.
googly bug eyes

Cat catching a cicada
Do women still really roll their hair AND go out in public?
I don't remember seeing one single
piece of cheese in China
This woman was CR-AZY.
She was a vendor at the farmer's market.
This other woman was shopping the earrings.
The owner asked her randomly if she,
the customer, had been saved.  ?
The customer was like uh, how does this relate to
these sparkly dangly earrings?  The pink woman
kept trying to force the customer to close her
eyes and accept Jesus right then and there.

We were at en Ethnic Festival. 
You know.  Gyros.  Chinese rice.
There was this person (it is un-
decided if she was male or female)
dressed like a fox. 
Incense the smells like monkey farts or
butt naked.  Can't understand why they aren't
big sellers like the potpourri...
I have a secret. 
Bowling shoes OUTSIDE of the bowling lanes
are safe.  I know from personal experience.
My dad's best friend owned a bowling alley
when I was in high school.  He gave me a
sweet pair of green and red used bowling shoes
for my senior year.  I wore them everywhere
(of course my parents were thrilled!).  I wore
them outside of the alley and I was perfectly safe.
I wore them until I wore a hole in the bottom of the sole.
I just loved this.

Uh, not sure when the Vikings arrived in town.
I felt like this was a little joke between me and God
each morning.  I would get up each morning,
and the sun would be glistening just like this on the
all powerful green truck.  Kind of like God was saying,
Look at this great truck, Valsy.  Enjoy.
I like how the postal workers get billed right
after the best friends.  I especially like the
last line. 
T-Rex Sue is a breast cancer research supporter

This is how I eat chinese.  The normal person
eats the bowl of soup size on the right.
Val eats the bowl on the left.
Yep, it is how I roll.  YUM.
I hope that the Amish don't see I was disrespectful
for taking their picture.  This picture and the one below
are a companion set.  The Muslims below were about 10
feet away in the same store in the same aisle.
It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
A little picture of world peace.
She always walked behind her husband,
never in front of or besides.
The World War I Memorial

Uh, don't tell Matt. 
I got this for him for Christmas. :)
No one in the car undstood this billboard.
The very large, expensive billboard.
The girl on the edge of the city
Sparta was in a summer mood
This is koi fish named Japan
The doctor said this thick file
(one of two!) is the sign
of a cancer battle being won
I love love this picture.  We were teasing my
dad's moustache
The dog got in the act

Sunday, October 24, 2010

VA goes to the UN: Happy United Nations Day

Today is United Nations Day.
I know lots of folks can't stand the UN.

I know it is political.

I know it is full of powerful men,
playing powerful men's games
(or women as it were).

But most folks who feel so strongly about it
haven't even been there.

But I have.

And this is what I think.
Mr. Fun has a saying from work:
Oppose, Propose.

We use it here at home now.  Makes the Girl crazy.

What it means is if you have a problem with something,
propose a solution.

I like the United Nations because the theory makes me happy.
People proposing solutions.

United Nations.
It's that simple.
Here I am, self portrait outside the complex.
Obviously I don't do this very often.  :)

This is what peace looks like here.
A lot of talking.  Taking turns talking.
Listening respectfully.

Here I am in a small group discussion about media and it's
destructive influence on the family.
These ladies had some opinions. 

The best piece of knowledge that I learned in this room
is that for every customer that calls in their opinion,
the media specialist said it is worth 1,000 opinions.

This is a stained glass piece that is wonderful.
It is from Chagall and it is the vision of peace.
It greets everyone.

And if you have followed this blog for more than like two weeks,
you know of my never-ending quest to win
the Nobel Peace Prize. 
Then I can retire from doing good.  :)

But seriously, there is a photograph hanging in the
main hall of the UN that helps keep your mind focused:
This is a refugee camp in the Sudan.

I read a scripture today just by chance (or not)
that I think sums it all up:
How hast thou helped him
that is without power?
Job 26:2

Is the UN perfect?

But I oppose oppression.

I like the proposal
that there is an organization
giving voice to the voiceless.

Helping them without power.

Happy United Nations Day.