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Clint Hurdle is all out of bubblegum

susanscott1:

Love this man!

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

BRADENTON — It’s raining harder now, and someone just told me that they’ve issued a tornado watch for the area. Yet they still haven’t banged the game. Crazy, but it’s their ballpark. They can do what they want.

The Pirates did, however, open their clubhouse to the media at 11am, maybe because everyone knows that there won’t be a postgame session today. I didn’t have anyone specific I wanted to talk to on the Pirates, so I went over. I didn’t talk to anyone, but man, I’m sure glad I did.

Why? Because on the wall of Clint Hurdle’s office is a poster with a painting of Roddy Piper from “They Live” on it, and the words “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.” It’s all stylized to look like a Big League Chew package. I searched for it desperately online…

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Homeschooling under the radar

With the start of a partial week and an almost completed full week under our belts, the homeschool year is off to a smooth start, mostly.  My two sons, 6th and 8th grade, have been generally cooperative, but I’ve already lost my composure on two occasions that I recall.  That beats the almost daily bouts of screaming I had on my first go at homeschooling.   It is definitely easier to keep your wits when you are only homeschooling two children and are not also pregnant or nursing or chasing after a toddler. 

There is definitely a relaxing of my expectations of what I hope to accomplish in a single school day.  When I began homeschooling 15 years ago, I was wrought with anxiety over how to pull off this endeavor.  My daughter had completed Kindergarten in the public school system and with only a few classroom visits, I was dubious about this setting for my upcoming sons.  After a very strange meeting with the elementary school’s principal regarding the first grade curriculum, I was resolved to homeschool my daughter and her brothers.  After a little research, I was set on choosing a classical curriculum for my very smart daughter.  I settled on the Kolbe Academy Homeschool Curriculum as it seemed very complete and yet affordable.  Try as I might to keep up with their daily routine, I kept falling behind.  Pregnant with our fourth baby, acclimating to this new lifestyle and starting the process of buying our first home, I cut myself some slack, but suffered guilt about it nonetheless.  We did some of the prescribed curriculum, but never finished what we started.

Fast forward 15 years, and my very smart daughter is now 20 and off on her life’s journey.  She was homeschooled from first through sixth grade, where upon I enrolled her in a private school.  She hated it, so I homeschooled her in 8th grade, but she was certain she was missing something, so she completed her education at the public high school.  My 2 oldest sons are currently attending the same public high school, one a senior the other a sophomore.  That leaves the 2 youngest boys at home with me. 

They are mortified to be homeschooled.  Last year the 8th grader attended a private Catholic middle school.  The 6th grader completed his 4th and 5th grades at a different public elementary school.  We were all hoping that they’d both be attending our Catholic middle school this academic year, but that option is not open to us at this time.  They begged to be allowed to go to the public middle school.  After several very bad experiences with the administrators of that school, I stood my ground and won them over to the idea of homeschooling.  Okay, I bribed them with fast food and candy and other promises.  They signed on, but still harbor shame at their current scholastic situation.  We live in a large suburban subdivision filled with kids, most of whom are at my house on any given day.  My boys are pretending that they are going to the private Catholic middle school since all their friends are at the public school.  I keep pleading with them to come clean, but have not succeeded in convincing them that lying about their situation can not continue interminably.  What great example of Catholic piety we are! 

I think these neighbor kids and baseball buddies must be on to them.  When I hung up newsprint roll on the dining room wall, my sons were aghast.  “You can’t hang that up there!  We’ll be found out,” they pleaded.  “Tell them it’s my timeline.  You know what a history buff I am.”  They shrugged it off and to the best of my knowledge, not one of the neighbor kids has asked why there is a timeline on our dining room wall. 

In the meantime, I will let this deception play out.  I have tried to educate them on the virtues of honesty, but it’s obviously fallen on deaf ears and deformed consciences.  They will eventually bear the consequences of their sins.  I will continue to nudge them to tell the truth.   If only this could be neatly wrapped up like an episode of the Brady Bunch or Drake and Josh.  Some how, we will reach the truth, but it’s going to take a little longer than a half hour sitcom.  Oh, how far my standards have fallen!

 

Pirates option Jeff Locke to Double-A Altoona

susanscott1:

What a surprise to wake up to this morning. Jeff Locke made the All Star game in July, and in August is demoted to Double A Altoona. I will be using this story to help my 13 year old son get over not be selected by his travel baseball team coach for the upcoming spring season.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke was a first-half hero, posting a 2.15 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break. But he has been roughed up in the second half — it got especially bad in August — and may not play a role down the stretch for the Bucs.

According to beat writer Michael Sanserino of the Pittsbrugh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have optioned Locke to Double-A Altoona. He could be brought back shortly after rosters expand on September 1, but he will not take his turn in the rotation Sunday against the first-place Cardinals. A fill-in for that potentially-crucial outing will be announced soon.

Locke made it all the way to 176 innings pitched last year between the minors and majors.

The 25-year-old southpaw  had thrown 148 1/3 innings so far in 2013 for Pittsburgh.

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The New Year starts in September

ImageI’ve always loved September.  Back to school, everything is new–clothes, shoes, school supplies, teachers, classes, friends.  The change of weather, the beautiful colors of late summer, and the smell of autumn on the way have always exhilarated me.  Even though I am no longer a school student, I still get excited for each new academic year.

After homeschooling my children from Kindergarten to middle school, I enrolled them in public and private schools.  My first born is now 20 and making her way in the world.  My two oldest sons are enrolled in the public high school, a senior and a sophomore.  My two middle school sons are back home with me.  We will be embarking on a homeschooling adventure for the next nine months.  This blog will chronicle our experience.

To be perfectly frank, my middle school sons are not thrilled with the prospect of returning to homeschooling.  My 8th grader had a wonderful experience at a private Catholic school for his 7th grade year and was hoping to return.  My sixth grader was slated to join him there.  Unfortunately, the Obama economy has slammed the door shut on that plan and his regime’s Common Core Curriculum has prevented me from sending my little lambs back to the public middle school.  (Right off the bat, you know where I stand politically.)

Having spent most of the month of August preparing my curriculum, or at least getting the ball rolling on the first quarter, I am ready to get this party started.  We will officially begin the day after Labor Day.  My high school students went back yesterday.  It is important to get them off to a good start too. 

Homeschooling has come a long way in the last 30 years.  What a thrill it is to be a part of such a momentous movement.  While many of our rights and freedoms seem to be slipping away, educating our children is still within our purview.  To all the parents who exercise this privilege, you have my utmost respect.  You inspire and encourage me with your struggles and successes. 

Let the learning begin!