Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ode to Coop and the Yankees -- This is Why I love Little League Baseball

One of Cooper's teammates was a photographer by trade and took a lot of pictures of the team throughout the season. So here are some fun pics of Coop through out the season.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rob "MacGyver" Murray -- A tribute based on real life stories

Rob "MacGyver" Murray is one of those guys that can solve any problem if he wants to. He built radios at age 8, takes car engines apart and back together again for fun, and likes to do anything once, just for the love of the challenge. And, he also designed and patented most all the pentium chips that make all your computers go. So basically, Rob MacGyver Murray also invented the Internet.

OK, so the naysayers may agree he is a genius in the technical world but demand practical application of his brain power to mention him in the same company as the beloved MacGyver. At to that critique, I give the following examples:

1) My front door had been hanging on a tilt for over a year, but recently, it got considerably worse. I tried to tighten the screws, but they were stripped completely. I then was ready to throw in the towel and get longer screws another day.  

Enter -- Rob MacGyver Murray. 

He was at our house celebrating my birthday, and, as per usual we had no tools to work with to solve the problem. Or so it seemed to the untrained eye. 

"Got any matchsticks," he said. 
"Yep" I said not knowing where this was going. 
"uh Yeah..." Again, not knowing where this was going. 

Within 3 minutes he had snapped off the tops of the matchsticks (for our protection, no bomb in this episode), took out the screws, shoved the matchsticks in the screwholes with some glue, and put the screws back in. 

The result -- The door hung like a champ, better then when we got the house new. It was amazing.  Less than three minutes later and over a years worth of pain and frustration lifted from my shoulders. 

Exhibit 2: On the same night (it was my birthday, so I was pushing my luck after such a quick victory with the front door and asked for help with a second, less desirable project). 

Our back yard drain had recently flooded over in the rain storm and all the neighborhood decided to use it as a swimming hole. This was hilarious at the time. Shanda took pictures of the kids doing cannonballs in our back yard etc., except that afterwards the drain never drained any more. 

I was not made aware of this until all the sudden, the entire neighborhood stunk due to our still water, Mosquito breeding, Oil refining, grass killing, pond of absolute nastiness in the back yard.  I had no idea what to do. My kids has already got a horrible rash from playing in it and it was on a hill so to get the water would be a chore get rid of, and it stunk horribly.  I touched the water and washed my hand ten times afterwards, but could not enjoy my birthday cake because all I could smell was nasty smells when I tried to take a bite as my hand drew close to my nose.

My thoughts: I could try to scoop it out bucket by bucket, but probably get the horrible rash my kids got, smell for a year and have to spend my entire birthday doing arguably the worst job on the planet. 

Enter Rob MacGyver Murray

"Well we could siphon it out with a tube or hose," he said.

I kind of thought about this option, but two problems. 

First -- I envisioned me having to suck the hose with the nastiest smelling liquid known to man coming out of it (I mean this was the equivalent of used portapotty smell from the last day of summer camp) and I did not want to do that! And please, if someone had to do that, I knew who was going to have to do the grunt labor in this operation.

Second -- The fluid would have to go up a fairly significant, long hill and drain into the wooded area.  I understood a little about physics, but it seemed like asking too much for the water to syphon out and climb a steep hill. 

Better call the professionals I thought.

But not so fast my friend, MacGyver Murray was muttering something! 

"If we just start the hose, cinch it, capture the torque and then place one end in the water, we should be able to drain it all out via a modest flow through the hose and into the forest."  

I have learned not to question these ideas. When I realized I would not have to suck the hose to get the nasty water drained, I was all for the idea.  

And it worked like a charm. The next day I woke up to a drained pond. MacGyver Murray had struck again.

It was truly unbelievable. I went from thinking this is going to cost me hundreds to get someone to fix this to "Wow, MacGyver Murray strikes again!" in a matter of minutes. 

But I should clarify one admirable trait about MacGyver Murray -- He really has two motivations, not just one for all his miraculous, physics defying feats. 

1) He does love the challenge (and to be in charge :)) but 2), and probably more importantly, he likes to help people. 

Pretty good motivations if you ask me. 

Until the next episode...