Another weekend–another busy weekend–has passed.  As I prepare for a few hours of pre-workweek rest, I think back over the past few days, and just how much my reality has changed in a variety of ways–some insignificant, some more important…

Starting with the insignificant–the Mobile World Congress (MWC for short) is being held this weekend in Barcelona.  After deciding, once again, that I am just not an iPhone kind of guy, I decided to switch back with my daughter.  I gave her the iPhone 7 Plus (she was VERY happy to receive such a fantastic early birthday present) and took back my OnePlus 3 Android smartphone.  Nearly a month later, I am not disappointed in this choice.  I am so much more comfortable with Android and its customizations, its ability to allow apps to work together more fluidly, its more useful widgets.  Whereas once upon a time, Apple set the trend in iOS and Google/Android followed, so many things Apple does now are copies of things Android has had in place for a generation or two of its operating system.  I liked the Apple Watch, but I think I actually prefer my Huawei Watch running on Android Wear.  Anyhow–the rather insignificant change this weekend: three of the four possible new Android phones that I’m interested in upgrading to were not launched or demoed this weekend.  It sounds like the OnePlus 4/5 (unclear whether they’re going to skip to a ‘5’ model because 4 is apparently an unlucky number for Chinese manufacturers) won’t be out until 3Q 2017, the Samsung S8/S8 Plus won’t be shown off to the public until late March, and there’s no idea yet of when those would even be available (even assuming they’re at a price I’m willing to pay), and the Google Pixel 2 XL is still just a rumor.  Like I said–this was a insignificant development in the grand scheme of things (but I kind of wanted to write something different this week, get back to my technobabble1 roots).

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Slightly more significant–at least to my mental health and happiness: Chicago Cubs Spring Training games started on Saturday afternoon!  It’s still VERY early, and the 2017 regular season is still five weeks away, but — oh.  Baseball is back.  CUBS baseball is back.  CUBS WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP baseball is back (no one has been able to say that since Spring 1909…).  I’m all set to attend my first game tomorrow afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa – Cubs versus White Sox.  Yes, even though it’s a cross-town rivalry, games on February 27th are generally pretty meaningless.  I’m anxious to see what former Dodgers southpaw Brian Anderson has in the tank.  I’m excited to see at least a few major league roster Cubs on the field: Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez, some guys names Bryant and Rizzo, a young catcher named Willson, a hopefully-ready-to-go Albert Almora Jr. in centerfield.  Heck, I’m even excited to check out Jason Heyward’s revamped swing and stellar fielding in right field.  I know I’m not going to see the Professor (Kyle Hendricks), Lester or Arrieta pitching tomorrow–but hopefully I’ll see at least a couple of them later on in March at my other three Cubs Spring Training games.  Go Cubs!

At work, I was asked to stop working with a committee that I helped launch two years ago.  While I agree the committee has stalled out a bit, and had difficulty getting things done as quickly as I’d like, it’s still tough to have to leave something you’ve worked on for a couple years behind.  On the silver lining side, it will be nice to not have to cut out time for meetings any longer…

Moving up the reality change scale–it really dawned on me this weekend that my time scorekeeping youth hockey games is probably over.  This is partially something I set in motion myself a few months back when I started letting people know that I was seriously limiting the number of games I would scorekeep.  I followed that up by blocking my availability calendar pretty extensively a couple months ago (right now, it’s a sea of red dates signifying my complete lack of availability).  A couple things happened this weekend that really put the exclamation point on my retirement.  Without going into too much detail, I could look at one of them as kind of a slap in the face–I know it sounds boastful, but when it comes to scorekeeping, keeping the game running smoothly, playing music and announcing, I believe I’m one of the best Arizona has to offer.  Yet, for these important games, I was not asked.  Could be political.  Could be that since I have not worked a ton of games recently, my name has fallen by the wayside.  Could be that party A talked to party B who saw my bleeding red blocked availability page, and it was decided that asking me wasn’t worth the time, since I was clearly not available.  Honestly, it kind of stings.  I’d like to think that the quality of what I do would make just asking me worthwhile…but, as I said, perhaps I’m just reaping the rewards of saying that I plan to retire.  Funny though–at the same time this is going on, I was announcing a Peewee championship game–helping to create an exciting, memorable environment for the kids and parents.  I wasn’t scheduled to do so–I was just there to present the championship trophy and banner, but saw a friend was scorekeeping and offered to announce for her.  No matter what else may happen, I still love announcing hockey games.

The weekend was not easy.  On Friday, I found out that my league co-director was no longer going to be serving in that capacity–effective immediately.  I had a feeling this was coming, but seeing as she was slated to be the Championship Tournament director–I had to quickly step in and play the role myself, as the games were just starting for the weekend.  Mission accomplished.  First divisions of the tournament ran pretty smoothly, trophies and banners handed out, a minimum of drama encountered, a few nice compliments about things overall.  I just had to exchange a good chunk of my free time and sanity this weekend to make it happen.  No worries–for some twisted reason, I seem to work best when the pressure is on (and the time is limited).  Still…it leaves me a bit stressed out and exhausted…

While I did not completely forget about Micah this weekend–staying so insanely busy helps to quell those moments, those thoughts of loss.  But it didn’t go unnoticed that Micah’s old choir was up to some local fundraising nearby, or that it was still painful to have relative strangers asking me questions about my kids, as happened at the rink in Tucson on Saturday night, or–when walking through the new house to see how things are coming along–just thinking about how, in some ways, it’s the house that Micah built.  It’s the house that we might have bought either way, but the timetable was pushed up by our desire to be away from the house where we lost Micah, away from the bedroom where he ended it all.  The house that will forever remind us of our son, every time we use our address: 3706 – 37, his number, and 06, the year he started playing hockey.  The unknown street number of the lot we more-or-less randomly picked in order to get the elevation we wanted.

The times, they are a changin’.  So is my reality…

David

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