It’s hard to write the blog when you’re on vacation, and just as hard when you return. This really does take a kick in the butt to get going again. The thing I’ve learned in the brief time I’ve been writing this is that you have to dedicate time to keeping it updated. And while I have several longer blogs in the works, those can take a back seat to current events, including the Olympics (stay tuned). In the meantime, here are a few random notes.
- The beach is a great place to vacation. It’s less than an hour’s drive, but it’s a world away. Gazing at the Pacific from the deck of our Newport Beach boardwalk rental is a good way to spend a week. The view of sunbathers on the beach and passers-by on the boardwalk is ideal from our perch on the second-floor. And it is the perfect place to ride our beach cruisers – easily one of our smarter investments. The sunsets and the reflection of the moon on the ocean at night are breathtaking. Last week was particularly fun, because we got to spend time with friends who were vacationing, too. The DesCombes have a place on Balboa Island, and the Moores and Brehauts also had rentals for the week. Plus, Dave came down for a day, and there were assorted others. I’ll mention them all in an upcoming Olympic opening ceremonies blog.
- Sam is getting an early taste of college life this week, spending time with his brother at Sid’s apartment in San Marcos. I’m glad they love spending time together, and I’m sure it’s good for both of them. Sam will return to enjoy about three more weeks of summer before classes start at Claremont High on Sept. 3, while Sid gets his fall semester started on Aug. 25 at Cal State San Marcos…I think all of us could use an extra month of summer. I wonder if Sam has mastered beer pong yet.
- Following his outstanding performance at the Elite 11 camp, as well as those at other showcase events, UCLA-commit Richard Brehaut from Los Osos High has jumped to No. 4 on the Rivals.com national rankings of class of 2009 high school quarterbacks. Last week at the beach, he was just another high school senior enjoying the summer before football practice starts again. He’s a good kid and deserves the success that is coming his way.
- Claremont High is expected to announce its new baseball coach next week, following the school board’s approval at its meeting on Aug. 18. Hopefully the Claremont parents will stand by Principal Brett O’Connor’s judgment on this one, and support the new coach and by letting him do his job. My hunch is that this will surprise some people, but it will be a great hire.
- The Iggy Biggie Football League will hold its annual draft on either Saturday, Aug. 30, or Sunday, Aug. 31. As usual, the draft will be held over Labor Day weekend in advance of the NFL’s opening day, which this year is Thursday, Sept. 4. Remarkably, this is the 26th year we’ve been doing this (more blogs about Iggy Biggie to come, too).
- It’s a kick watching Manny Ramirez. He gives the Dodgers a chance to win every night (if the pitching can hold up), and there is anticipation and electricity every time he comes to bat. The final six weeks of the season will keep people watching baseball through the end of the September. I hope the four-game sweep over Philadelphia kicks off the kind of run the Dodgers will need to win the Western Division and advance in the playoffs.
- I love the Olympics. I have several upcoming Olympic blogs in the works, so I’ll just make a quick mention of a few highlights so far. The opening ceremonies really were spectacular, and the events are great—especially since I’ve been watching stuff at 5:30 a.m. and throughout the day on my office TV. I’m not a big gymnastics fan, but last night’s women’s all-around final performance by Nastia Liukin was probably the best gymnastics display I have ever seen. She won the gold medal, but I think her scores weren’t nearly as high as they could have been. Must have been the Soviet judge.
- The college football season starts in two weeks. The NFL season kicks off in three.
- The Los Angeles County Fair opens on Friday, Sept. 5. It used to be that I counted the days until it started – and then until it ended. That was back when I didn’t get to enjoy my summers and take off for the beach in July and August. It was the most frustrating and tiring job I’ve ever had, and easily the hardest I ever worked. But it was also my most rewarding, fun and satisfying job, too. I know what the staff is going through right about now and I wish them well. Their summers ended months ago.