Friday, September 22, 2017

Serve Our City

By Uncle Hans

So you can see from the calendar of events that the 21st was "Serve Our City" day.

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  It is an annual event where classes are suspended for the day and students volunteer to do community service. It usually involves cleanup or painting or yard work , Etc......

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Our group of four was assigned to the home of this elderly lady who needed her flower bed perennials torn out in preparation for winter......

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This miniature jungle was my project....

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  And this was my weapon.......

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I conducted war on the jungle for a couple of hours until it looked like this. She was happy because the flower beds were all ready for the new perennials to come in, in the spring. The rest of the crew worked in other flower beds around her home.

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Ellendale is a small farming community, not unlike Postville Iowa, Melrose Minnesota, Stockton Illinois, or Spooner Wisconsin. (all familiar to my family)  Farming has become so much more mechanized and efficient that it takes fewer people for the same amount of land to produce ever-increasing amounts of food. It's all good. But the population of these towns is steadily declining......

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These Plucky little towns have found ways to prosper and thrive anyway. Postville lost it’s hospital, Spooner no longer has a new car dealership. But life goes on, and it's peaceful and quiet,

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    ………… and a great place to raise kids!

Uncle Hans

Now you can go back to the beginning of the story and catch up on what you've missed so far including all the pictures. Just click on the links.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Game Day

By Uncle Hans

Saturday brings another game day. Summer is over and football is a fall sport. It is cool and rainy today. So this is the uniform for a cool, fall home game. The turtle neck is a little dorky, but I don't have the proper Under Armour gear........

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We started our preparations with a 9:15 team breakfast, followed by meetings and a warm-up and short practice on the field. By kick off at 1 p.m., the sun had come out and it was a little warmer.

     As underdogs, we started with something I had never seen before......... an opening kickoff onside kick. It was a good idea and it almost worked. The ball took a couple of evil hops and then jumped into the arms of the opponent before we could capture it.

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Our luck wasn't much better the rest of the day. We ended up losing 61-0 to a school from Arkansas. Our punter got a workout. He usually kicks barefoot, but is wearing a shoe because he's kicking with a fairly severe turf toe injury. Several guys are playing in spite of injury because there is no one to replace them.

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These are the opponents buses.......

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These are our buses.

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I know I have used this excuse before, but this is the reality. Someone pointed out that no college team with 24 players has ever won a game in history as a way to push us to break that all time record.

      You might ask why the school even persists?  As I have partially explained before on the blog, this is a highly unusual year. We signed a new coach in the spring, after the recruiting season was done and we captured only 6 freshman. Because of the coaching uncertainty, about half the experienced players decided not to return. But the coach is capable and experienced and recruiting already looks good for next year.

      And we are not just trying to make it through this year. We attack each week, fervently hoping to get that victory and set an all time record!

Uncle Hans

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Team Lift

By Uncle Hans

Every Monday and Thursday we have what is called "team lift".........at 0630. This is the Whiteboard that has the assignment for the day. Each of these scribbled abbreviations represents some form of weightlifting torture and how many times you are supposed to repeat each torture. You pick a station and do it in the allotted time. Then you move to the next station. There is a 5 - 7 minute stretching warm-up before and a 5 minute cool down stretching afterward. None of this is designed with the 65 year old couch potato in mind. The left hand side is a modification for people who have an upper-body injury.

     The sadist who makes this up often leaves a little uplifting message in the upper right corner........

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The weight room is spacious and nice, but it might not work so well if there were more than 20 of us using it. One of the advantages to having such a small team, I guess.

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It's a little hard to see behind the row of treadmills, but this picture shows the "agility" station, where we are carefully taught to jump around like 14 year olds at a school dance.  The object is to touch the floor as little as possible. Like everything else in the weight room, I don't do it very well.........

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Of all the aspects of football training I think I dreaded the weight room most. But newbies are paired with experienced lifters and the guys have been good about teaching me how to lift without hurting myself. You get to select your weights and lift at your own ability. So I am dreading it less and less.

     There is one aspect of the weight room I will never come to like. It's the mirrors. They're there so you can watch your form and see if you are lifting correctly.

     When I am on the practice field I am doing everything everyone else is doing, just not as well. Same with the weight room. If I'm having a good day, I can convince myself that I am a twenty-year-old with below average athletic ability. I actually start to feel pretty good.

     But then I look in those damned mirrors and see this old man........

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Uncle Hans

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

GREEN ZEBRA

THE TOMATO MYSTERY HAS BEEN SLOVED !!!

MARY FOUND THE ORIGINAL SEED PACK……

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AFTER READING THE FINE PRINT AND A LITTLE INTERNET RESEARCH, WE FIGURED OUT THAT THE TOMATOES ARE GREEN AND GOLD WHEN THEY RIPE, ALMOST PACKER COLORS.

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AND THE PLANT IS LOADED. MARY HAS STARTED HANDING THEM OUT TO THE NEIGHBORS TO ENJOY.

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  “SUNNY & 80”

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Homecoming Game

By Uncle Hans

When I got to my locker the morning of the homecoming game, the game jersey fairy had visited during the night and there was old 65, all laid out for me. My practice jersey number is 5, which was Paul Hornung's number......

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..... by game time the crowd had grown to about 400. That is probably one of the largest crowds ever because of a coincidence that had homecoming falling on the same Saturday as the annual Apple Festival in Ellendale. The young man in the lawn chair with the blue jersey on is one of the most gifted athletes on the team. He blew out his knee on the first kickoff return of the season two weeks ago.

     His knee reconstruction surgery was yesterday. He is out for at least the season. College football remains a dangerous game.

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  ...... my number one fan was on the sidelines......

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...... once again, I had a really good place to watch the game and I moved up and down the sidelines. But my ineligibility kept me off the field, like usual. This game was a lot closer than the last and I probably would not have played today. But everyone else did.

      We were leading until the third quarter was almost over. We ended up losing 15 to 6. Almost everyone plays both offense and defense and the guys get tired in the 4th quarter. We fielded 24 eligible players today. It was a disappointment because we were fairly evenly matched with this team in spite of the fact that they were bigger than we are at almost every position and they had 60 guys to sub in.

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Uncle Hans

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