If You Give a Boy a Baseball

Baseball-0033

This year, like many before it has been full of baseball. I am a father of two wonderfully talented boys who play baseball. I am also their coach, #2 fan right behind their mother who is their #1 fan.

Recently I have seen the below story going around social media in different forms that I think is based off the popular children’s books by Laura Numeroff. If you have not shared any of these books with your children, I strongly suggest you do! This story is about giving your boy (Girl/Child) a baseball and its impact on their lives. It is so true and touching that I had to share it.

If You Give a Boy a Baseball
-Author unknown

If you give a boy a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.

You’ll buy the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want a bucket of balls and a glove and some cleats too.

When he realizes he can’t carry all these things with his own two hands, he will want a bat bag.

Then he will want to spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him even though you just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. He will insist. And his insistence will win!

When you go out in the yard to hit, pitch, throw, and catch. He will not want to go back in the house for dinner and will swear that even at dusk there is enough light to continue playing!

Next the backyard will get too small and he will want to go the baseball field to see how far he can hit and throw. Finally he learns to catch and then he wants friends to play with.

When a boy gets a jersey, he will want pants and socks and a belt and a hat to go with it! And a TEAM!!!

Then life as you know it will end! 

There will be no more lazy weekends. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible! Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling buckets, bags, stinky cleats, and crazy boys all over tarnation for practice and games. Your housewill be a mess, and your car will be dirty.

All because you gave a boy a baseball!

Your weekends will be spent freezing in the cold or burning in the hot summer sun in a lawn chair! His weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends, learning new skills, and having fun getting dirty. So dirty you will learn a whole new way to do laundry! Like going to the car wash using a pressure washer!

You will be there the day he has his first strikeout, double play and hits his first home run! And he will make you so proud. The other parents will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it’s not you at bat or on the mound. It’s all him . . . He did this.

His smile will grow bigger and bigger! And each year that he plays with that baseball, he will get better and better. And his love for the game, and confidence in himself will grow right along with his jersey size!

Right before your eyes, your little boy will be transformed from the baby who spun around with his head on the bat, (because he loves attention), into a pitcher. Because he still loves attention.

Then he might try to be a catcher, outfielder or infielder because baseball teaches him he can be anything he wants!

When you give a boy a baseball, you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits, and bravery, and courage and life, and memories. He will have all of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball.

Because you gave a boy a baseball, you too will develop new/lifelong friendships, developed solely from the same passion for the game and love of your team. You will cheer together, all because you gave a boy a baseball.

Then one day, many years from today . . . he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty bat bag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget! Then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything YOU gave up along the way . . . was worth it!

All because you gave a boy a baseball!

Alexa, Where Is Santa?

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That’s right, NORAD and Amazon have teamed up to provide Alexa integration with the NORAD Santa Tracker. All you need to do is ask Alexa, “Where is Santa?” on your Amazon Echo Device(s) and it will request that you accept notifications in your Alexa app on your phone. Once done, you can ask Alexa where the jolly old elf is and it will give you the exact location and offer up some very interesting facts that kids and adults will like. Alexa will even sing you some Christmas songs.

Give it a try this Christmas Eve and enjoy!

Mailing a Lost Wallet-Did You Know?

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Chalk this up to one of the many things I didn’t know (#BradDidntKnow), and I bet you didn’t either! Ever lose your wallet or find one laying out in a public place? Good news, people are more honest than you probably perceive as is evident in this scientific video from YouTube scientist Mark Rober where he dropped 200 wallets in various large and small cities throughout North America.

But . . .

Did you know if you find a wallet that you can drop a wallet in any United States postal box and they will deliver it to the stated address on the ID in the wallet? Now you do. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Stuck on “Mars”

habitat

patchIt seems fairly certain that if not in my lifetime, in my children’s lifetime there will be humans on Mars. NASA and the University of Hawai’i have teamed-up for the past several years and have sent small groups of people to a white dome on the top of a volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i to simulate living together in a small space for a long period of time. The program is called HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). As of me writing this blog post, there have been six missions simulating the space simulation.

What sparked my interest in this project is a podcast documentary called “The Habitat” that just came out chronicling the one-year Mission IV of HI-SEAS which was completed in August of Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 4.05.26 PM2016. The podcast uses audio diaries sent to the team at Gimlet Media to tell the story of the six “astronauts” over seven episodes that are each around a half-hour in length. I highly recommend you listen to this if you are at all interested in human space exploration. Each episode chronicles a new aspect of the crew and may make you think how difficult it could be sending humans million’s of miles away to the red planet.

The podcast is available on iTunes and your other favorite podcasting apps. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Better yet, tell me if you would like to try this or would you ever consider going to Mars?

 

Unnoticed Design-Gas

Good design should be simple and intentional. Many times, however, it goes unnoticed. For example, the always there, but yet unseen gas gauge that is in every car and truck made today. Look closer though, I am talking about the icon for the gauge.
If I were to show almost anyone other than a young child where that icon is from, they would most likely say it is from a car of some type.

Fuel gauge

Now here is a question. Which side of the car is a Volkswagon Passat’ gas cap to fill up the car? Left or right? Have you ever driven someone else’s car or a rental and you drive up to the filling station and you realize you are on the wrong side? Why do I ask? Well like I said above, sometimes good design goes unnoticed. Get into your car and look closer at the gas symbol, notice anything else? An arrow? Yes, the often unnoticed arrow that is intentionally there to do one thing—tell you which side of the car your gas cap is on.

Simple, intentional and often unnoticed.

And now you know!

Blossom

Mom

“Blossom”

Taking pictures at the zoo is a great exercise. With hundreds or even thousands of animals, there are always moments to be captured.

Yesterday was a beautiful March day, so we as a family ventured to the Milwaukee County Zoo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As we always do, we visited the Ape exhibit where they have several lowland gorillas on display.

Today was a special day as I caught a special moment with Baby Zahra sleeping on her mom, Naku. Six-month-old Zahra (Swahili for Blossom) was born September 9, 2017.

See my other zoo post from 2012 titled “Mandrill”, also from the ape exhibit.

Ice Planet

 

Muskego Lake, Muskego, WI in Winter

Muskego Lake, Muskego, WI | February 22, 2018

The world looks so different from up in the air. This was taken during my arrival into Milwaukee, WI. This is a Muskego Lake in Muskego, WI. I love the textures on the ice—it looks as though it is of another world.