Coach Marx vs. Coach Smith

2nd Place, Good Job Girls!

2nd Place, Good Job Girls!

The Economic Philosophy of Basketball: What’s more important? Letting everyone play or winning? Capitalism encourages competition and promotes the good of the individual over the good of the whole. Socialism values the good of the whole over the good of the individual. But often what’s best for the whole and the individual are the same.

Coach Hollow laying down the law

Coach Hollow laying down the law

Sportsmanship: Last November Ava wanted to play basketball, but Sno-King Sports had no coach. I put my name in, and Grace’s friend’s dad (coach Hollow) also volunteered. Ava and others had never played and lacked Basketball IQ. No surprise. Thus three goals: 1) fun 2) learn the game 3) sportsmanship. Winning did not seem as important. We first battled the Purple Flames, went down 14-2 at half (See Female Superiority, Girls Basketball Style) on the way to a loss. We then beat the hapless Fireworks, and preceded to get clobbered, 29-6, by the Killers.

Hornets 10-24 Purple Flames  Loss
Hornets 22-10 Fireworks  Win
Hornets 6-29 Killers 29  Loss
Hornets 26-10 Purple Flames  Win
Hornets 22-8 Fireworks  Win
Hornets 17-15 Killers  Win
Hornets 24-10 Purple Flames  Win
Hornets 16-9 Fireworks  Win
Playoffs
Hornets 20-18 Purple Flames  Win
Hornets 20-25 Killers  Loss
Final: 7-3 2nd Place

Ferry to Whidbey

Ferry to Whidbey

Coach Marx:  How can every girl have equal fun? Sitting on the bench is not fun. Neither is losing.

“From each according to her ability, to each according to her need.” – Karl Marx:  The rules state every girl must play one full quarter and sit one full quarter. To play the stronger girls three quarters and weaker girls one would increase chances of winning. But this Catch-22 would hurt the weaker girls, who need playing time to improve. In the same vein, girls with poor ball handling skills need to handle the ball to improve.

Happy Birthday Kaya!

Happy Birthday Kaya!

Coach Smith:  Losing to the Killers, down 22-2 going into the fourth quarter, was not so fun. The Killers had not lost in three years, and their girls had mostly played together. On our team, we had a few “walking turnovers,” and went long stretches without a shot. This had to change. As fun as socialism might be, it was no fun losing 29-6, especially when our girls could compete. The good of the whole had been compromised.

Aunt Min and cousins arrive

Aunt Min and cousins arrive

“No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” – Adam Smith:  Letting everyone play and handle the ball equally led to the suffering of the team. No more Mr. Nice Coach. Coach Hollow and I changed tactics. All girls had great attitudes, but some had more aggressiveness and skills. They would get more responsibility. We beat the Purple Hornets, beat the Fireworks, and every girl played at least two quarters, a happy marriage of capitalism and socialism.

Then we played the Killers. Team defense and stronger girls handling and shooting the ball gave us a chance to win in the fourth quarter. With three minutes to go in a close game, though, for the first time, we substituted girls who had not played two complete quarters. And we won, 17-15.

Cousins Orion, Damien, Satori

Cousins Orion, Damien, Satori

Socialism for practice. Capitalism for the game:  We continued our philosophy, adding winning as a goal. If you try your best and lose, this cannot be helped, and you can still learn. But losing without maximum effort is neither fun nor productive. In practice all girls got equal attention, not only that, but the weaker girls got extra attention.

The Championship:  In the final game the Killers did not underestimate us, and won, 25-20. But our girls did their best. The lessons:  Sports combines fairness, competition, and character; looking out for teammates, effort, improvement, and trying to win. Socialism and capitalism do not have to be at antipodes, for the good of the whole and the individual combines sharing and competition.

Sister/Aunt Min Cousins/Nephews/Niece arrive for a week before returning to Hawaii:

Orion & Ava - 9, Damien & Gia - 7, Kaya & Satori - 5

Cousins:  Orion & Ava – 9, Damien & Gia – 7, Kaya & Satori – 5

 

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The Sexist Seahawk Fan Celebrates

Little Hawk Fans

Little Hawk Fans

Pre-Game

Pre-Game

My wife even becomes fan for a day

My wife even becomes fan for a day

Seahawks vs. Broncos:  The Powell family hosted the Superbowl party. Friends Mark & Kim, Marc Lui, and Ben & Amy brought their kids, and the game was on, even fair weather fans like my wife got the fever. But the most exciting thing for our girls was halftime, they kept saying, “When are we going to see the Hot Peppers?”

Gia on Pop

Gia on Pop

Tracy Poses - Game Over

Tracy Poses – Game Over

The Vegas Line:  At kickoff Vegas had the Broncos winning by 2 1/2. That changed on the first snap of the game, and by the end of the first quarter I was trying to get $10 at 10-1 odds, $100 if the Seahawaks lost. No takers. I kept raising the odds. Percy Harvin’s touchdown made it 100-1, $1,000 if the Broncos won. Later the odds rose to $10 for our house.

GAME OVER!

GAME OVER!

My Unfriend:  In the Seahawks precursor, the real Superbowl, the Hawks beat the San Francisco 49ers, 23-17. Local writer Robert Dugoni posted disgust on Facebook, saying that Seahawk fans should “be embarrassed.” Sore winner that I am, I posted “ha ha ha” and he unfriended me: Robert “49er” Dugoni vs. Caleb “Seahawk” Powell. Double Ha! Seahawks 43 Broncos 8. Triple Ha! Harbaugh’s self-imploding in San Fran:  Tension between Harbaugh and front office .

February Snow

February Snow

Fans are nuts:  Now, I like the Hawks, but it’s a game. I’d never whine and then unfriend a guy who calls out my whining. What makes fans go nuts, as they did in Vancouver after the Canuck Choke, or in Honduras and El Salvador’s Soccer War, is beyond me. The Seahawks Parade didn’t interest me, but my daughters, oddly, wanted to brave 20 degree weather. Ugh. I think they thought they’d get out of school, which they did as Aunt Tracy and Uncle Sanjay took them. Gia and Ava froze their little hineys off.

Kaya attacking Ben

Kaya attacking Ben

Dad & Daughters

Dad & Daughters

Daddy/Daughter Dancing:  What could be better than a Daddy Daughter Dance? Especially when my man Ben “How you Been Ben?” Yenter joined.

Dad & Daughters

Dad & Daughters

Happy 9th! 爱花!祝你生日快乐!

Happy 9th! 爱花!祝你生日快乐!

Finally, Happy 9th to Ava:  What a month. Ava turned nine, now if we could just get her to stop sucking her hair all the time…grrr.

Funny Picture of the Month:

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Female Superiority, Girls Basketball Style

Basketball

Basketball

Hornets

Hornets

Pass to Me!  I am coaching Ava’s Third Grade basketball team. After the first practice their concept of the game seemed to be dribble around, if you got close to the basket you shot, and when you didn’t have the ball you were supposed to cry “Pass” or “Pass to me.” Our favorite play was the “dribble until someone takes the ball or you lose it” play.

The Hornets Celebrating a Win

The Hornets Celebrating a Win

Girl-to-Girl “D”:  As far as defense, they get the gist, but it’s taken me a while to lose the habit of saying “man” as in “stay between your man and the basket.” Every time I say “man” a girl quickly corrects my sexist habit. It’s “OK, girls, stay on your girl!” And if that’s odd, why’s it man-to-man, even with boys, but not woman-to-woman?

A Bulldog & a Hornet

A Bulldog & a Hornet

Quick Learners:  However, because girls belong to the superior sex, they learn quicker and have better attitudes. We started off the season with a 24-10 loss to the Purple Flames, and the second time we played them we turned it around and won, 26-10. Sniff, sniff, I’m so proud of them.

Three Little Indians

Three Little Indians on a Sunny January Day

The “I’m sick” schtick:  Universal conundrum in the vein of “crying wolf.” Gia (a Bulldog basketballer) has been using the “I’m sick” schtick lately. Kaya’s learning, too. As soon as they have to do chores, homework, take long rides, or wake up in the morning, they don’t feel too good. Play dates with friends, though, guarantee a quick recovery.

Two Winter Contrasts:  The girls on the sled and the girls on the deck happened weeks apart. It was about 40 degrees on the deck, though.

Neighbor Jake and the Girls

Neighbor Jake and the Girls

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The Sexist Stay-at-home Santa

圣诞快乐!The Sexist Stay-at-home Santa Clause

圣诞快乐!The Sexist Stay-at-home Santa Clause

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Going to another Xmas party

Indian Dress

Indian Dress

Santa Dad:  Kaya’s Chinese pre-school needed a Santa who could speak a little Chinese and looked the part. Not that I look like Mr. Claus, but 圣诞节快乐!小朋友今年你怪不怪? 哎呀!在一个火车玩具?

Gia the Outstanding Orca

Gia the Outstanding Orca

Christmas with the in-laws

Christmas with the in-laws

Underwear Underwhere? Underwear by definition are clothes worn underneath. They cannot be inside out. Half the time I put them on my wife says, “Caleb, you put your underwear on backwards.”

Method to the ol’ Madness:  In my world, putting underwear on “backwards” spreads the wear and tear. But no matter how I explain, my wife just doesn’t buy it.

An Xmas card unused

An Xmas card unused

Kaya and Santa Dad

Kaya and Santa Dad

Joke of the month:  What happened when the melon tried to run away with the pineapple to get married?

Answer:  He discovered that he cantaloupe.

Book/Film: And on a final note, the Sexist Stay-at-home Santa/Father has a forthcoming book/film. Actor/director/writer James Franco, this December, shot I Think You’re Totally Wrong:

I Think You're Totally Wrong

I Think You’re Totally Wrong

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The Cake Walk Dictator

Halloween

Halloween

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

The Cake Walk:  For those who have never heard of the “Cake Walk,” it’s a children’s game played at Halloween and Harvest festivals similar to musical chairs, but with no chairs and numbers taped to the floor. There are an equal number of kids and numbers. The music plays and the kids circle. When the music stops the kids scramble to stand on a number, the emcee draws, and the kid standing on the number drawn wins a cake.

Lil' Cakewalkers

Lil’ Cakewalkers

The Cake Walk Dictator:  Enter my man Matt “I Moustache You a Question” Setter, who recently posted on Facebook about his Cake Walk emcee gig and how his “morals were severely compromised” because instead of reading the winning number he read the number of the “child in tears” or the child with the “best attitude.”

That’s right. Matt took the moral high road and decided to do what he thought was best for humanity. The question:  Is our world a better place?

San-Jay's B-Day Arrogant Bastard Ale

San-Jay’s B-Day Arrogant Bastard Ale

Tears? Best Attitude?  Alright, it’s a trivial act, but as I watched Matt “Chairman Mao” Setter receive oodles of likes from adults on Facebook I wondered about the merits of social engineering. Should crying or best attitudes get the cake? There’s a case to be made. But he didn’t reward from his own pocket. My homeboy Matt didn’t steal from the rich and give it to the poor, or take from the corrupt and give it to the virtuous, he took from the winner and gave it to the loser.

Soccer!

Soccer!

Is this how we want to act as adults? Matt stated a quasi “no harm no foul” argument. When I protested Matt wrote, “In the end, a few kids had a better night, a few parents didn’t have to deal with a sad kid at bed time, everyone had fun, the kids who didn’t win have no idea, all is well with the world.”

True. Though I doubt any kid or parent was saved. The net gain and loss on the kid front probably was zero. But I’m not worried about the kids, I’m worried about the adults.

Pumpkin Carvers

Pumpkin Carvers

Matt’s a great guy, good father, and his heart is in the right place. Am I a curmudgeon? Of course. Cake Walk Dictating is a metaphor for how people in authority, educators at school, politicians, bosses, etc. get the God Complex. You want your boss taking your bonus and giving it to the person he or she feels sorry for instead of the most deserving? No sir or ma’am! Am I pissed off and outraged? Of course not. I’m just making a pile of dirt out of a molehill.  The cynical takeaway? The shadow of moral ambiguity mucks up most every good deed.

Headline of the week:  Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West

Langley, Whidbey Island

Langley, Whidbey Island

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Two Whales Walk into a Bar

The Pajama Girls

The Pajama Girls

Sunflower Heads

Sunflower Heads

The Whale Joke:  I am the master of horrible jokes. I’ll throw anything out there to see the reaction, and sometimes the greatest hoots come after a flat vapid joke, ala “so bad it’s good.” And of all the bad jokes I’ve told, I’ve gotten the most mileage out of the Whale Joke. First time I heard it, I cracked up, and since that day I’ve been telling it repeatedly to any victim I can find. I told it to my future wife (boy, if there’s a joke she just loves), and when she invited me to dinner to meet her mother and stepfather, I told it again. And it’s devolved in a morass of repetition ever since.

The Pumpkin Hunters

The Pumpkin Hunters

The Edmonds Orcas:  Edmonds Elementary School takes the nickname “Orca.” Whale serendipity, if you ask me. Edmonds Elementary recently had a science fare and I took the girls to the school on a Friday night with my man Marc Lui and his daughter. We went from exhibit to exhibit, and guess what? They had a whale station with lovable grunts and squeaks and groans coming from our baleen friends. On cue, I step in and say, “Wanna hear a whale joke?” The presenter smiled as if she had a choice, and I launched into the delivery as soon as I surveyed the environs to ensure children were not present.

Indian Summer

Indian Summer

Two Whales Walk into a Bar:   First whale  says “Aruuuuuuuuh…Ooooweeweewee…waguh waguh AroooAruuuWaweee….AooooWeeeRooooaauugh…”

(Whale noises for at least a minute, and a minute’s a damn long time if you’re making whale noises. Try it.)

The presenter, a fine young lady, contained her urge to tell me to shut up, and after I tortured her sufficiently I got to the punchline.

Second Whale says, “What the *&#$ are you talking about?”

And that’s it. Marc had to leave the room because, in his words, he was laughing so much that snot was coming out of his nose. As to the presenter of the Whale Sounds station, her straight face and quizzical expression sufficed to convey “thumbs down.” At least she’s only heard it once.

Farm Girls

Farm Girls

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Football, Family, Seahawks, 49ers

Hike to Wallace Falls

Hike to Wallace Falls

Rainy September

Rainy September

Breakfast a la Gia & Ava

Breakfast a la Gia & Ava

This September we had many firsts, school, soccer and football. The Seahawks squeaked a win over Carolina and then played the rival San Francisco 49ers. My wife, though, told me she was rooting for San Fran?

San Fran? Evidently, she read an article on the 49ers QB, and in the tradition of her favorite Seattle Mariner, “Helix Fernandez,” she explained, “I like the 49ers because of that Kafenitch guy.”

Kane Hall in front of Suzallo Library

Kane Hall in front of Suzallo Library

Gia's First Day of 2nd Grade

Gia’s First Day of 2nd Grade

ESPN vs. Time: The story goes that “Kafenitch” was adopted. Earlier ESPN did an article on his birth mother, who seemed aghast at why her son wanted nothing to do with her, and the reporter agreed without deep examination. This summer Time magazine talked to Kaepernick. The facts: His adoptive parents had lost two sons to birth defects related to heart disease, raised him, and not until fame did his birth mother “appear.” Kaepernick says, “My mother is the one who raised me.”

Ava's First Day of 3rd Grade

Ava’s First Day of 3rd Grade

Seahawks Time

Seahawks Time

Kaepernick added, “What most people don’t realize is in that same conversation I was having with my mom, where I can tell she felt that she was being attacked, and she was being kind of pushed to the side…I feel like a lot of people have put the focus on my birth mother, and no one gives my mother the credit that she deserves.

nainai hua

奶奶画了吉夏

爷爷的生日

爷爷的生日

His message to birth mother: “I mean, she worked twelve-hour night shifts for thirty-something years, and she worked night shifts so she could be home to send us off to school, and be there when we got home from school. I’m very appreciative…you weren’t the one working those night shifts, you weren’t the one driving me an hour and a half, two hours on the weekends to go work with a quarterback coach for an hour or two, and driving me back. My mom has gone above and beyond for so long.”

Kaya and Cleo

Kaya and Cleo

Family & Football: My wife thought that was a standup attitude, and I’ll agree, so she roots for Kaepernick. Thing is, she couldn’t care less about football, and thinks it takes away from Sunday family time. Not true, I watched the Seahawks kick the 49ers, 29-3, with my bro-in-law and father-in-law.

Corny Joke of the Month: A bald guy walks into a store and asks for a bottle of bubbly to celebrate, the clerk says, “Sorry, we’re all out.” The bald guy says, “How about something to help me grow more hair?” The clerk says, “We don’t have that, either.” Bald guy says, “I can’t believe it, that really hurts.” Clerk says, “You know what they say, no champagne, no rogaine.”

Photo of the month: Katskhi Pillar, Georgia (European)

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