Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Game Day Preparations

Wednesday, 29 April, 2015:

The preparation for our Serie B Wild Card playoff game against the 3-5 Las Rozas Black Demons continued today on three fronts.

Of course, there was more video study of their games and we had practice in the evening, but first up was a trip to the Makro.

The Makro is a Costco-like store that Roberto uses to buy all of the necessary items for his wife Imma to run our snack shack at the game.

Laurie and I went with him to help carry the goods and to buy a few articles for use at La Hacienda.

Sweet ride in the Makro parking lot

Goleta wine a California memory

For my Spanish friends, Goleta is a city about one hour north of our home in California.

Makro sells Cuban beers

Tempting, but we passed.

And Russian beer to it seems


Steven Stroh was a good lineman
for us at Rio Mesa H.S.

The contents of this bottle is 160 proof!!!

We passed.

Cidra from Asturias

We were all in on this.

Laurie next to Jamon Iberico
Each weighs about 8.5 to 9 kilos

After taxes, 429 Euros for
8.5 to 9 kilos of the delicious ham

We definitely passed.

Traditional Spanish Men's

Roberto says that people in Spain say that it smells like their grandfathers because it was THE aftershave in España back in the day.

Roberto opened a bottle and gave me a whiff.

Roberto was correct, it smelled exactly like my Spanish grandfather Evaristo!

As at Costco, at the Makro you go find discarded shipping boxes to pack your purchases for the trip home.

I found these two for our new foodstuffs

Good times although we didn't buy any Havana Club.

At about 1:30 p.m., the plumber called my cell phone asking when we would be home to work on our broken toilet. He was incredulous when I told him that I had cancelled his visit via a phone call to his secretary at 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

Practice tonight was again held at a good natural grass surface near Orihuela about a 20-30 minute drive from Murcia.

 Two of our most senior Seniors

RT Tomás, left, and DE/LB/FS Brady, right, are seen here talking over tonight's practice plan. 

Tomás, 38 years old, is our oldest Cobra. Brady is our fourth oldest player, checking in at a beatific 33 years of age.

Kids warming up

DT/OG/K Alberto, left, is 20 years old and OG Fernando, right, is  only 18 and played on this season's Spanish National Junior that played a game against their Italian counterp[arts a few weeks ago.

More Cobras arriving


We had our second good practice of the week with energies still running high.

Saturday's Game Day weather prediction is a simple one . . . 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Waiting for the Plumber

Tuesday, 28 April, 2015:

On Sunday night La Hacienda's toilet suddenly and without warning stopped functioning as water did not refill the bowl after flushing.

We were able to talk with the company that owns our apartment building on Monday and they said that they would send out a plumber today to take care of the problem.

Thus we were stuck at home waiting for the plumber to arrive at, as is usual in the USA too, an unknown time.

At 9:30 a.m., I left Laurie alone on "Plumber Watch 2015" while I accompanied Roberto to our usual home field, El Campo de los Sueños, to move several game day needed items to the Campo Barnes where we will play our Wild Card playoff game this Saturday.

Roberto gave us a sack full of all sorts of verduras straight from La Huerta. We greatly appreciated all of the fruits and vegetables that he gave us!

El Campo de los Sueños
Our home field in the regular season

Campo Barnes
Our home field in the playoffs

This will be a BIG difference for us as we are not used to playing in Murcia on any surface that is remotely green.

Roberto surveying Campo Barnes

He too was concerned about Campo Barnes being too green for the Cobras.

No shade but the fans will be
on top of the action to be sure

I think that we will be able to adapt to our new surroundings just fine.

When we returned to La Hacienda, Roberto came up to check out the toilet since the plumber had still not arrived. He tried but to no avail. After parting ways, we continued our vigil but still no plumber.

About an hour after Roberto left, Laurie used our facilities and out of habit flushed when she was done.

Voilà, magically, the toilet worked again! Whatever Roberto did worked on a time delayed basis apparently.

We made six calls throughout the afternoon to the company that trouble shoots our building but I got no responses and they did not have a message machine to record our no longer needing their services. I left a text message as my last resort.

Finally, at 5:03 p.m., I got a call from the company saying that the plumber was on his way. After much discussion the lady on the phone finally said she would try to recall him, explaining that she was not at her phone during siesta time and that our canceling was disruptive to their schedule.

As if sitting in La Hacienda awaiting a plumber from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. is not disruptive to our routine.

El Paseo

Now that we had finally gained our complete freedom from the plumber and since the heat was starting to die down, we decided to walk into la ciudad for a tapas based dinner.

This was the first time we had even talked about eating since being afflicted by last Sunday's food coma that hit us after the BBQ at Finca Los Clementes.

Lots of folks were out enjoying
the dropping temperatures

I just like the nickname Paco

We were a bit moderate in our mini tapas crawl only stopping at two tapas bars but the marineras, fraskitas, albondigas and adult beverages were excellent!

Just another day in paradise. 

Game Prep Monday

Monday, 27, April, 2015:

Most of Monday was spent looking at more video of this coming Saturday's opponents, the Las Rozas Black Demons, who hale from the greater Madrid megalopolis.

Saturday's game is a Wild Card game between the Impar Conference's #3 team, the 3-5 Black Demons, and the Par Conference's #2 team, the 4-4 Murcia Cobras.

The winner of this game will travel in two weeks to play the Impar Conference's #1 team, the 8-0 Barberà Rookies who have a bye this week.

Thus, today's video work centered on determining the Black Demons' strengths and tendencies, plus coming up with a much better game plan than what I prepared for in our last game against the Barcelona Búfals.

In the late afternoon, Laurie coerced me into visiting the new frozen yogurt store that just opened about a three minute walk from La Hacienda.

The tiramisu yogurt was muy bueno, acho!

It was a sunny day in the barrio

In an effort to change things up and to practice on better fields, our practices this week have been moved to new venues.

Thanks to the efforts of strong team supporters Jesus and Elvi, we were able to secure a natural turf field near their hometown of Orihuela.

I think that they call
this green stuff GRASS!

 SI, it was indeed grass,
España . . . WHAT A COUNTRY!

This field was located about a 30 minute drive from the University of Murcia where we met to carpool to this marvelous site.

We got onto a backroad on the way with potholes big enough to have stalled Franco's Tank Corps for weeks in any Huertan Campaign he may have planned back in '38.

We had a good turnout at a very spirited practice. Just what a coach wants leading into the playoffs.

We will be back at this practice site on Wednesday night and hope that we can repeat the effort.

Go Cobras GO!!!

Cobras Team Building BBQ

Sunday, April 26, 2015:

Cobras' stellar QB Angel Clemente had a great idea for this weekend before the start of the 2015 Serie B playoffs, a team building/re-affirmation get together of the Cobras.

All agreed that food should be
a central part of the gathering

Well, actually, at least I thought it should be.

Angel most heartily agreed.

But where to hold such a gathering for the entire Cobras Nation?

 A spot out in the mountains of
Murcia would be perfect

But where exactly?

 Of course!

The Clemente family's ancestral country home on land co-owned by Angel's family and his uncles and their families.

One of the Angel and Jesus' uncles homes
as you enter the Finca Los Clementes
The spread grew as the day progressed

Make your own Marineras

 One of about 20 Marineras
that Laurie and I shared

DAMN they were good!!!

 Angel and Jesus' Dad, Jesus

The hardest working man in the Spanish BBQ business.

The food just kept on coming
and it was all GREAT!!!

Jesus, Jesus, me, Oscar, Angel and
"El Pulpero"

El Pulpero is Jesus and Angel's uncle on his Mother's side and is famous for the way he lovingly prepares pulp, but that is for another time.

We had a lot of laughs around the BBQ pit on this fine day.

Me, Rosa and Oscar

Mi familia Murciana menos Tala.

Casta, Mariano and a former Cobra

I did not catch his name but he promised to be at the Wild Card Playoff game next Saturday.

 WR Esteve and OL Kike

Showing the love, Cobra style.

 RT Tomás

GREAT, hard working guy.

RB Omar and DE Angel Bejerano

Omar worries me a bit at times.

 Christina and Alejandro Sotomayor

Soto is the Cobras LT, DE and passionate President of the team.

 Rafa on the left with his mujer

On the right is another former Cobra and his mujer, again names unknown, who will all be at the game next Saturday.

 Micas and Jesus

Good people. How I wish that they were both still playing.

 Manu, Angel, Kiki and Kiki's brother

You know, you can have a lot of fun on a Sunday afternoon with these guys.

Kiki's Dad, Jesus and me

 Jesus and George

Of course, these are assumed names as we are both wanted by Interpol.

 Onions for another day

 Catalina and Laurie

Catalina's motto: "Have Camera, Will Travel"

Near Finca Los Clementes

Laurie, Incarna, me and Jesus

Angel and Jesus' parents are simply wonderful people and great hosts.

1-2-3 COBRAS!!!

Once back at La Hacienda,
we saw this gigantic rainbow

When our season is over and we return to California, this day will be one of the highlights of our wonderful time spent in Murcia with our beloved Cobras.

Reading Is FUNdamental

A great read, but I think that Grisham should really stick with his sport related books like Playing for Pizza and Bleachers.

I doubt that his books about law cases will ever draw much attention.

I could be wrong.