Monday, August 12, 2019

Another Week in SoCal

Tuesday-Monday, August 6-12, 2019

A busy week for a huge home improvement project to be sure!

We were getting a new roof put on Casa Contreras after fighting drips and leaks, off and on, for the last few years with frequent patch jobs.

The morning of Day #1

Our old roof was over 30 years old and truly on its last legs.

 The evening of Day #1

Off with the old shingles and adding a new plywood, insulated base today.

 The evening of Day #2

More plywood work was the order of the day.

The new shingles arrived today

The smart way to get
the new shingles on the roof

The evening of Day #3

We were now poised for a long, 12 hour Day #4 to finish the job.

The evening of Day#4
A beautiful new roof . . .

. . . and a new round of monthly payments for the next few years!

We dropped by Rio Mesa H.S.
with young Mary

She had a ball with Laurena Guizar who is R.M.H.S.'s Cheerleader Advisor.

Laurena was putting her girls through their paces while Mary dreamed about joining them someday.

After leaving Rio Mesa and saying goodbye to Mary, Jacob and Michael, I headed across town to watch a football practice.

7-on-7 Drills at Camarillo H.S.

Team Period

Outside Zone

These Scorpions are looking to have another great season.

Thanks to Camarillo H.S. Head Coach Jack Willard for allowing me to watch his team's practice.

Saturday in Long Beach for some
Vintage 1886 Rules Baseball

All of the uniforms, bats and gloves are 1886 era replicas.

A Vintage Scoreboard

 Jacob is the Redondo Beach
Wharf Rats mascot

Wharf Ratrs' Third Baseman
Michael "Suitcase" Contreras
with the mascot

Jacob is holding a period correct fielders glove in his right hand.

In 1886 is was still legal to have
a left handed third baseman

It's hard to play the "Hot Corner" with that flimsy glove.

Michael at the plate

Michael attempting to "sprint"
to first base

He drove the ball down the left field line for a single on this at bat.

 Our one and only umpire,
also period correct in his clothing

 Jacob and his friend Hudson
losing interest in the National Pastime

Hudson is the son of another Wharf Rat.

The Wharf Rat pitcher did well today 

The cloudy end of Michael's
pop-up slide to score a run on
a wild pitch

 After the game we celebrated
winning today's Silver Medal
with a late lunch at Fuddruckers

A tasty hamburger indeed!

Meanwhile, back on the Euroipean American Football front . . .

A big Flag Football tournament 
starts at the end of the month

The Italian Women's National Team
includes Skorpion Marta Mengo!

Marta is #17, third from the left, in the front row with the headband.


Our Skorpion LB will join our
Europe Warriors in November


 Niklas will be a Running Back
for the Warriors as well

He plays for Germany's Magdeburg Virgin Guards.

Virgin Guards?

Reading Is FUNdamental!

Another good read in Walker's
Bruno, Chief of Police series

Lots of French food and wine in this one as usual combined with local history and intrigue.

A really interesting read about the USFL

The fact that Donald J. Trump, The Leader of the Free World, was an owner in this league and comes off as a complete lying jackass over 35 years ago, imagine that, just added to my enjoyment off this fun read.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Kevin's 8th Birthday in Las Vegas

July 30 - August 5, 2019

It wasn't hot enough for us in Camarillo so we opted to head to toasty Las Vegas and it's triple digit temperatures to celebrate our grandson Kevin's 8th birthday.

Not counting for any food/restroom stops along the way, it is about a five hour drive from our home in Camarillo to Andy, Jenn and Kevin's in Las Vegas.

This GREAT hole-in-the-wall
diner is located in Victorville, CA

It is ideally situated two and a half hours into our trip and serves wonderful breakfasts and burgers. We make it a culinary point to dine here every time we head out to Las Vegas.

I ordered their signature Brian Burger and was not disappointed.

Plus, it's a Historical Point of Interest

 The view from our counter seats
awaiting our food

Fully sated once again, we were off to finish our relatively easy drive into the desert.

We decided to make a rare trip into the famed Las Vegas Strip to see one of Sin City's newest sights.

No, not her

Not this place either


Laurie and her love of Prosecco

She is big on Bellini too

Gelato prices in Eataly Las Vegas

We're not in Varese any longer, for $4.90 we could purchase at least two and probably three small cones at most gelaterias in Lombardia.

 We ate lunch here

We had a solid Margherita pizza here for a mere $21, OUCH!

This same pizza would cost about $4.50 in Italy.

A macchiato sounded good
but we would have had to
exchange Kevin for the cost
of two of them

 No argument here

Actually, I'm not sure that
any of our servers were Italian
but I liked the sentiment

Private Eye Kevin

"Hey Grandpa George, let's
play corn hole in 108°F heat!"

As it turns out, both of our
grandsons have proved themselves
to be great at this game!

 There she was again as we
were leaving expensive Eataly

 We made one final stop at
the Vegas Golden Knights
Team Store

The Golden Knights are Las Vegas' highly successful NHL team.

Kevin and Chance

Chance, a Gila monster, is the Golden Knights' mascot.

We all liked this
Golden Knights totem pole

 THE Golden Knight

New York, New York skyline
in Las Vegas

 The new home of the NFL's soon to move
Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are set to move into this state-of-the-art facility for the 2020 season.

To meet the 2020 season deadline
this facility will continue to be
working full bore

As of the moment the stadium construction continues to be on time.

Finally, it was Saturday, August 3rd, Kevin's 8th birthday!

Morning birthday pancakes
from McDonalds

What more can an eight year old want?

Well, playing volleyball
with his birthday party
balloons for one thing

 Saw this at the local Hobby Lobby
while Kevin was at his piano lesson

Sounds easy to me.

Finally, it was time too . . .

. . . PARTY!

After swimming, it was time too . . .

. . . share birthday cupcakes and . . .

. . . singKevin a Happy Birthday!


Time to open the presents

 I think he liked this one

 Happy Boy!

Getting ready for bed
after a full day

Sunday was a sobering day as news of shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio reminded us that America is definitely not great again.

When Laurie and I went out to do some shopping on Sunday morning, we saw this sign . . .

About 200 yards behind this
Gun Show sign is Sierra Vista H.S.


Good bye Kevin, see you soon!

As always, it was a GREAT weekend with our Las Vegas family!

Meanwhile, back in the world of EuroBall . . .

Our Varese Skorpions Center
is now officially a Europe Warrior

Congratulations Capo!

The Warriors U18 team will play the Austrian National U18 team in November in Vienna.

I will be working on the Warriors staff as the Special Teams coach.

The U19 European Championship
Tournament continued this
week in Bologna, Italy

On Monday, Team Italy had lost to Team Denmark 17-6 in the opening round of the eight team tournament.

Team Italy was back
at it on Thursday

Now in the Consolation Bracket, they faced Team Spain who had been routed by the tournament's odds on favorites, Team Austria, by a final score of 61-7.

Some photos of Varese Skorpions in their final two tournament games ensue.

#12 WR Matteo Mozzanica

 #45 OLB Pietro Migliori

#49 Alessandro Brovelli is open . . .

. . . and makes the grab

Mozzanica at it again

Stay, on your feet Pietro!

Team Spain wins in an upset

Team Italy fans were not happy as our blue team dropped to 0-2 in the tournament.

 Team Italy was relegated to playing
in the 7th-8th place game on Sunday

 It would be Italy vs. Norway

Italy in White

#49 Alessandro Brovelli was the only
photogenic Skorpion in the
Norway game for some unknown reason

Go Brovo GO!

He looks powerful here

Breaking an arm tackle

Brovo easily had the best tournament
of any of the Skorpions

Team Italy finally won a game

All tournament results
can be found here

It was a rugged week for all eight teams as each team had to play games on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.

As for the 2019 U19 European Tournament Champions, it was . . .


While it is granted that some of Austria's older players cannot play in our U18 game in November, the Europe Warriors U18 squad will still be facing a tough Austrian team to be sure.

The Austrian U19 team swept through this tournament in cavalier fashion ripping off three easy wins.

The Austrian U19 tournament results were:
Austria 61 - Spain 7
Austria 45 - Denmark 6
Austria 28 - Sweden 0

An aggregate sore of 134-13, impressive.

Reading Is FUNdamental!

Of the 19 Donna Leon books that
I have read over the years,
this was my favorite

Thank you Judy Warner for advising me years ago to start reading her Guido Brunetti series of books.