Sunday, February 28, 2021

Another Week, Another Blogpost

Sun.-Sun., February 21-28, 2021

This was a GREAT week to be a Poppo and a fan of Spain's Serie B and Serie C American football.

Let's start with the Poppo related fun . . .

Mary discovered that it is
NEVER too early to prepare
for St. Patrick's Day

Her emerald green hat also
serves as an interesting
transportation means for
some of her toys

During the week, Jacob asked if there were any chores he could do to earn some money.

I told him, "Well, I needed a haircut and a beard trim."

Thus began another Jacob/Poppo adventure . . .

I mean, what could go wrong
given my head of hair?

The beard trim was a bit trickier

Jacob "The Barber" Contreras

After school one day, we set
up a playdate with Jacob's 
classmate Logan and Logan's
brother Hunter

They had a GREAT time with masks
on at all times

Spanish Football Weekend

In Serie C our beloved Guadalajara
Stings were taking on the always
dangerous Torrelavega Berserkers

A socially distanced Stings
team photo

The Stings won 25-7 to take sole
possession of first place in the
Serie C Conferencia FEFA

In the all important team nick name wars, I think that it would be hard for any league, anywhere to beat Conferencia FEFA's combination of Stings, Mercenarios, Helldogs and Berserkers.

There is always one anti-masker
in the crowd

In Serie C's Conferencia LCFA
the Terrassa Reds are the team to beat

The Pioners L'Hospitalet won again
after a rocky start

The Pioners are located in the greater Barcelona megalopolis and play in Spain's Serie B.

I'm helping Head Coach Bart Iaccarino's coaching staff by breaking down their offensive line's practice videos and doing an in-depth video analysis in all phases of their games.

The game analysis has been an interesting change of pace for me that I have found quite interesting.

Are the Pioners and Cavaliers headed
to a National Championship Game showdown?

The Barcelona Gladiators of the
new EFL made a good hire

I could not have said it better!

Coach Semones was the Head Coach at Occidental College in Los Angeles and was always gracious in allowing me to talk to his Seniors about extending their careers in EuroBall.

I'm happy to see him extending his career overseas with GM Bart Iaccarino's new club that will compete this Summer in the highly anticipated European League of Football against teams from Germany and Poland.

By adding the Europe Warriors all-star team's GM/HC/OL coaching duties to Bart's resumé, you see why he is easily one of the most respected and influential people in the EuroBall scene.

Reading Is FUNdamental!

If you love Italy in general and
the Italian language in particular,
then this is the book for you.

And I do.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

A Week of Promise in Our Shared Pandemic Story

Mon.-Sat., February 15-20, 2021

Great news to start our latest pandemic week . . .

Laurie, in the lower right corner, got her
first shot of the Coronavirus vaccine!

She got the Moderna version in Oxnard on Monday and now has to wait four weeks before getting her second dose. It only took her five minutes from the time we got to the vaccination site until she had her shot.

Two days before her I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and only have to wait three weeks for my next shot.

As the experts say, don't worry about which company's vaccine is available to you, just get it done!

This problem is still centermost
in my lifestyle

Next Wednesday will be the one year anniversary of the start of our collective national anti-Covid-19 lockdown in Italy.

I read an article that this past year of being mostly locked down with a spouse or a partner has stressed that relationship the way five normal years would.

Well, at least we are both still alive.

No school for the little ones this week was the Pleasant Valley School district enjoyed what they call their Ski Week Vacation.

We enjoyed having Mary with us
as both Vanessa and Mike's school
districts. do not have Ski Week Vacations

Some time at a local park is
always fun!

Mary is a bit on the rough and
tumble side of things

Sunday night we both fell in love
with CNN's new Italian food show

The first episode took us to the area in and about that wonderful city of organized chaos, Naples.

We'll be in Rome for episode two this Sunday.

Hey, Stanley Tucci wrote a cookbook

I went to our local bookshop, The Bookworm, to see if they had a copy.

They said that it had been published in 2012 and was now out of print. The lady who runs the shop got on-line and found a hard back copy on sale for only $450 USD.

I passed, hoping that the success of Tucci's new show will spur a reprint of his cookbook.

In paperback.

Jacob has the Gravity Falls Journal #3
on the left and does not like sharing
it with his sister Mary

No problem.

On Friday, the three of us spent our day fashioning Mary's own personal journal on the right with the anatomically correct five fingered hand. It is chock full of stories, anecdotes and drawings.

It was fun creating this with her.

Mary at her first ever
Girl Scout Daisy meeting

As a Daisy, Mary is now pledged
to be a Peace-Builder

Hopefully this will put and end to all future sibling-rivalry issues.


The new Barcelona Gladiators of the
equally new European League of Football
held their first of two Combines on Saturday

From all accounts, it was a huge success.
The Inaugural Class of the Spanish
American Football Hall of Fame
was announced over the weekend

Ismael Sánchez, aka "El Catalan" or "Ice," who played as a devastating Free Safety for us in France for the 2013, 12-0, DII National Champion Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons deservedly made this list.

He was a great leader and a feared hitter who often changed the course of games for us that year.

With Ismael after the 2013 French
DIII Semi-Final Game, a 44-12 victory
over the previously undefeated
Montrabé Comètes

"El Catalan" blocking a PAT
in that same game

"Ice" must have been his nom de guerre during his great career with the Badalona Dracs in Barcelona.

Laurie's new kitchen table
arrived on Saturday

It was custom made by the Amish for her over the last three months and she was excited at what was her belated Christmas present.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Covid Relief AT LAST

Tues.-Sun., February 9-14, 2021

Before we start on the review of our latest week of pandemic life in California, we must defer to today's international day for lovers . . .

And so do Laurie and I

This photos pretty much captures my
inner soul as we approach the Covid-19
one year mark

We celebrated Tuesday with,
what else . . .

. . . pizza for lunch

After lunch, the chess battles
began in earnest

On Thursday, we went
to a local park for exercise
after school was out

Even Laurie got into the
Physical Fitness mood

Still tough for Jacob
but he is getting better

The Los Angeles Kings NHL team
has a player from Upplands Väsby!

I spent the Springs of 2016 and 2017 coaching the Wäsby Warriors based in that Swedish city just outside of Stockholm.
Results from this weekend's Spanish
Serie B American football games

Our L'Hospitalet Pioners had a bye this week.

The APLAZ. in the score box of the Valencia derby between the Giants and Firebats means that their game was postponed until April 17th.

It's lonely at the top for the
3-0 Pioners

In news from the Barcelona Gladiators who will play in the fledgling European League of Football this Summer, they named a Head Coach this week.

Coach Rita is a veteran of several
European, American and Canadian
football campaigns

I continue to try to help the Gladiators Administrators, Bart Iaccarino and Jesús  Sánchez, in any way that I can from afar.

Finally, Ventura lowered the age
for the Coronavirus vaccine to
65 or older

I got my first shot on Saturday

After making my appointment on-line, it only took me seven minutes from the time I got out of the car until the vaccine was coursing through my body.

My nurse was a delightful lady named Lovely, thus her name tag read:

I thought that Vaccinator was her last name but she cleared that up for me quickly.

More importantly, she made sure that my dose of the Pfizer vaccine contained the Bill Gates microchip that makes for easy, quick weight loss.

I get my second dose in about three weeks while Laurie gets her first dose on Monday.

I have experienced no negative side effects, other than a little tenderness localized to the vaccine site on my arm, since receiving my shot about 24 hours ago.


Monday, February 8, 2021

Super Bowl LV Weekend


Sat.- Mon., February 6-8, 2021

As happens every first Sunday in February, it was time for the NFL's climactic game, the Super Bowl.

It was Super Bowl LV this time with the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs (16-2) taking on the National Conference Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-5).

Before the big game, some of the NFL seasonal, individual honors were handed out including . . .

. . . this well deserved to
Los Angeles Rams Defensive Lineman
Aaron Donald as the
Defensive Player of the Year

Mahomes vs. Brady sounded
like a dream match-up

On paper . . .

The 3:30 p.m. Sunday Kickoff Pacific
time sounded much better than our
usual 12:30 a.m. MONDAY
Central European alternative

Would the Chiefs get to again call
one of the most famous plays in
Super Bowl history

Not a chance the way the Bucs defense played this day.

This would be a good example of
what Laurie usually plans for a
non-Covid 19 Super Bowl Party

This would have been
a good option as well

Instead we went to Mike and Vanessa's
new home to watch the game

There were only six of us in attendance, but Laurie and Vanessa still could have fed a group of 20+ fans with the delicious food they prepared. 


NO CONTEST as QB Tom Brady
won his 7th Super Bowl ring

It was Tampa Bay's second Super Bowl Championship having previously won Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, a 48-21 romp over the Oakland Raiders.

Tom Brady is indeed AMAZING!

On Monday, we had our monthly
meeting of the Rio Mesa H.S. retired
teachers group

We got the group up to 11 retirees today with the main topic of conversation being the slow Covid-19 vaccination process in Ventura County that lags way behind what is happening in other nearby counties.

Two of our retirees are Jewish

Even though heavy pressure and intimidation techniques were applied to both of them, they refused to give up the launch codes.