Coyote problem

We seem to have developed a little bit of a coyote problem lately. Experts say that the local drought has pushed them into residential areas looking for food for the puppies.

When we first moved into the new house, I swore I heard them howling a couple of times, but it was pretty far away and I never heard anything since then. About a year ago, Sarah thought she saw one in the backyard while I was at work at night when the motion sensor lights went off. She wasn't entirely sure what it was. But, we have not seen anything since then.

Then last Tuesday, our friend who lived in our neighborhood (which is only 5 minutes away) found their cat dead in the front yard in the morning. The people that bought our house there thought they saw a coyote running around that night. The local news ran a story about it about a month ago. Link to story.

Sarah made a big deal about making sure that the dogs go out on their leashes at night and stuff. Well last night I got home from work about midnight, Moses wanted to go outside, so I just let him out without a leash. He decided to go adventuring and plundering for a long time. I was actually starting to get a little nervous because he was gone so long and I was really tired, I wanted to let him in and go to bed. A little after 1am I heard him barking like he was in a fight, that real angry growling bark. It was coming from the front of the house, so I went over to the front windows to look out. He ran into the road from the empty lots across the street, turned around and barked again, then starting running for the back of the house. Then I saw a coyote coming at him at full speed.

I ran to the front door and opened it and just kind of yelled out and it turned around and ran away. Turns out there were 2 of them, but one was black and I didn't even notice it. Moses was ok, but was probably about 30 seconds away from being a coyote snack. I would have felt pretty bad if that had happened especially since Sarah made such a big deal about letting him out like that. I think it will be leashes only from now on.

Last 2 soccer games

Did not go so well, we lost last Saturday 8-3. We were knotted 3-3 at the half, but somehow just fell apart in the second half and ended up losing 8-3.

We had a primetime game last Tuesday that I thought the kids would really step up for because we tend to play better in primetime. We were playing a team that beat us pretty bad earlier in the season, so I was looking for revenge. It was a pretty intense game, lots of shouting to the kids between myself and the other coach. We fell behind 4-0 after the first period, but fought back to make it 4-2 at the half. Once again, everyone fell asleep in the second half and we lost the game 8-2. We scored 4 own goals, otherwise it was a very competitive game. There was even a little pushing, pulling, and shoving between the kids.

We only have 2 games left, the next two Saturdays, looking to pull at least one more victory out.

At the Magic game

Game 1 of the playoffs against the 76ers. Kids are at home with a new babysitter. We have good seats, but the Magic are losing by 4 with 8 seconds left in the first quarter.

Orlando Magic Fund Raising Dinner

Last Saturday, Sarah and I went to a fund raising dinner put on by the Orlando Magic to raise money for their youth foundation. Sarah's work is a sponsor of the Magic and had bought a table at the event, then gave two of the tickets to Sarah (sales get all the perks). It was a black tie and tennies affair, so I had to get a tux for it. I somehow got swindled into purchasing a tux, I am not really sure how that happened still. I am pretty sure that it only cost me an extra $15 - $20, but still, I don't even own a suit.

It was quite nice, fancy setup at a nice hotel. Filet Mignon and scallops for dinner, there was a silent auction going on with a live auction after dinner. We bid on a few items in the silent auction, but didn't win anything. I thought that I was going to get some glass tickets to a Lighting hockey game, but someone swooped in at the last minute and outbid me.

The whole Magic team was there, and they gave everyone a small basketball (after a nice donation) to get autographs.

After dinner, they kicked off a live auction with some nice stuff up for auction, but that was way out of our budget. One of the items was a trip to Hawaii with the General Manager of the Magic. One of the players and the team's COO got into a bidding war, and the trip ended up going for $18,000 I think.

Rick DeVos, who owns the team (he started Amway and still lives in Michigan I believe) gave a nice speech too.

After dinner and the live auction, they had all sorts of things setup to fill your time and take your money. There was a casino where a lot of the players where playing. An area where you could play video games with a few players, a photo thing, a small basketball court to shoot hoops, and karaoke with Dwight Howard. Each thing cost money to do, with all of the money going to the charity.

I sat down at a poker table with another guy and Tyronn Lue. I lost my $50 really quick, and bought in for another $50 because I knew I could "get it" back. Even though I wasn't going to get any money back, only raffle tickets to win stuff in a drawing at the end of the night. The table eventually filled up, Tyronn is a really good guy, it was fun playing poker with him. I did win all of my money back to, I bought a total of $50,000 in chips, and ended with $219,000, including busting Tyronn in a monster pot. He went home at that point, and I ended up with a whole roll of raffle tickets.

While I was playing poker, Sarah was wandering around getting autographs. She really wanted to get a picture with Patrick Ewing (who is now an assistant coach with the Magic). But, his "handler" told Sarah not to bother him while he was playing blackjack. The other "handlers" (each player had someone to usher them around to make sure that they were where they were supposed to be) told Sarah that they did not like Patrick Ewing's handler very much.

I didn't know what to do with all of my raffle tickets, because by the time I got them, they had started the drawings. We asked a worker if there was still anything to draw on, and it turned out they had forgotten one prize. So, we dropped all of my tickets in there, and they pulled one of mine out. We won a thing where the kids will be able to be on the court before the game with the team for a game next season, and then form a line that all of the players will run through and high-five the kids during the player announcements before the game starts. So that should be really cool for them.

It was pretty fun, it was worth the small donation that we ended up making.

Flying penguins!

It sure is amazing what this world still has left to discover.