Well, I'm finally done working two jobs, which is making a huge difference in my stress level. When I took the job in Vegas, my old boss asked if I could continue helping out during a particularly busy time of year - the first week of February. The problem was, my new boss didn't exactly call of the dogs, mostly because I was taking a position that hadn't been filled in four months and there was a ton to do. So, the last week of January and the first week of February, I was stressed out of my mind. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still stressed. But that's got more to do with my inate ability to internalize all stress until I'm sick. Hey! I'm working on it!!
Anyway, I spent last week on the road in Orlando, Florida and Bristol, Tennessee. I'm not in love with living in a hotel, but I learned a ton and feel like I actually have an idea how to do portions of my new job. That helps.
We continue to have the house on the market. We are excited to head out the Vegas to look at homes there, too. We've pretty much settled on Henderson, though we'll look at others if the neighborhoods and schools are good. You know what I can't wait for? Warmth. It's frickin' freezing in Kansas, Bigglesworth!
Now, let's get to some important stuff. The Kansas Jayhawks dropped their second game of the season in a hard fought battle against Texas in Austin. No big deal, right? I hope not. What gets me nervous is that they've dropped their two "big" games this year and really struggle when they get behind. Here's one of my biggest frustrations about college basketball. You have a player you know is a game changer and you get him in foul trouble in the first half. In this case, we're talking about Longhorns forward Damon James. So, he comes out rested in the second half and just starts torching you. Every rebound, every loose ball, every bounce seems to be going his way. He picks up his third foul. Why don't you then go after him? Run screens until he's on Brandon Rush. Make him defend Sharron Collins. He's going to pick up that fourth foul. And once he does, he can't be as aggressive. I get tired of the "we need to stay in the offense" baloney. Staying in the offense is losing you the game. Attack the player that is hurting you. It won't take much - three our four offensive trips and that fourth foul is on the scoreboard. It just never ceases to amaze me how egotistical college coaches are about "the offense". Sometimes, when things aren't working, you have to innovate. To me, that's one of the biggest signs of a great coach - the willingness to make changes on the fly to alter the outcome of the game. That didn't happen on Monday night in Austin and the Jayhawks walked away with a loss. I just hope that's not a sign of things to come. Despite Seth Davis' SI.com love, I'm still a bit wary of the Jayhawks in March. We'll see how it goes.
That's pretty much it, right now. The Chief's signed two kickers and franchised Jared Allen. I have them at six wins in 2008. If they stick with Brody Croyle at QB, that might drop to four. Who do they take in the first round? If Matt Ryan is there, I think they grab him. If not? Jake Long of Michigan. What we're really about to see is if the "shake up" in the front office really means anything. Who will have the last word in the draft room? If it's still Carl Peterson, we're in serious trouble.
The Royals are at full staff in Arizona. The Tigers and Indians look really good in the Central, but I like the Royals to challenge for third with the White Sox. I have to believe they're better than the Twins this year, but who knows. The Trey Hillman experiment is underway. Let's hope the Dayton Moore magic can continue.
And, finally, the most important thing - the family. We've all been sick on and off the last couple of weeks - I blame the Kansas weather. Kate has it worst of all - she was diagnosed yesterday with strep, a touch of bronchitis and a sinus infection. Yikes! Poor kid. But, as usual, antibiotics save the day. She woke up this morning looking like a different kid. She can go back to school tomorrow. Leah is counting the minutes! The twins are doing great. They have the most amazing conversations. While I was getting dressed the other morning, they sat on my bed and talked about the difference between coloring and drawing. It seems, when you are drawing something you like to draw, then you are drawing, but when it is in a coloring book, you are coloring. That's what I came away with. Good times.
I'll close with a picture. I was traveling over Valentine's Day this year. Not fun. But, on Thursday morning, this was waiting for me in my Inbox. By the way, that's Ryne's "Rock Star" shirt. Funny.
"Baptized of John in the river known as Jordan, He commenced His official ministry to men. To the sophistry of Satan, Jesus turned His back. To the duty designated by His Father, He turned His face, pledged His heart, and gave His life. And what a sinless, selfless, noble, and divine life it was. Jesus labored. Jesus loved. Jesus served. Jesus testified. What finer example could we strive to emulate? Let us begin now, this very night, to do so. Cast off forever will be the old self and with it defeat, despair, doubt, and disbelief. To a newness of life we come—a life of faith, hope, courage, and joy. No task looms too large; no responsibility weighs too heavily; no duty is a burden. All things become possible.'"
President Thomas S. Monson, April 2008 General Conference