The latest kdice excursion was a seesaw battle for a long time. I don't know how long the game took, but it was too long, as Amy had already headed to bed, and I am still posting this at almost midnight. This time I was blue, and it paid off. Purple was a guy whose level was already over 1700 and I was at 1693. My goal was to top 1700 through this game, and that's just what happened. The only game I played today I won, and it pushed me over the coveted 1700 mark. Valorin Ryneu can now challenge the likes of Matthew du Mée's sn, which I still don't know. Pseudobass is still just over 1600 and has some room to grow still. Here's what the board looked like when everyone surrendered.
The Suns (60 - 19) took on their division rivals, the LA Lakers (40 - 40). It was a close game the whole time until the third quarter, where the Suns went 25 - 13, and the Suns held off Kobe's charge and finished the win. Nash saw that he needed to score this game, and he did, as well as garnished his 51st double double of the season: 26 points and 14 assists. Amaré finally started producing points toward the end of the fourth quarter and had some great hussle, though, the whole night, and ended with a double double: 15 points and 16 rebounds, including 5 offensive. Marion also ended up with a double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. They held Kobe Bryant to only 19 points, after he got 50 the night before in a close loss. The Suns won 93 - 85, so not very high scoring for our regular Suns offense, but it was definitely enough to get the W, I am very glad to say. 60 wins! The Suns take on the hot Utah Jazz (49 - 30) who just defeated the Mavericks (65 - 14) tonight by 15 points. We've got a tough game to play, and a few more difficult ones to end the season. We just need two wins to secure the #2 seed over San Antonio (58 - 21). GO SUNS!
I had the incredible opportunity to step in and play with the staff in the annual staff vs alumni basketball game. I wore #34 from the Skyhawks varsity uniforms. I came off the bench to relieve some of the other staff players who were winded. I ended up playing about half the game. I got 1 of my 4 shots, nothing but net from about 10ft out. I took two shots in the first half, two in the second. I did end up getting two good stops when the alumni were trying to do some trick slams by passing the ball to the trailer by throwing it off the backboard, and I would jump up and get in the way of the ball or the trailer: it worked. I was not great, but I had a blast. Some of the other staff were actually pretty good, but more weren't. The alumni had us down by 14 a the half, 32 - 18. One of the alum is now the number one scoring basketball player (as a freshman) for the ASU Sun Devils. He got a couple jams and made everyone else look like we shouldn't even be on the floor with him. He missed enough for us to somewhat stay in the game, though. Another alum was Michael Pino, who graduated with me from DV back in 2001. So I guess I could have played for either team, right? The final score was 64-60, the alum over staff, that is, after some imaginative scoring from the score keeper and some staff-minded calls, like a technical for an alumnus simply answering an official's question. It helped that the officials were also staff members. Go fig. It was starting to get really funny, but the staff just couldn't hit our shots for us to be able to win (even in falsehood). The score should have been more like 71 - 54, in reality, but who's counting? Oh, and my lungs burnt like I hadn't exercised in 5 years. Yeah...it hurt.
Great Grandma Van has now graduated into glory. She now stands accepted and covered by the blood of the Lamb in front of the Lamb in paradise. She passed away on Wednesday night, and I know I said goodbye a long time ago, but I am still having a harder time reconciling that she is truly gone right now. Her incredible legacy spurs me on and calls me out. I now am waiting for the funeral service with all the family and her friends that come. In the midst of the comfort I am receiving for her security in Christ, I am down about other things in life and therefore not celebrating her graduation as I think I should be. Easily discouraged? Maybe. My dad always told me that his dad was easily depressed; my dad is easily depressed; and I can see myself that way, as well. Maybe that's simply how we deal with hard to process situations, I'm not sure. I can tell you that I will remember ggvan and I will share her legacy with my children. I love you, Grandma Van.
If the Suns sweep the rest of their games (maybe not very likely) they would have the best Suns' record of all time. They are right now tied for the 4th best record in Suns' history. The Suns (59 - 19) were outscored 33 - 31 by the Sonics (31 - 48) in the first quarter. The Suns outscored the Sonics by 8 in the 2nd, and went into the lockerroom at the half up by 6. The Sonics and Suns tied it up in the third, 19 - 19, so the Suns maintained their overall lead. Then the Sonics ran out of gas. The Suns won the fourth by 12, 26 - 14, and won the game by 18, 109 - 91. The Suns' key to the game was to contain Rashard Lewis , but that didn't work well, as Lewis went on to score 30 points. Chris Wilcox was a beast on the boards with 12. Marion more than made up for Wilcox with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Stat added his own 11 rebounds and 18 points. Those were the Suns' two double doubles. James (Junior) Jones started this game so Diaw and Barbosa could come off the bench and mesh better with the team, and it worked well. Jones had 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Barbosa came off the bench and score his own 20 points, including four baskets from downtown. That man is almost unstoppable, when he keeps his speed under control. The Suns should have put the Sonics away earlier, but they did get to the point, with a few minutes left in the game, where they could empty their bench. Banks made a tray, but he was the only one who scored, but the bench did help win the game by one more point than the starters had it up to when the bench came in, so that's a good sign. The Suns take on the Lakers (40 - 38) again this Friday at the Purple Palace at 7:30pm AZ time, and it's being broadcast on ESPN and FSNAZ, which are stations 33 and 34 respectively. I could just flip back and forth the whole game and see the same plays replayed from different perspectives, but...I won't. Only 4 more games to go. GO SUNS!
Scroll down until you see "Step 23," and then read it. Whomever wrote that in there must have actually been proctoring the AIMS Math test to have enough time on their hands to come up with that one. What do you think?
Waste of time, anyone? Step right this way and take the AIMS test. You have to pass it to graduate, but not really. We can stick all of your grades into this formula we've concocted just to make sure that you graduate and we don't get sued...again. Don't you fret: you don't even have to know anything too deep about algebra or geometry. Most of our questions are simply common sense. If you can use one iota of logic, you'll pass with flying colors. And if you can't, we'll still move you on. Don't worry at all: as long as you can pay attention to a movie for an hour and a half, you'll have just what you need to exceed our expectations. Yes, step right this way for a waste of a day!
It is Easter Sunday. HE IS RISEN! What a beautiful day to remember His resurrection power. Amy needed to get out of the house, and I'd been itching to capture some of the gorgeous AZ landscape on film. So Amy, Aidan, and I went on a nice leisurely stroll, late this afternoon, by the police station and firehouse at 61st Ave and Union Hills, about a mile and a half from our house. There is a wash there with no water (go fig), but it does have a nice bike/walking paved path that people can utilize for exercise or recreation, and there is some of the best natural desert landscaping. There is a very nice park that is attached to the walkway, but we didn't stop there. Our mission: take pictures of the beautiful AZ scenery to show off how lovely the desert landscape can really be, that is, at the right time of year. Some of the pictures (106 all together) that I took on this journey are posted below. Enjoy the color: the palo verdes and ocotillos are in full bloom!
Ahhhhh...to live in such a beautiful land. I'd leave AL for this...oh, wait...love you, Mom.
This picture was taken in Kate's room without a flash so you could see the sun shining through the newly hung curtains which Amy and Francy made together. It was pretty cool to see the beautiful (girly) colors of the curtains in Kate's own room that we are prepping for her arrival. You can see the crib where Kate will be sleeping, but we'll be moving it away from the window, and we will be getting a darker shade to go on the window behind the curtains. We're not going as "girly" as we could, so we chose colors that we still "feminine," but not terribly disconcerting for a man to take care of his little girl in the room, either. Thank the Lord for little girls. It is still hard for me to think about it. It is going to be so different to have a girl after having Aidan. He's a punk and not very cuddly (heh heh). Will she be cuddly? Will I melt in the palm of her hand? Be putty in her hands? Be too strict? Too soft? Too unsure? Too arrogant? Too manly (that's funny)? We're watching Father of the Bride II right now, and they just got to the part where the ladies are giving birth. Brings back some memories, and it's helping me to look even more forward to my daughter's arrival. Kate: Coming Soon.
I guess I have an impact on the weak minded. Chris Blackford and his wife, Nicole, have now both joined me playing kdice, and it is because they read about it on my first blog about it. The power of suggestion. Below is the latest "whole board domination," as Chris put it.Not only that, but now Nicole is calling me out, telling me that she'll dominate me so bad that my great great grandchildren won't even dare to play kdice. How rude is that? All's fair in fun & games?
The Suns (58 - 19) took on the Lakers (40 - 37) in LA today. It was a close first quarter with the Suns only winning it by 1. The second quarter, the Suns outscored the Lakers by 5, giving a six-point lead going into the half. The Lakers came back and outscored the Suns by 5 in the third, making it a 2 point game, but the Suns pushed on in the fourth, putting up 41 points in the quarter to the Lakers 34, therefore giving the Suns a 115 - 107 victory. It would have been a 115 - 104 victory, but Kobe Bryant hit a three-pointer with under ten seconds to go. Doesn't matter, a W is a W, no matter how many points you win by. Barbosa (soon to be named 6th man of the year) had another big night off the bench with 23 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds. Nash had the only Suns double double, 25 points, 11 assists, and even added in 5 rebounds and 1 steal. This double double marks Nash's 50th this season (a career high). Raja Bell went 6 of 6 from three-point land, and added in his own 22 points. We got out-rebounded pretty badly, but we still pulled out the win. We play the Lakers once more in the regular season (this Friday), and, as it stands now, we might be seeing them in the first round of the playoffs, as well. We ended this road-trip 3 - 1, only losing the the Spurs (now 2 1/2 games behind us for the second seed). We take on the Seattle (maybe Oklahoma City next year?) SuperSonics (31 - 46) this Wednesday evening in Phoenix at 7pm AZ time. This should be another one of those "easy" wins that we might turn into another hard-fought, almost-lost games. None of that now. GO SUNS!
I've started to realize that purple is a pretty good color. In kingdoms of old it stood for royalty. In biblical times it was a sign of wealth to be wearing something dyed purple, a rare commodity. So, my blue days are not over, but purple is a great alternative for me. See for yourself: