Archive for August, 2010


Today we say goodbye to an unresponsive, slow-footed, and horrible inept nightmare named MCCS Youth Sports Football.  We went down and signed Rianna up at the county team where the coach have more experience than 0 years and the people are much more friendly.  She is now a Onslow County Panther.  As a bonus, a former player of the NFL franchise Panthers will be on the coaching staff.  He might not coach her team, he will probably coach the older kids, but the possibility of a person like that coaching ANY kids is pretty exciting.  Tomorrow we go down to the MCCS Youth Sports building and we return their gear.  We get our money back (hopefully) and we bid those suckas farewell.  The next few tasks on my to do list include, get Rianna some practice pants, and charbroil MCCS on the customer evaluation.  I hope they understood going in that no matter what happened, I was going to bring their failures to light.  Too many kids are still involved in their program and are therefore at a heightened risk.  No no no, people must learn what is really going on in that program, and I intend to be the one who tells them, starting with the MCCS bosses.  Patronize me if you will.  Forget your role if you wish.  Underestimate the lengths I will go for my family if that’s what cool for you.  But understand that I will make things right before the dust settles.  If you can’t understand the concept customer service, understand that much.

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MCCS or Marine Corps Community Services has once again dropped the ball.  I have brought to their attention some critical flaws in their football coach selection process, AND given them documentation on how to fix it.  All it took for them to do was ro review it, and decide to implement or not.  I sent the document on Friday, during business hours.  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to read through the whole thing to see if it’s worth pursuing.  When I called today to check the status on Rianna on the wait list, I was met with disappointment.  Not only had they not placed Rianna on a team (understandable since there must be an opening on another team that has been identified) but they had yet to review the document THEY asked ME to send.  Kind gesture or not, my time is precious to me and I do not appreciate it being wasted.  It’s insulting, patronizing behavior that undermines the very professionalism you claim to have.  They have untill tomorrow to call ME with and update on the whole situation.  Don’t think for one minute that we are not exploring options out in town.  Where more money changes hands, but a better product available.  If these losers at MCCS don’t get their collective heads out of their collective asses, we will take our child elsewhere, and I will do everything in my power to ensure participation in MCCS programs goes way down.  They hire a lot of retired military,  which one would assume would be best at serving the military.  But these retirees were at or near the top of the food chain, and refuse to relinquish the rank they no longer hold in an attempt to lord over those they are supposed to serve.  E-9 retires after 20+ years of service, gets job at MCCS E-3 with 2 years of service comes in with his child to make something happen.  Retired E-9 looks at young E-3 and automatically dismisses him, patronizes him, or chastises him.  Young E-3 does not fully understand his rights, nor the situation as a whole.  Young E-3 is disheartened, and maybe takes his business elsewhere, but silently.  No one hears about it.  More retirees are hired to lord over youngsters.  Cycle continues.  I’m not a young E-3,  I’m not an old E-9.  I don’t care to be either.  When I walk in there to handle business on behalf on my children, I go in a father.  My rank has no merit on whether I’m right or wrong, and the rank you left behind shouldn’t either.  Let go of your feeling of superiority, and do your damned jobs.

I have been taking oxycodone for pain management after my shoulder surgery.  2 per day with percocet for flash pain.  Some would salivate at the drugs I had at my disposal, but it was never about getting high, it was about pain management.  I never really felt too loopy on either unless my activity level went up, and heartbeat increased.  I tried to keep it as calm as possible.  I don’t want to present a foul image for my daughters.  This morning I took my last oxycodone, and at about 4:00 p.m. my body was quick to remind me that I was out.  I’ve never had an addiction to anything, so noticing symptoms of withdrawals was not something I was prepared to do.  I just felt like crap.  All over.  I though I had a fever, I was tired, a little nauseated, the whole shebang.  It took about 90 minutes for me to put it all together, get on google and check to see if what I was/am dealing with was real.  Sure enough it was/is.  So, for the first time in my life, I am sort of fighting through a physical dependency to an opoid.  YAY!  Another one to check off my bucket list!  On the upside, it will pass eventually, probably as I try to sleep.  Just though I’d share that with you guys.

Today we went to one of the three aquariums locate in Eastern North Carolina.  Having spent the last 6 years stationed in Okinawa Japan which is a sub-tropical vacation spot, we have become accustomed to certain things.  One of them is a bad ass aquarium.  Okinawa has one of the best aquariums on the planet.  It is home to tons of different fish to including three very impressive Whale Sharks.  I knew setting out today that we were not going to see anything here that compared to what we had in Okinawa, but I went out with an open mind ready to enjoy anything that was simply not crap.  Being as I cannot drive for a while due to my surgery, it was up to my lovely wife to get us there safely.  Not to worry, I was sitting shotgun with the GPS going in full navigate mode.  We were going to be just fine.  The drive there took us along a route we were fairly accustomed to.  Nothing special, untill we hit the turn that took us over a rather large bridge that had some nice intercostal waters beneath.  The girls treated it like a rollercoaster.  They had WAY too much fun driving over that bridge.  We then entered unchartered territory for us, Emerald Island.  A long strip of land stuck between two sizable bodies of water, just waiting for natures wrath in the form of a hurricane.  It was however, beautiful.  Reading the reviews on the aquariums informed me that they all just recently had renovations done in the 30 million dollar range.  I could see every dollar at work as we arrived, it was clean and well-kept.  Upon entry we are greeted by the usual $20 picture guy.  How can he still exist with 10 megapixel camera phones standard these days?  We went through each exhibit and the girls had a blast, even little Shaun who at the tender age of one year old was trying to tell us something about the big fish she was looking at.  They had a River Otter exhibit with them swimming around and having just a great time.  I had no idea that River Otters even existed.  I only knew of Sea Otters.  They had the usual Sea Turtles and whatnot and the girls took it all in.  The admission was very low, so I can see us making this trip a few more times in the future.  My wife Eriko and I take our children’s education very seriously, and we strongly believe that places like the zoo, aquarium, and botanical gardens are key to reinforcing things they learn from books by making the more tangible.  All in all, today was a very welcome change of pace from constant conflict and frustration to a relaxing day with the fam where everyone wins.  I hope tomorrow is just as relaxing.  My usual relaxation methods of beer and cigars is on hold until I’m off my pain meds, and healed from my labral team I just had repaired.  Monday however will be back to full contact parenting.

For those few people who read my last blog, I thank you.  Here is an update on the whole crappy coach no experience danger to my daughter situation.  We decided to leave that team and go on the waiting list for a new team.  I mean if the new coach has been TO a football game, he technically has more experience than the last one did.  I mean you really can’t go lower than zero when it comes to experience.  I spoke with the lady at MCCS Youth Sports and initially she was thinking I just didn’t like this guy and she was rather defensive of the whole process of coach selection.  After I started telling her all the little safety rules this guy was oblivious about she seemed to think that the very process of coach selection needs to be scrutinized a bit more.  I sent them some guidance.  I hope it helps…. they need all the help they can get.

Some of you may know that my oldest daughter has ventured into the realm to tackle football.  Normally, folks would not allow their daughters to play such a rough game because little girls are fragile little things to be kept in lace covered boxes until they marry.  My wife and I however feel that if she wants to play, let her.  Rianna attended a football camp over the summer.  Being as she is in great shape, and is a pretty good athlete overall, she took 1st place as the #1 camper.  We were all so proud of her.  She still has a lot of football skills to learn before she can make the jump from great athlete to great player.  In order for her to gain these skills she will need coaches that are outstanding.  The better the coaching staff, the better she will learn.  We will do what we can here at home, but it’s the coaches who bear that burden.  Since we are discussing coaches, let me tell you, the coaching staff at the camp was excellent.  They taught sound fundamentals, intensity, and good sportsmanship.  I would be so happy if they ended up being her real football coaches, and for very short time, they were.  The head coach decided that having the #1 camper from the camp he runs on his team would bring the ire of too many folks, so he moved her off his roster to a different (lesser) team.  The coaches we have now, have never even played football before.  Never played before.  NEVER PLAYED BEFORE!?!??!?!  Are you serious!?  You move my child off a team with decades of coaching experience to a team where the coaches have never played football?  This can’t be real!  Where Ashton, I know I’m being punked right now.  But it is true.  These coaches (I use the term very loosely) have never played organized football, how can I expect them to know how to teach basic fundamentals?  How can they keep the kids out there safe when they never experienced the dangers inherent to football?  I can’t and I won’t.  Rianna will continue to play, but not for this team, not for these coaches.  I cannot allow this as a responsible parent.

Get ready people, I’m going give y’all the truth, the whole truth so help me slap the crap out of a dumbass.