Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Please Sir...Could I Have Some New Feet?

Over the course of the past 5 days I have officiated 45 basketball games between HoopFest and the Gonzaga University summer basketball camp and tournament. Now I will grant you that the HoopFest games were only half court, and the time limit was a flat 25 minutes per game, but still, that is a lot of wear and tear on a 52 year old body...a very large 52 year old body! I will tell you that the experience has left me a little lighter in the belly, and my backside is a lot smaller. That is due to the fact that I have had quite a number of high school basketball coaches chewing on my butt over the past three days. Surprisingly, not that many parts of my body are hurting. My knees are fine. My thighs and calves are fine, and my ankles are fine. What I really could use though are a couple of new feet...ideally in something a little smaller than the current size 15.

With all of this going on I have still had to maintain my relationship with my tennis posse, and try to stay current with work and school. I also made the trip to Moses Lake on Monday...220 miles round trip to speak to the summer camp at Big Bend Community College. It all went well, and most of the kids were pretty engaged in the material, so I think it was worth the time and effort. I do get mileage out of the deal, and at 50 cents a mile that will work out to $110!

It is almost July, and that means that the 4th of July...Independence almost here. It happens on a Sunday, and that means that I can work the whole thing into this week's sermon. It should be a good one as the first half has gotten rave reviews from the professor of my current preaching class. You might want to stop be and see how it turns out. Church is at 9:30am on Sunday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

HoopFest Pictures

Here are a few pictures from HoopFest this weekend, along with a couple of shots of my buddy Brady from Sunday evening, the post HoopFest celebration.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Come Cheer On The Ref!

I am inviting y'all to stop by my court at HoopFest today or tomorrow. I will spend my weekend on the Lukins & Annis Court on Howard St. between Spokane Falls Blvd. and Main St. That's a half block south of the fountain at Riverfront Park. See you there!

Friday, June 25, 2010


It is going to be hard to find time to "blog out" over the next 5 days. It is going to be hard to find time to eat and sleep! Tomorrow morning, bright and early at, begins the 21st installment of HoopFest, which is the worlds largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Its even in the Guinness Book of World Records, but then again, isn't everything? I am going to be a Court Monitor again, blowing a whistle, calling fouls and travels and yelling at 16 teams of 8th and 9th grader boys to be. I'll be out on the street from 8am until about 7pm tomorrow, and from 8am to 4pm Sunday. After that is all done I will motor off to Coeur d'Alene, Camp Lutherhaven, so she can return to work after her stint as a HoopFest Court Monitor.

On Monday I will be headed off to Moses Lake to give a weather presentation at the summer camp for middle school students put on by the local community college. From there it is back to Spokane to referee 4 high school boys basketball games in the evening. Gonzaga University is having the biggest camp and tournament of the summer from Monday through Wednesday, and they need all the officials that they can get. I'll be back out there for 4 more games on Tuesday morning, and then 5 on Wednesday afternoon. I hope my feet will hold up! In betwixt and between all of that will come the regular rigors of and I am kind of looking forward to next Thursday!

Weather for this weekend should be great...sunshine and afternoon temperatures approaching 80 degrees. I'm going to need the sunscreen as I haven't been out in the sun much yet, but then, we haven't had much sun yet.

I'll check in when I can...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Down Hill From Here

According to National Weather Service records the past 30 days has ranked as pretty much the chilliest and wettest such stretch for the final month of spring. All of that is behind us know, right? Well, now that the summer solstice has come and gone it is time to start preparing for winter. Its less than 26 weeks away you know. From here on until December 21st the days will be getting shorter and the elevation of the midday sun will be a bit lower each and every day. Fortunately for us though, there is about a 4 to 5 week lag time between the longest day of the year and the warmest day of the year, so at least we have something to look forward to.

There are a lot of clouds out there right now...cirrus near us, and stratus comin' at us! These high clouds will texture the sky for a good part of the day, but we will still see the sun shining through them. Afternoon temperatures today will reach the upper 70s, after hitting the mid 70s yesterday. There will be a few (A FEW) showers in the area tomorrow and Friday, and the HoopFest weekend forecast is still looking good...mild and dry.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We Survived

Well, yesterday was another washout. It rained just about all day long, and the high temperature was 56 degrees. Great way to usher in the season of summer, huh? All told we had about a half inch of additional rainfall, and there is a small puddle on the kitchen floor of the church, right in front of the coffeemaker. Every time we get a good rain water comes in under the backdoor of the kitchen, then flows along the floor under the ice maker, freezer and refrigerator to the lowest spot in the floor...right in front of the coffeemaker. Once I got home last evening both Kay and I were sapped of any energy that we might have had by the gloomy and wet weather that has been sitting over us for the past 2 days.
Today is a different story, the sun is shining and the sky is blue...woo hoo!!! Temperatures are going to be headed into the 70s, and tomorrow to around 80 degrees. It will cool off a little at the end of the week, and there will be a few (A FEW) showers again by Thursday and Friday, but not the washout of the last 48 hours. The weekend ahead is HoopFest in Spokane, the world's largest outdoor 3 on 3 basketball tournament. I will once again be a Court Monitor, blowing a whistle at and yelling at a bunch of boys who are about to become high school freshman. A forecast of dry weather, sunshine and temperatures in the 70s sounds very good to me for Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rain On Me

It has rained all night (another 1/3 of an inch) and is still raining. No tennis this morning! That just means my butt won't be sore from being kicked until Wednesday.

Oh, and my brother Rich pointed out that Father's Day originated right here in Spokane 100 years ago. I thought everyone already knew that! For more information read his comments to my Sunday evening post (not the Saturday Evening from it)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

I have been a dad for over 19 years now, and I must admit that Father's Day has usually turned out to be a big yawner. There just doesn't seem to have been a whole lot of attention paid to it. Well, I guess that was then and this is now, since today it was a wonderful day! I spent the morning with my very good friends at church. I had to the chance to go to lunch with the closest of friends and my lovely wife. My daughter called during lunch (she was hard at work at Camp Lutherhaven over on Lake Coeur d'Alene). I got to take a two hour nap. Kay and I spent a bit of quality time with our bartender Chris over at Waddell's Pub, and then we had a great dinner of grilled beef and potatoes. Kay got me a very thoughtful gift, and all in all I really enjoyed the whole day!

Speaking of our bartender...I found out this evening that the wedding that I officiated at earlier in the week involved his cousin as the groom. Chris found out from his mother that I had led the wedding ceremony and gave the message, and if he had known in advance that I was involved he would have been there...likely story!

The rain returned today, about a third of an inch, and there is more coming for tomorrow. I really hope that it doesn't interupt our morning tennis outting...we are going to have to play outside. I have worked my way out of the funk that I was in about a week ago, and the competition over the past couple of sessions has been outstanding. It is a lot of fun when we are all playing well and the quality of play is at a high matter who ends up winning.

Finally...I would like to salute my dad...Erwin Albrecht of La Crosse, WI. I know that he will never read this (he and computers just don't see eye to eye), but I just wanted to say that he is my hero, and the greatest man that has ever least I think so!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Warrior

It is late on a Friday evening and there is going to be plenty to do this weekend. The weather for most of this week has been abysmal, so the yard is going to need a lot of tending to, and there is still much to do to prepare for the church service and Sunday School on Sunday morning. Today actually turned out to be a pretty nice day, with sunshine and a temperature reaching near 70 degrees. Tomorrow looks like the best day of the week as we should reach into the middle 70s under a partly sunny sky, but then Sunday will be bringing the rain back to us and it will be about 10 degrees cooler again.

Today ended up being quite a busy one, especially considering it is my one day off for the week. Out on the tennis court this morning my posse and I were engaged in an epic battle. The first set of the day took more than an hour. The level of play was very high, even including me, and we ended up in a tie breaker. The second set was never finished, but again it was well played. I am looking forward to getting back out there on Monday. After tennis I had a lunch meeting at the Riverview Retirement complex. I have been asked to be on the Board of Directors, for reasons that totally befuddle me, so it was a get acquainted and ask questions type of setting. The only question that I had was; "do you eat this well at all of the board meetings?" The answer was no, but we always eat! That pretty much convinced me that I should consent to their request to serve on the Board. After lunch Kay and I dropped in on a few folks from the church, some announced and some unannounced. In all cases it turned out very nicely. This evening we spent some quality time on the porch, then cooked tuna steaks for dinner and played games. All in all it was a pretty good day.

Things are going to be quiet around our neighborhood this weekend as my buddy Brady and his family have taken off to go camping this weekend. We'll get by in spite of Brady's absence, and I can look forward to seeing him again Monday morning. Brady and his big sister Jillian are taking part in the youth tennis camp at the racquet club that we belong to, so he comes and cheers me on each Monday and Wednesday morning. He's been playing tennis for a week now and he is already better than I am.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Right Back Into Winter

Over the last weekend the weather was just about ideal. I guess that was all of the summer that we are going to get as today we were back into the cold...and I mean cold...and wet weather. The best that we have been able to do is 51 degrees, and this is the middle of June. Fortunately for my tennis posse we were able to get an indoor court this morning, so that we didn't freeze to death or drown. The morning's tennis adventure was quite good as we all seemed to play pretty well and the competition was spirited.

Up to this point it has been a busy week. My summer quarter seminary class began on Monday. This quarter they are trying to teach us to preach. Now I've always had a lot to say, and have never been too shy about saying it, so it will be interesting to see how I can better get my message across. Yesterday, Tuesday, I got to officiate over my first wedding. Since I am not yet licenced or ordained I had to have the assistance of my coach, the very Reverend Virtus Young. I did most of the ceremony, including the message, while he did the vows to satisfy the legal requirements of the State of Washington. The payoff was a very good dinner at the Davenport Hotel.

Looking ahead to the rest of the week, the weather will be getting better. It has to, it can't get much worse! Tomorrow will still be cool and showery, but not as cold as today. By the weekend we should be back up near 70 degrees once again, and most of the rain showers should be over the mountain areas to our north and east. There is still no sign of our first hot stretch of the season yet, as the temperatures should remain moderate through all of next week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Out Of The Hospital

It was just another typical weekend around the Albrecht abode. On Friday evening Beth came home for her day off from Camp Lutherhaven on Lake Coeur d'Alene. She got a ride from a new friend that she had made at the camp, in exchange for her friend being able to stay at our house for a day and sleep in a real bed. Leah...that's what we will call her since her name is Leah...was not feeling well at all. She woke up very early Friday morning, at the camp, feeling nauseous and not able to keep from chucking up the contents of her stomach. Fortunately that did not last long but she felt pretty yucky all day long with stomach pains and chills. When the two of them arrived Friday evening Beth looked through our soup supply and found nothing in the way of chicken noodle, so off she went to Albertsons to get a can. The rest of the evening was pretty quiet. Earlier Friday, which is usually my day off, Kay and I went down to the church so Kay could start setting up the school library. I scrubbed down old dusty bookshelves, her desk and book cart, then I went to work on stuff of my own that I planned to do on Saturday afternoon. This plays into the rest of my story.

We all got up on Saturday morning, an accomplishment in its own right, and Leah reported feeling 75% better. She said her fever broke overnight and she just had some achiness in the midsection on the right side. Her and Beth went to do some shopping, and later to lunch, all while her heath went downhill. Beth thought that all of this sounded appendix related, so after lunch, Beth did nearly all of the eating. The check the symptoms and sure in enough Leah had just about everything related to appendicitis. They went off to urgent care...urgent care sent them to the ER at Deaconess Hospital for a CT scan, and the scan confirmed Beth's diagnosis. An emergency appendectomy would be taking place very soon. I first got word of all of this at about 3:00pm, after officiating a couple of basketball games, and just about to enter Sacred Heart Hospital to visit one of our church members who was back in the hospital with some complications from a knee replacement surgery. He's 86 years old so recovery on this particular knee surgery has been more difficult. After a short visit I headed over to Deaconess, made it past security at the entrance to the ER without getting shot, and spent the next few hours sitting and mainly waiting while the hospital got the operating room ready and while Leah's parents drove up from Kennewick, WA...about two and a half hours away. Just after they arrived Leah went off to have her appendix taken out. I stayed and got acquainted with Bear and Karen for a bit, and then headed for home about 8:00pm or so. Beth followed a little after 9 as the surgery was complete and all seemed to go well.

Yesterday I dropped in at the hospital to check on Leah's recovery...Beth made me promise that I Kay drove Beth back to the camp. The rest of the day was filled with yard work and soaking up the warm sunshine, and then a neighborhood meeting on the porch in the evening. Ahh...summer may finally be here. The weather today will be beautiful again. We will be playing tennis outdoors this week...I'm leaving to receive my regular butt kicking in a few minutes. It will be cooling off some through the middle of the week, with a few showers by Wednesday, so Wednesday's tennis "outing" is looking a little iffy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lousy Service

It is Friday evening...the weekend is upon us. The day started, as a Friday usually does, out on the tennis court. My ineptitude was once again on display as I could not get a serve to land in the service box to save my least not a first serve. The second serves were a little better, but still problematic. I have no idea what the problem was, but there was certainly a problem. The bottom line was that I got my butt kicked around the court for a good hour and a half once again.

Speaking of lousy, and I have used that term to describe the weather over the past two and a half months, the day began on that side of the coin once again. It did get better as the morning turned to afternoon, and by evening the sky was basically clear. That all bodes well for the weekend as we are finally going to have some nice weather. On Saturday the sun will be out almost all day long and the temperatures are going to be taking a jump into the mid to upper 70s in the afternoon. On Sunday we should be into the low 80s...woohoo!...and its about time.

In spite of the fact that the weather is finally going to start saying summer there will be a taste of winter in my weekend, at least in terms of winter sports. The summer basketball schedule begins tomorrow and I will be out on the court just after noon wearing a striped shirt and blowing a whistle at a bunch of high school kids that just won't be able to keep themselves from clobbering each other.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We're Doomed!!!

After a rather uneventful day of tennis and then work, I came home to some front porch time. It was a little on the cool side, but that could be said about every day since last August. Shortly after heading out front my buddy Brady came out of the front door of his house and ran across the cul-de-sac. We played a little hide and seek, which really isn't much of an adventure because Brady always hides in the same place and giggles when you start to close in on his location. What was most disconcerting about the evening was Brady's declaration that there are fire ants in the area, and they are bigger than our houses. I have first hand experience with fire ants having lived in the south, and if those things are the size of a two story house with an attached three car garage we are in some serious trouble here! I mean, just imagine the size of the anthills that are about to emerge in our yards. We may have to abandon the neighborhood and we'll all move in with Brady's grandparents in Boise. I hope that there aren't any fire ants there.

After our porch outing we came in for another of Kay's gourmet dinners. Tonight had an Asian flair, with an oriental slaw salad and Cantonese barbecue buns. They're the type of things that you get at a Dim Sum restaurant. It was all very good. Its now just about time to settle in for a long winter's nap. Well...maybe not winter, but tomorrow is going to be another chilly and showery day for early to mid June. Today we had another quarter inch of rain, and the temperature made it to the middle 60s. Tomorrow will probably be cooler, maybe not even reaching 60 degrees. It will all be turning around by the weekend though as the sun will be shining and the temperatures soaring, into the 70s Saturday and 80s on Sunday. I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fun In The Sun

At long last we had a sunny and pleasant day around these parts. Temperatures made it into the 70s for one of the rare occasions this spring, so I decided to take advantage of that with a little late afternoon walk. I headed out from the church, past the little par 3 golf course to one of the trails in the Eagle Ridge development. From there I headed up the hill. After a long steep climb about halfway to the top of the hill, feeling quite warm and breaking out in a bit of a sweat, Things leveled out a bit as I wandered through part of the neighborhood that has yet to be built. I took a different route down the hill and back to the church. It was good to be out in the warm air again. Its too bad I won't be doing it tomorrow as the rain is on the way again, and will be here in a couple of hours.

All is not lost though, looking ahead to the weekend the warm sunny weather will be back with a vengeance by Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we will be back in the 70s, and then the 80s on Sunday and Monday. Maybe there will be a summer this year. In the meantime we will have to put up with some rain over the course of the next few days along with cooler temperatures once again.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What An Idiot!

There was a lot going on at church this morning. Today marked the season ending choir performance, in which we were presenting 6 songs in the service. These were the ones that the choir members had voted as our favorites of all that we had sung since last September. On top of that we had a baptism and since this was the first Sunday of the month of June it was also a communion service. Needless to say...but I'll say it was just plain crazy leading up to service time. Just a minute or two before we were to begin I discovered that my choir music folder was missing in action. After a few minutes of frantic searching all over the church building I found it in the audio-visual room, where I had left it while showing one of our to run the video system. With that crisis solved I confidently entered the church to begin the service, just a minute or two after our appointed start time of 9:30am. It was all good until we started our opening song and I discovered that my reading glasses were nowhere to be found. Now up until about 5 years ago that would not have been a problem. I have always had eyes like a hawk! I can see a mosquito sitting on the head of a pin 8 miles away. In recent years though I have discovered that I can't read anything that is less than 2 feet in front of my face without some sort of artificial magnification. Have you ever found yourself standing naked in the middle of the busiest intersection in town? Well...neither have I, but I am sure that what I was feeling this morning was just about the same thing! How was I going to get out of this mess? After stumbling through the baptism ceremony I made a mad dash for my office as the rest of the choir gathered in the front of the church for our second song of the day. Sure enough...there were my glasses lying on my desk, and I returned in time to sing along. From this day forward there will be an extra pair of reading glasses sitting on the little table that is next my chair up in the altar area of the church.

Late this afternoon we hosted the annual end of the year choir party at our house. To my amazement I got very little grief about this mornings foible. We cooked a turkey and the rest of the choir members brought side dishes. The turkey turned out excellent, but the desserts stole the show. I am going to be wearing the banana chocolate roll and the bundt cake with kalua icing around my midsection for quite some time to come. Toward the end of the evening my little buddy Brady came over to investigate our party guests. Brady just turned 4 (officially) yesterday. To him when the word party is mentioned he wholeheartedly believes that he is the guest of honor, which is okay since he is just about the cutest kid that has ever walked the face of the earth! After the last of the guests left I was hauling the garbage bin out to the street. Monday is trash day, which is usually the highlight of our week. I was wheeling the bin curbside a strangely familiar person wandered into our driveway. After a few moments of contemplation I identified this person as our long lost neighbor Louis. Very shortly after that Brady emerged from his garage with the question "Who's that guy?" He came running across the street to see just who this might be, and finally came to the realization that he had indeed seen Louis before. Speaking of Brady...he spent the entire day in his pajamas, which for a 4 year old is a pretty cool thing to get to do. I must admit that I am very envious. If I had spent the day in my pajamas, and not gotten out of bed, I probably wouldn't feel near as stupid as I do!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ready To Drown?

Its Friday morning and the rain is back. We have already picked up 14 hundredths of an inch by 8am, and there will be showers and thunderstorms on and off all day into tonight. A Flood Watch has been posted for the entire area due to all of the rain that we have had in the recent weeks, and the heavy rain that is yet to come. All of this we weather is slowing down the progress on the boat...the BIG boat...that I am building in the backyard. Elephants, tigers, aardvarks and all sorts of other animals keep showing up, and always in pairs...very odd!

I will be heading for the tennis court again shortly, and I hope that my performance is not as abysmal as it was Wednesday morning. That was a butt kicking of the first order! I am going to employ a new strategy today, in hopes of surprising my posse and thus coming out on the winning end of things. I have no idea what that strategy is going to be yet. If you have any suggestions, let me know. I thought about taking a gun, but I don't own one.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is it Thursday Already?

My oh my...where does the time go? It has been a whirlwind kind of day in a whirlwind kind of week! In my previous life whirlwinds were tornadoes and hurricanes. In my new incarnation they seem to take on hundreds of different forms.

The day began with the preparation for and the execution of a private ceremony of Holy Baptism for an older adult...well into her 70s...who is facing some pretty tough cancer treatments in the near future. She is a woman of faith, but had never been baptized, so she wanted to be prior to beginning chemotherapy AGAIN (she has been battling cancer for 5 years) this coming Monday. At lunchtime my seminary coach, Pastor Young and I attended a meeting of the senior group at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, just up the hill. We were on the menu. Actually, we presented the program that dealt with my educational endeavors and my attempts to keep the Rev. Young out of trouble. After lunch and the program I had a meeting with the incoming Chairman for our school board to talk about changes in the constitution and by-laws, along with any other information that he could glean from me regarding the school, and following that it was off to hospitals and rehab centers to visit some of our ailing members. Something is going on as it seems like every day I get a call that someone else is either sick or having surgery. Now I am preparing for a Lay Minister meeting at the church this evening, or at least I will be once I finish typing this post. It has been that sort of week...the clock is on overdrive!

At least the weather today was nice. Back on Monday we ended up with 2/3s of an inch of rain, and then on Tuesday the weather was pretty nice. Yesterday the skies opened up again and the result was another half inch or more water for most of the area. Today was nice again...sunshine and mid 60s, but alas, more rain will be here by tomorrow morning and it looks showery all the way through the weekend. I think I hear God telling me to start building a boat...a BIG boat.