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Happy Mother’s Day from CougCenter

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Here’s to moms everywhere!

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LAPD officers deliver flowers to deserving mothers. Photo by Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Good morning, and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you great moms out there, Cougar moms and otherwise (but especially Cougar moms). Like nearly everything else these days, Mother’s Day 2020 isn’t anything like those of the recent past, largely due to the fact that we can’t take mom out for a big brunch with other friends and family. Hopefully next year.

I have two great mothers in my life, mom Mrs. Kendall and spouse Mrs. Kendall. Mom Mrs. Kendall raised two buffoonish boys while holding down a job as a pediatric nurse (from which she recently retired after about 40 years and roughly eleventy billion vaccine shots administered). The funny thing about mom Mrs. Kendall is that, in terms of the vaccines, she never had any issue with sticking the ol’ needle into the arms or backsides of my brother and I, but when it comes to the grandkids, she can’t even be in the same room. Meanwhile, I’m in their ear telling them to quit crying and deal with it. Funny how that works.

Mom Mrs. Kendall is great because she (and dad, obviously) made a lot of sacrifices for my brother and I growing up, especially when it came to education. She scrounged every last dime and doubtlessly deprived herself of many “wants” in order to send us both through 13 years of private school. She always led by example when it came to hard work, never calling in sick despite being exposed to a bottomless amount of virus and bacteria-laden little brats. Unfortunately for mom, that work ethic died on the vine before it reached her eldest son, whose ideal career would consist of sitting on the couch and watching sports while his kids bring him beer.

Sports-wise, I guess I should be a little bitter at mom Mrs. Kendall. After all, she is partially responsible for both my Cougar and Seahawk fandom. While there have been a fair amount of joyful moments over the years, those two teams have provided much of my sports misery. Luckily for mom, I stumbled onto the bottomless pit of despair known as the Seattle Mariners on my own. As far as sports passion, that part of me definitely comes from mom Mrs. Kendall. While dad was fond of hunting and fishing when he got a little spare time (which wasn’t often), I was more content to sit and watch football all day. Some things never change.

And I know I’ve told this story before, but it still makes me laugh, so I’m telling it again. I grew up in a neighborhood that was largely Seahawks fans, but there was one guy who was a Raider fan. You won’t believe this but he was also the biggest loudmouth. I was about seven or eight when either the Raiders beat the Seahawks, or the Raiders won the Super Bowl, or something. We’d been watching the game somewhere else, and when we got home, the Raider fan neighbor had written the score in shaving cream on our screen door.

When we got inside, mom headed directly for the fridge, took out a full carton of eggs, and headed toward the neighbor’s house around the corner. Now, I can’t say exactly what happened in the interim because I was told to remain in the house, but I do know that the carton in question was empty when mom returned. In sum, don’t trash talk a passionate mother.

Mom also sacrificed countless hours driving us to an inordinate amount of practices, games, sports camps and the like, all of which paid off handsomely. Or not at all. So here’s to mom Mrs. Kendall, who hasn’t been able to see her two grandsons across the pond in nearly a year. Hopefully that drought will end soon.

I could write another 2,000 words about mom Mrs. Kendall, as well as spouse Mrs. Kendall, but I’ll save that for another day. The only thing I will say about spouse Mrs. Kendall is that she is doing a phenomenal job of raising three kids of her own (ages eight, 11 and 43). She puts up with all of their grumpy moods, backtalk and poor decisions, and comes back every day for more. I don’t know how or why she puts up with it, but I sure am glad she does.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, there isn’t a whole lot going on in the world of Washington State Cougars athletics, or any other athletic endeavors for that matter. Therefore, expect this space to be pretty off-topic going forward, if and until sports return. I will obviously keep a eye out for WSU-related stuff and make that a priority, but there’s really no way to know how much we’ll be able to talk Cougs, especially as the summer arrives.

So, where is this space headed in the future? Well, probably to a place that ends at yours truly complaining about things even more so that I do now. Segments may include:

  • “You suck if...”
  • Podcast recommendations
  • Dortmund updates
  • Stranger in a strange land (lots of material here)
  • Whatever else I can think of
  • Reader proposals!

Seriously, if there’s anything you want to hear more about, let me know. If you’ve got random questions about whatever, we can have a fun back-and-forth. We are in the middle of the open ocean, with nothing but blue water all around us.

Cougar Athletics

Cougars Celebrate Senior Class - Washington State University Athletics
2019-20 Senior Class includes 58 student-athletes.

Live Sports Coming Soon!!!

If you’re starving for real live sports on your television, I’ve got some great news and a chance for you to jump on a bandwagon. When the rumors of German professional soccer’s return began circulating, CougCenter slack became ablaze with talk of which team we’d throw our support behind. And away we go!

The combination of my poor internet skills and stereotypical German stoicism made for difficult hype video hunting, but I found this. These fans are something else.

Bundesliga | Borussia Dortmund's "Yellow Wall": a crown jewel of German football
The Yellow Wall: a spellbinding sight in the south stand of Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park that may not be quite visible from space, but whose dimensions and noise reach up to the stars.

This Week in Parenting

Like many of your children, I imagine, school from home isn’t exactly a rigorous undertaking, which means they have a decent amount of free time. In our house, that leads to fort/weapons bunker/sniper’s nest construction. The natural line of fire goes through my path between the living room and kitchen, which leads to occasional stray rounds in the back. The other day, I took another round, and the 11 year-old said, “sorry, accidental discharge.” This prompted me to remark, “that better be the last accidental discharge you’re ever a part of.” Mrs. Kendall didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

Later on, I finally decided to upgrade the eight year-old’s self transportation situation, as his old bike was nearing the end of its life cycle. The new bike came home on Friday.

Which led to this on Saturday:

By the time he turns 10, his knees are going to be two giant pieces of scar tissue.

Book Club

For the first time in my life, I read a book for a second time, completing Not a Good Day to Die on Saturday. It’s about a little-known operation called Anaconda, which took place in Eastern Afghanistan in early 2002, and is quite a read, whether you’ve been in the military for 20 years or you’ve never had anything to do with that way of life. The first time I read it, I was new to special operations, having never flown a mission in that world.

Now that I’ve flown over much of that same ground and worked with many of the same people (I even recognized a few names on my second read), going through it again was a completely new experience. There are many things everyone can learn, most importantly, how critical it is to have a clear knowledge of who is in charge of what. While I can’t speak to civilian companies, I can tell you without reservation that getting Command and Control (C2) right is critical to success, and it is really goddamn difficult to do so. We in the military work on it constantly. I highly recommend the book.

Next up: The Great Influenza by John M. Barry

I figure it’s appropriate!

Beer

Best beer I had this week: I’m trying to stretch out the Omnipollo and Mikkeller supplies so I don’t go on another re-order binge, but Saturday night I cracked open a Magnapoli Imperial Stout and I will definitely be ordering more.

These Very Good Dogs Help Deliver Quarantine Beer And They're Doing A Great Job
The "Brew Dogs" are bringing joy and beer, one delivery at a time.

Non-Sports

The Eight Types of People We Become on Zoom - The Ringer
Are you an Unmuted Multitasker or a Cross-Talk Screamer?