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Merry Christmas, from CougCenter

Hope you got what you wanted!

Cougar Cubs Celebrate The Holiday Season Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hello, and Merry Christmas. I kind of hope you’re not reading this, because if you are, it probably means that you’re not enjoying the holiday. The members of Team Kendall seem to have had a pretty good one so far. As far as your Washington State Cougars sporting outfits, we’ll hazard a guess as to what they would like this Christmas.

  • Cougar Football: Assistant coaches, offensive linemen, outside receivers, linebackers, and a bowl game in which it doesn’t embarrass itself. Seems doable, right?
  • Cougar Men’s Basketball: Competent play during an actual game, the next of which takes place Sunday afternoon, against Utah State. WSU against Utah State? What could possibly get sideways in that matchup? The Cougs are currently a 3.5-point underdog.
  • Cougar Women’s Basketball: A solid start to the bulk of conference play. After going 10-1 in the nonconference season, with a loss to Washington mixed in, the Cougs face the mountain schools in Pullman next weekend.
  • Cougar Baseball: The coaches and players would probably appreciate a slight elevation in temperature and, I don’t know, maybe a snow-free baseball diamond? They should get their wish by March or so.
  • The 1890 Club: Your money! But seriously, we (the fans) and they (the athletes) really need everything y’all are willing to give, assuming you’d like to see WSU athletics remain competitive. Donate here!

Christmas Happenings

As for the aforementioned Team Kendall, it has been a pretty successful day so far. After years of requests and denials, they were finally able to wear Mrs. Kendall and me down (they being 95% 11 year-old and 5% teenager), and an Xbox finally appeared under the tree. They immediately wrested control of my secondary sports-watching TV and, after about an hour’s worth of setup, took to playing FIFA.

Before that, yours truly was up at about 0600 to get the brisket on the smoker. At the time of this writing, she’s sitting at about 175.

This is the first time I’ve smoked a brisket on the old Traeger, so hopefully it doesn’t suck!

As anyone who has lorded over a smoker knows, the only thing more important than the cooking of the meat is the drinking of the beer during the cooking of the meat. Seeing as how it’s Christmas and all, I broke out a lineup of (mostly) Belgian Christmas ales and their associated glasses.

We had 15 crates worth of household goods that moved from Germany to Florida. The booze crate was twice as heavy as any of the others. Can’t figure out why!

But seriously Belgium is the greatest place in the history of ever.

Besides the Xbox, the 11 year-old also got a new bike, as he’d outgrown his current version. We pulled it from the box last night about 2300, and after looking over the portions that had to be assembled, I immediately took a pass and went to bed. While seeing the wonder of little kids when they see what Santa delivered was great, there’s a lot to be said for, “they know Santa isn’t real, so let’s just take this thing to a bike shop and let them put it together.”

The oldest had been asking us for a waterproof sleeping bag, because he still has PTSD from getting soaked while camping in Switzerland. He still hasn’t figured out that the best solution for not getting wet while camping is to not go camping, but whatever. We finally deduced that what he really wanted was something called a bivy.

He couldn’t wait try it out, and he’s in there now, looking at Instaface or something.

But humans aren’t the only highlight of Christmas around here. Mrs. Kendall’s folks drove down for the holiday, and brought their dog along, which meant that we temporarily became a two-animal household. Lucy the dog and Comino the cat have sort of settled in to a gray area between outright hostility and détente, but there are definitely moments when we get “Checkpoint Charlie in October 1961” vibes.

Apparently Saturday’s butt-sniffing summit did little to ease the tension.

Over on CougCenter Slack, there are people at Disney Land, gifts which include a Minecraft mug, a mini-kitchen set (which has a clock I believe should be permanently set at 5 p.m. but maybe that’s just me), Kraken-themed beer, a WSU travel mug, CD players for kids, and a dog that has been clearly dressed up against its will.

So that’s what we’ve got for you today. Once again, thank you to all of you who read regularly, once in a while, or just once ever (which is certainly the case if you’ve read one of my dumb screeds). You all make this little venture what it is, and I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Back to the meat and beer.