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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Long weekend

Child Three picked up a nasty virus last week. It may have been an influenza and even if it wasn’t, the symptoms were the same: congestion, cough, fever, lethargy…. We sent him to school Thursday although we probably should have kept him home. He stayed home with me Friday.

Fridays are our traditional nights to invite the wife’s mother and aunt over for supper. Less traditionally, Fridays have also become Child Two’s night for play rehearsals. I picked her up and we enjoyed a nice stretch of free time, except for Child Three, who fell asleep.

Child Three had a hockey practice scheduled for 8:00 a.m. which he missed, of course. As a coach, I should have been there, but I had to spend the day at Concordia for the Young Journalists Workshop – but more about that in a moment. I had to be at the school for 9:00, so I couldn’t make the practice either.

The wife had agreed to spend the day volunteering for the local soccer association. We were left with nobody to look after the deathly pale Child Three. Child One normally babysits for us, and that was our plan originally, but with Child Three ill, we wanted more adult supervision. Lifesaver friend and assistant coach Neil stepped in. His boy was at the practice, so Child Three went with and watched. Neil dragged him around all day, a choice of words that isn’t a reflection on Neil’s plans so much as one of Child Three’s energy.

I spent the morning chatting with ten or so prospective journalism students, about how to turn a press conference into a story. I think it went well, but next time I do it, I’ll make it more hands on. I lectured too much.

I had a two-hour slot in there to do some work, so I answered some research questions and surfed. My novice team had a game to play at 7:00 p.m. and I had scheduled Child Three to play goalie. First thing in the morning, we couldn’t decide if he was too sick to play, and to be safe I called our other goalie and asked him to bring his equipment just in case. (When our goalies aren’t playing nets, they dress and play as forwards.)

I spent the afternoon doing a second session with the potential students. We went to my lab and did some desktop publishing, which was almost entirely hands on. I think that was more effective than the morning.

I got home around 4:30 and by that time it had become obvious that Child Three was not going to play hockey. I spoke with assistant coach Bram, the father of our other goalie and told him his boy was in net.

I prepared a bit for our game and vegged out for half an hour before heading to the arena. Our record was 10-1-0 with 46 goals scored and 12 against, in a virtual tie for first. We played the sixth-place team, 4-5-2 with a goal differential of 18 for and 26 against. I have no idea how that team has lost five games. They gave us a glorious game. We hopped out to a 1-0 lead early in the second, but they tied it a minute later. I think we may have had more shots, but most of our shots were taken from too far away. The opposing goalie could cover post to post with his legs – that was amazing to watch, and painful to imagine – and we never could lift the puck over him. We lost 2-1 in a game that the other team earned.

In the short term, the loss will be painful. In the longer term, it will help. I was able to spot some flaws in the boys’ games that we can correct and which will make them better hockey players, which is the goal at this level anyway. We need better tactics coming out of the zone, which was a problem. Defencemen who were reasonably solid early in the year have come down with goal-itis and are now hanging out too deep in the offensive zone. We gave up many breakaways, which is a cardinal sin in my “Webs’s Big Book of Hockey”. Still, the game should turn out to be short term pain for long term gain for all concerned.

Neil and family came over after the game to help us – OK, help Elvi – hang a hammock. It turned into a late night, after which I updated the acting resumes for Children One and Two, who had an audition tape to make for a kids show at 11:00 a.m.

In the morning, Elvi printed out some headshots and picked up Child Two from her sleepover host while I tried to print the resumes. Child Three missed indoor baseball practice, but with the schedule, might have missed it regardless of health.

We got back from the audition at 1:00 p.m. and soon had visitors. In between, I was able to knock out and post online some notes for this week’s Online Magazine class.

The novice kids had another practice at 4:00 p.m. (all three novice teams practice en masse) but I was just too beat to make it. I slept through it, then woke up and folded laundry until my back started to twinge. Then I wrote this. Tomorrow? I read Web site assessments and pick grades out of a hat.

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