Tales from a former High School Sports parent

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This was how my career as a High School sports parent ended. With a loss to Dexter High in the first round of the 2017 MHSAA Lacrosse playoffs. Dexter 19, Chelsea 6.

The last kid, the last sport, the last season, the last game, the last quarter…the last minute, the last second….and poof, it was over. It seemed like it had just began, but in fact it began more than 8 years ago in the Winter of 2008. Add it up…3 seasons per school year, baseball almost ever summer, 3 kids, 8 years equals … a lot of games. and it all went way too fast.

As the minutes ticked down, I began reflecting on all of the games, all of the hours spent in the stands watching my kids compete with a plethora of other Chelsea High Schoolers that became like my own kids. Its been a wild ride. Tons of fun, lots of laughter, high fives, yelling at a ref or two, a few ill-timed screams and a few gut punches too. The gut punches are just as easy to remember as the huge wins, the hugs and the celebrations. All the emotions and experiences together made for an incredible experience and I wouldn’t change anything (except for one or two game outcomes).

I have two daughters and my eldest (Jessie) was just about to start pre-school when my first wife and I moved to Chelsea, where she grew up and was a ’83 grad of Chelsea High School. My daughters tried a few sports while very young. They played tee-ball with me volunteering in probably 1996 or 1997. The younger (Lexie) also played soccer one season after her 4th grade year, which would have been 2002 I think. Neither loved sports and they didn’t really take to it. They didn’t play any additional sports in Jr High or High School. Their mother and I were divorced in 2003 and I remarried in January 2009.

When Marissa and her kids moved to Chelsea in November of 2008, my step kids were in 7th grade (Tiffany), 5th grade (Christopher) and 4th grade (Nick). They immediately enrolled in available sports. Tiffany played middle school basketball within weeks of moving to Chelsea, I worked the clock at the Beach Middle School gym on countless occasions over the next 5 years while each of the 3 kids played basketball to varying degrees of participation and success.

Here are pictures of each of them that first year.

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The Greatest Moments

The absolute top moment wasn’t really a moment, it was a series of moments that began in August of 2015 with the Chelsea High School Football team’s annual scrimmage with 3 other schools. It was the beginning of Christopher’s senior year and we knew his class was going to do great things. We had known it for many years. The moment had been brewing for about 6 years.

I remember standing outside of Beach Middle School with other dad’s waiting to drive Christopher and his teammates home from a 7th grade football game. As we stood there and discussed the boys week after week, even though they weren’t winning many games (this is normal for middle school football in Chelsea), we started to see something. We all noticed similar things: there were tons of kids in this class, they seemed to be bigger kids than even the grade ahead of them and they seemed to have a lot of kids that were very athletic. I wondered at the time if we were just typical sports parents that think their kids are the best ever. It crossed my mind, but I honestly thought these kids were awesome for their ages. As the boys grew and played in 8th grade, our opinions did not change. The following year, when most of them played on the freshman team for Chelsea High, they went an amazing 9-0. Even with some of their most athletic kids not playing with the freshman (a handful were playing up a notch on Junior Varsity), they still did not lose a game all year. Nine games played, nine games won. This accomplishment is in direct contrast to the philosophy of Chelsea football where the only level we care about wins and losses is at the varsity level. Wins on Friday’s is all that matters. But, don’t tell that to the kids. You want kids that win and that want to win each and every time they play a game. Here is a Facebook post from the final game of that year.

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I believed that the class would do great things.

Their sophomore year, when most of them played on JV, they were a respectable 7-2. Their junior year, when they all played together for the first time, even though many didn’t get as much playing time as we would have liked (this is also common for juniors), they finished 7-2 and won 2 playoff games before losing to Detroit Country Day in the regional final, 21-0. Was a tough game with a few turnovers being critical. All this set the stage for their senior year, which began that August with a few scrimmages.

The season was amazing. They won each of their first 5 games before falling to Ypsilanti Community High School in a game that they never led and were simply out-played from start to finish. Was a wake-up call for them, I think. They finished the season 8-1 and began the playoffs with an easy victory over Romulus at home. The next week, they traveled to Trenton High School and beat them. The following week, they went to Allen Park High School and won Chelsea’s first-ever regional championship and earned a trip to the state semi-finals against Coldwater High. After the game in Allen Park, we parents wandered on the field and celebrated with our boys. They posed with the regional championship trophy and it was truly amazing. But the best was yet to come.

The following week, the state semi final was played at neutral site of Jackson High School. The game was delayed a day due to a huge blizzard that hit the area on Saturday. Our game was the only one delayed. So, we went to Jackson on Sunday to watch our boys play for the right to play a game at Ford Field for the State Division 3 Championship. The game was a blowout from the start. Coldwater could not run the ball against our stout defense and they simply could not stop our offense from throwing over the top of their defenders. Final score: Chelsea 28, Coldwater 7.

After the game, we got to go celebrate with our kids again as we had the prior weeks. Christopher and Nick were both so excited. WE ARE GOING TO FORD FIELD!!! The dream was realized. It was truly mind blowing and I was so happy and so proud of these boys. Here is a picture of us on the field that day.

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The state final was an amazing experience. The whole day, the lead-up, the bus ride, watching the kids warm up. The whole deal was fantastic. They lost the game. They could have won if every single thing had gone their way and it most clearly did not. They made some mistakes and had some bad calls go against them, but that’s life. That’s sports. That’s football. They made it to the state finals from the little community west of Ann Arbor. It was an absolutely fantastic ride.

Here is the patch that the boys earned. The patch is awesome, but the memories are better!

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Another Great Moment

This one truly was a moment in time. It was a quick 10 seconds out of a season of games and times. It was Nick’s sophomore year and was playing on the JV Lacrosse team. He plays defense and was still learning his stick work. He was improving and he would become pretty darned good by his senior year. But in this moment, he was learning. The moment began when our goalie threw an outlet pass to Nick. The pass was behind him, but he turned and made a pretty good catch. He quickly made a nice pass to another teammate who was running into the offensive zone. That player made another pass and perhaps there was one more before a shot and a goal. The entire sequence was perhaps 5 seconds. After the goal our JV coach screamed loudly enough for us to hear in the stands this sentence: “CHILDRESS, THAT IS YOUR GOAL AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE! GREAT PLAY!!”. It almost brought me to tears, I was so happy for Nick and so proud of him. He worked hard and the hard work was paying off. Great, great moment. 2 seconds of the coaches time to acknowledge one kid on his team made a huge impression. Coaches, please note this!!

Greatest Team

The very first sports team that Chris played on was a rec baseball team in the summer of 2009. He had never played baseball and didn’t seem too excited, but he played because I agreed to sign up as an assistant coach.

We hit the jackpot with our placement as the kids and parents on this team would become friends for many years to come.

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Looking at how small the boys were in that picture is pretty cute. A bunch of these kids ended up being on that Chelsea football team that played at Ford Field. The other coaches are guys I have shared many, many beers and laughs with along with their wives. We had a lot of fun with this team over the better part of 4 summers. We won a lot of games, had a lot of fun and watched the kids grow before our eyes.

Biggest Improvement

When Tiffany entered high school, she informed us that she wanted to play field hockey. Our response of course was “field hockey!?!?!?!?!?!”. Why on earth do you want to play that sport? She wanted to play it because her friends Kayla and Taylor were going to play and the three of them were inseparable. They were also loud, funny, cute and kind of annoying at times 🙂

Anyway, Tiffany ended up playing field hockey for the community team, The Washtenaw Whippets, for her entire 4 years in high school. Chelsea High didn’t get their own field hockey team until after Tiffany had graduated.

Her freshman year was a lesson in patience for the kids, coaches and parents. They did not win a game and only scored maybe 10 goals all year…probably 7 of the goals was scored by their best player, a senior that ended up playing at MSU.

By the time her junior year rolled around, they won their division by beating Dexter late in the year. They played Dexter again the next week in the playoffs and lost. But, they won their division, got a patch and trophy. Very cool.

Her senior year, they won a playoff game and were one additional win away from playing for a state championship. They played Ann Arbor Huron High School and lost 1-0 in overtime. It was a huge, painful gut punch. Her career ended with a loss. Seeing the kids upset after a loss is tough, seeing a season end is even tougher, seeing your senior season end was very, very tough. Watching the girls come off the field in tears, collapsing into their parents arms was especially hard. We tried to stress the positives and the strides they had made, but it was very, very tough. This game would be one that, if I could, I would wave my magic wand to change. Even if they came up short in the state final, just to make it there would have been beyond amazing.

Gut Punch

Nick’s senior year football team was good. This was the team that had to follow-up the class in front of them leading the way to Ford Field. It was a tough position for the class of 2017 to be in, even though most were on the team the prior year, they still felt tremendous pressure. They handled it like pros and had lots of success that year.

The team lost the opening game of the year in blow-out fashion to River Rouge. The game was later declared a forfeit and victory by Chelsea, but we know what we saw and Chelsea was out-classed that day. During the game and for the next week, I wasn’t sure how this team would do, but luckily the kids didn’t seem to have the same doubts. The team won every other game the entire regular season.

They then won the first two playoff games to win the schools’ 3rd straight district championship. The following game, for a regional championship and chance to play in the state semi-final was at stake. The game against Edwardsburg was an epic affair that also ended up going to overtime.

In the 2nd overtime, Edwardsburg scored a TD and got the 2 point conversion. Chelsea scored a TD on an amazing catch in the back of the endzone. The two point conversion is a play that I will remember for a long time. Chelsea’s QB scrambled in the backfield to keep the play alive and threw the ball to what must have been his 3rd option, to the far left side of the field. It landed incomplete at the feet of a covered receiver. The game ended. The season ended. The senior’s career’s ended at that moment. We sat in the stands stunned for a few minutes until the gravity of the situation washed over us. Very tough moment and probably another game that I would love to change. But, just to have gotten to this game was amazing and this senior class had more wins in the past two years and most classes in the school’s history.

Great Win

One of the best wins of any team was the game in 2016 Football playoffs that immediately preceded the loss to Edwardsburg just described. We were scheduled to play Coldwater High School in a rematch of the previous years state semi-final game. Coldwater wanted revenge and very nearly got it.

The game had tons of back and forth moments. Coldwater was a very good team and showed it. They played well and it was a close game from start to finish.

Chelsea led 20-14 with around 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Coldwater had the ball just past midfield, when they ran a screen pass play that they had run 5 or more times throughout the course of the game. This time, the player that caught the pass, made a couple guys miss and went the length of the field to tie the score at 20 with an extra point pending. As Coldwater attempted the XP, one of Chelsea’s great defensive lineman got a little push and timed his jump perfectly to block the kick. The game remained tied, but it was a huge momentum swing. Chelsea had led and had the momentum, then Coldwater had the long TD play and their kids rightfully were going nuts and the tide had seemingly turned, then the XP was blocked and our kids went crazy as Uncle Mo changed sides for the 2nd time inside of 60 seconds. That was all exciting, heart-stopping stuff, but it was just the warmup to what was yet to come.

Chelsea received the kickoff and started their drive on their own 25 or 30 yard line with under 2 minutes left. They made some nice plays, had some nice time out usages, conserved the clock and marched, marched, marched down the field. When one of the best players on the field alluded two defenders and lurched into the endzone, the time on the clock showed 0:03. Three seconds remained when Chelsea scored the winning touchdown. It was an amazing end to an amazing game. Felt bad for the Coldwater seniors, but felt fantastic for our kids. They won and they deserved to win.

Personal Accomplishment

Tiffany did track and field in middle school and when she told us that she wanted to try the pole vault her freshman year, it was not a surprise. She sees something that she wants to do, sets her goal and she goes and achieves it. She wanted to learn to play field hockey, so she did it. She wanted to learn the pole vault, so she did it. She wanted to get accepted to the University of Michigan, so she did it. She wants to go to dental school, so she is going to do it (pending). Her goal was to get her pole vault patch for her lettermen jacket. This is only issued if you clear a vault of a certain height (forgive me for not remembering the height). This height seemed impossible to her at the beginning, but she worked at it…and worked at it and did finally achieve the desired height and got the desired patch and had the patch added to her lettermen jacked. See goal, set goal, achieve goal.

Worst Moment

I had wavered on whether to include this part. I’m still not convinced if I should remove it or leave it. But, I’m going to write it and decide later.

The singular worst moment of the entire period came at Tiffany’s field hockey banquet her senior year. This was immediately after the team had accomplished so much, they had made the state semi-finals, they had won their division the prior year. This senior class had not won a single game their freshman year and had transformed the program into a power, into a program that moved up a division, into a program that would make it to a state final game 2 years later. This senior class had set the standard for success for all classes to follow. They had left a lasting legacy. No matter what happened to their athletic success for the rest of their lives, they could always look to this team and the success that they had blazed, and whatever successes the program celebrated in the future could be traced to the class of 2014.

The points in the preceding paragraph are what should have been said at the banquet. The coaches should have absolutely let these girls enjoy their success and understand their place in history and the legacy that they left. Maybe the coaches do not agree with me, maybe they don’t care or maybe they just aren’t smart enough to understand or see the big picture even after a season. I’m not sure, but when the coaches called up each senior to talk about their accomplishments, there was precious little of this said. In fact, there was nothing to that effect. Nothing about where the program had been when these girls started and where it was presently as they exit. To me, this was the single biggest point to be made and it was not made.

When the coach called up Tiffany, her summary went something like this: “Oh Tiffany, I remember how we yelled at you during your freshman and sophomore years. Folks, you don’t understand how hard it is to tell an athlete to just stand there and do nothing during a game. And she really stood around and did nothing. But, hey, geez, we are really going to miss you.” Tiffany came over to us in tears. It was the single worst speech by a coach I have ever heard. That woman was an embarrassment many times during the 4 years we dealt with her, but this was the last time I ever saw her or had to enduring hearing her voice. I will always support Chelsea High students and athletes, but that woman…ugh. I am not a fan. What she should have said to Tiffany: “Tiffany, we had our differences at times, but you have matured so much during the last 4 years. Your play has improved from year, to year, to year. You were a huge asset for us this year especially and the goal you scored against Dexter was one we’ll all remember for a long time. I am so proud of your personal and athletic accomplishments and and so happy you were accepted to the University of Michigan. You are going to do great things in this world. Congratulations and good luck in all future endeavors.” You know, talk about the positives and gloss over any negatives. It is what all coaches do in all banquets all the time. Except for her, this one time. I’m still kinda angry about it. What an embarrassment.

Success

Chelsea is a tiny town about 15 miles west of Ann Arbor. When I say tiny, I mean it. Enrollment for 2017-18 is 840. That is about 210 per class. Other schools in their division (SEC White) are:

Ypsilanti – 1254
Lincoln – 1222
Dexter – 1149
Adrian – 865
Tecumseh – 850

Adrian and Tecumseh are pretty close, but Chelsea is the smallest in the division and considerably smaller than Ypsi, Lincoln and Dexter. But, they compete in football at the highest level. They win year in and year out. They have beaten Dexter 20 straight years. They beat these schools often. They compete successfully with the larger schools in the SEC Red like Pioneer, Huron and Monroe. Why is this? How do they do it?

It is my opinion, from watching this program from the inside the past 7 years that the success largely stems from the way the entire program is run from the middle school 7th and 8th grade teams to the freshman team and to the JV team. They all funnel the kids for success at the varsity level. Winning on Friday’s is what ultimately matters most. It is the singular goal of the entire program. Not to say the kids, coaches and parents do not want to win middle school games or freshman games or JV games. They do. We did. But, learning the game and cultivating a love and commitment for the game is more important at the lower levels. I remember when Christopher was playing a 7th grade game against Tecumseh. They had one kid that played middle linebacker, running back, punter and did kickoffs. He was a beast and Tecumseh won easily because of this one kid. Not sure if that Tecumseh kid played on the varsity team 4 and 5 years later, but Christopher’s junior and senior years included comfortable victories over Tecumseh both years. Each year, there are two 7th grade and two 8th grade teams. They are evenly divided in terms of talent. There is not an A team and a B team as some schools have. Every kid plays at every level (other than varsity) in every game. It is my belief that these concepts are the reason that Chelsea has the highest participation of all schools in the division despite being the smallest school. It is my further belief that this is one huge reason for the success they have at the varsity level. The coaches also stress that the varsity team will be led by seniors and if a position battle is close, the senior will win almost always. I’m not sure this is always the best way to go, but the fact that the coaches are vocal about this, makes it less objectionable. Another concept that I absolutely love is that lack of individual awards. There is no MVP award at any level, including varsity. It is a team game and there is generally no singling out of individual kids.

Not everyone in Chelsea will agree with all that. There are personal stories of kids not being treated the way they would like. I have heard stories and I generally believe them. I personally witnessed some decisions that I questioned with regard to playing time and first v second string. This is always going to be the case, regardless of how you run your program. Ask other coaches that do not run the program like this. Parents are equally unhappy with the coaching decisions. There are only 11 kids on the field at a time and parents of the rest are generally not going to be happy.

Uncomfortable Moment

I was once at Ypsilanti Community High School for a basketball game. I think it was Christopher’s junior year. Ypsi was winning pretty comfortably most of the game. Chelsea made a little run to cut it close, but Ypsi got things back under control and led by around 20 with a couple minutes to go in the 4th quarter.

“OK. Y’all can go back to the farm now.”

That is the quote that I heard with my own ears from someone on the home side of the court. I do not know if it was a student or an adult. But, it was uncomfortable. It seemed racial to me. Luckily nobody of note heard it and I have never heard anyone else mention it. It could have been a big deal if our kids had heard it. It was not not wise and was pretty ignorant and offensive comment.

Overall Thoughts

I could go on and on and on. I could have written stories about each team, each year, each kid. I could have written this much just about the baseball teams. I could have just written about the baseball teams that I coached and I could have written more than this. But, these are the highlights.

There are other sports that I didn’t mention. Christopher played baseball for Chelsea High his freshman and sophomore years. Nick played lacrosse from 8th grade through his senior year. Nick also bowled on the Chelsea High team from his sophomore year through his senior year. Christopher played basketball from 7th grade through his junior year. Tiffany ran track in 7th, 8th and 9th grade and ran cross country one year. Plus, Nick played soccer one year and both boys played flag football prior to 7th grade. There were a lot of sports, lots of games, lots of yelling, a whole lot of fun.

Best part of all, is that they are all graduates of Chelsea High School. They are all good kids and I’m proud to be their stepfather. I hope they appreciate that their time as high school athletes are part of who they are and part of the reason that they can handle successes and failures as they proceed in life.

Here they are on their graduation days.

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Facebook and My Phone Contacts

I am an IT professional and at times am required to take online training sessions that cover all sorts of topics. Last week at work, I took an IT security course and one of the areas of emphasis was social media.

The course mentioned that one thing you could do to protect your Facebook data was to download it. I had no idea this was something that could be done. After a couple searches with Google and looking at Facebook, I performed the “download a copy of your data” function from within the Facebook website on my laptop. Description of how to do this is here.

The downloaded data is amazingly detailed and complete. It had every single post I had ever made as well as most of the pictures and videos posted and many other things. But, one thing caught my eye – the “Contact Information”. This is not a list of Facebook friends, that was also there but separate.

The “Contact Information” section was a list of the contacts on my iPhone. I did not upload this data to Facebook and I did not enable the sync feature to synchronize my contacts to facebook. Facebook friends were NOT in my iPhone contacts. So, seeing these people listed with all my Facebook data was weird. But, it got weirder the more I looked at the data. There were multiple people in my contacts where I only knew their first name and phone number. But, in my downloaded data it included their last name also. I decided to search these folks in Facebook using just their phone number and bingo- their Facebook profile, including first and last name, was found.

It seems as though this “download your data” function will grab your contacts from your phone without your permission, will then match the people based on their phone number to existing Facebook accounts and include their full name based on that lookup. Kind of cool but kind of creepy too.

After I noticed all this, I tried to disable Facebook from accessing my contacts, but I do not see any place where this is enabled (nor disabled for that matter). In Settings->Facebook, there is no indication that Facebook will access my contacts. In the Facebook app, under Friends->Contacts, I am displayed a message indicating that having your contacts sync’d in Facebook is a great thing and that I should “Get Started”. I declined getting started with that.

But wait, there is more.

Every Facebook user knows the annoying “people you may know” listing of people’s profile pictures asking you to add them as a friend. This list has completely changed for me since I downloaded my data. It now includes people that were contacts on my phone, people that I had emailed (via Yahoo mail) and people that I have sent text messages to as my only method of communication. I have 6 different email addresses configured on my iPhone. One of the email addresses is associated with my Facebook account, while the others are not associated with FB at all. I found it very interesting that Facebook now kept suggesting I be friends with a person I had emailed on one of my non-FB email accounts. She is not in my contacts. I do not have a phone number for her and, quite honestly, I did not even know her full name. I only have an email and have only communicated to her via a secondary Yahoo email account that I rarely use, but now Facebook thinks she is someone I should be friends with. Hmmm. Facebook is so smart. Too smart.

So, the “download your data” function is clearly an interesting option to get copies of your data offline and backed up onto your computer, but it is not without its drawbacks. Facebook does whatever it wants to do, does not tell you what it is doing and has almost full access to whatever data it deems ‘needed’. Be careful out there folks.

I hope to have some follow-up to this in the future because I have a lot of observations and a lot of questions, but very few answers at this point.

Dear Jim Caldwell

An open letter to Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell from an average Lions fan.


Dear Coach Caldwell,

  • I watch every game on TV.
  • I try to attend one or two home games each year.
  • I have friends that have season tickets.
  • I grew up in this area and have been a fan for all of my life.

At your introductory press conference at Ford Field, I listened to every word, every idea, every concept and philosophical thought you had. I was very impressed and was absolutely sold that you were the correct person to lead the Lions to success. Even in the face of losses, I was convinced your high character and discipline would lead, eventually, to wins on the field.

As the past few years have gone by, I have become increasingly frustrated with a lot of behavior, but I’m going to focus on just one aspect in this letter, that being your communication with the fans. I will not get into the game day decision making, personnel decisions or other football activities.

I listen and watch your press conferences after each game as well as the weekly press conferences on Monday. I hear the annoyance and condescension in your voice as reporters ask question after question. I hear your avoidance as certain questions are asked. I hear arrogance in other answers. You may think the reporters are stupid and ask stupid questions and are a giant waste of your time. In fact, you have directly said as much.

What I want you to know, Coach Caldwell, is that when you are speaking to the reporters you are ALSO speaking to me. The writers for the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, MLive, Oakland Press and other publications are asking their questions in order to disseminate your answers to their readers. And coach, do you know who their readers are? They are Lions fans like me and tons of others.

When you are asked if there is a change of philosophy or a change in schemes based on the injuries on your defense, please know that this is something I would like asked. It is a reasonable question. When your answer is simply to berate, embarrass and demean the questioner, remember that you are also berating me. You are being condescending and obnoxious to me and all Lions fans that are listening. You are sometimes asked about Deandre Levy’s health. He didn’t play in the last game. What is his status? What is the injury? Did he practice? Did he show up at the facility at all? What is the prognosis? These are all reasonable questions that paying customers and fans would like asked. Questions I would ask if given the chance, but your responses are insufficient and infuriating. “Check the report” is simply not good enough and quite frankly, offensive.

You didn’t like those questions? Tough break, sir. You think you are too smart or above answering such nonsense? Too bad. Beyond being required by the NFL to give the pressers, you should take it as an opportunity to communicate directly to the fans. I can imagine its very tough after a bad loss to talk about all the mistakes, thoughts and decisions made during the game. It’s very, very hard, I am sure. How you handle these hard tasks says more about your character and your true self than anything else. It says more about you than an introductory press conference. When you act like an arrogant ass and demean the writers, you are demeaning all listeners and all readers and all fans. When you behave in this manner, you are an embarrassment to the Lions and the NFL.

What would I like you to do, coach? How about you show a slice of humility? How about a little insight? How about you attempt to communicate to the fans? How about you speak to us as equals…or at least as customers that have a right to answers? How about you act like there is valid information to be given in your press conferences?

Above all, Coach Caldwell, I’d like for you to think of each reporter in the room asking questions as representing 25,000 fans. Fans that pay your salary and pay to have a full stadium, fans that give you and your team a true home field advantage. In other words, do not treat them like a petty annoyance because when you do that, you are treating every single fan with the same embarrassing, arrogant, petulant attitude. And we deserve better.

Free up some iPhone space…for free

If you have an iPhone and deal with low storage, here is a trick to reclaim some unused storage.

  1. First, you must know how much free space you have: Settings -> General -> Usage -> Storage Available
  2. Go to iTunes and search for a movie with a bigger file size than what you have left on storage (Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers HD version is over 6.8 GB)
  3. Click the rent button.
  4. You’ll get a message saying ‘Cannot Download’ because you don’t have enough storage. There are OK and Settings buttons.
  5. Click settings and magically you will get some storage back (it probably erases some orphaned data from different apps to try to download the movie). If you click ‘Manage Storage’, you’ll see your new available storage.
  6. Repeat the process a few times.
  7. When I tried this, my available storage went from 800MB to 1.9GB. I had to do it about 5 times.

Original post: https://www.reddit.com/r/iphone/comments/462isr/get_some_storage_back_by_trying_to_download_a

Hen Man

Brian came home from the pub late one Friday evening stinking drunk, as he often did, and crept into bed beside his wife who was already asleep. He gave a peck on the cheek and fell asleep.

When he awoke he found a strange man standing at the end of his bed wearing a long flowing white robe. “Who the hell are you?” Demanded Brian, “and what are you doing in my bedroom?”.

The mysterious Man answered “This isn’t your bedroom and I’m St Peter”.

Brian was stunned “You mean I’m dead!!! That can’t be, I have so much to live for, I haven’t said goodbye to my family…. you’ve got to send me back straight away”.

St Peter replied “Yes you can be reincarnated but there is a catch. We can only send you back as a dog or a hen.”

Brian was devasted, but knowing there was a farm not far from his house, he asked to be sent back as a hen.

A flash of light later he was covered in feathers and clucking around pecking the ground. “This ain’t so bad” he thought until he felt this strange feeling welling up inside him.

The farmyard rooster strolled over and said “So you’re the new hen, how are you enjoying your first day here?”

“It’s not so bad” replies Brian, “but I have this strange feeling inside like I’m about to explode”.

“You’re ovulating” explained the rooster, “don’t tell me you’ve never laid an egg before”.

“Never” replies Brian

“Well just relax and let it happen”

And so he did and after a few uncomfortable seconds later, an egg pops out from under his tail. An immense feeling of relief swept over him and his emotions got the better of him as he experienced motherhood for the first time.

When he laid his second egg, the feeling of happiness was overwhelming and he knew that being reincarnated as a hen was the best thing that ever happened to him… ever!!!

The joy kept coming and as he was just about to lay his third egg he felt an enormous smack on the back of his head and heard his wife shouting “Brian, wake up you drunken bastard, you’re shitting the bed!”

SQL 2008 upgrade to SQL 2012

Background

Our SQL 2012 project started with getting a sandbox VM configured. Installing SQL 2008 and subsequently upgrading the instance to SQL 2012. Went swimmingly. No real issues.

The First Upgrade
We scheduled the upgrade of our development instance for April 23, 2014. I kicked off the installer at 4:01pm ET on 4/23/2014. At approximately 4:45, I was presented with this error:

Error1

TEXT: The folder ‘’ does not exist. The folder is expected to exist to set permission on it. Examine why the folder does not exist and recreate it.

Quick aside: The error message is pretty specific and anybody that takes the time to read it would know what the problem is. This is really all you want from an error message, so kudos to Microsoft for this portion of it.

Before clicking OK, I went out to my drive to look at my directory structure. Turns out, there must have been some issue when I first installed this instance because the directory structure looked like this:
F:\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\Data\
–This contained all of my databases

F:\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\Data\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\DATA
–This had just been created in the last few minutes

F:\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\Data\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\DATA.OFF
F:\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\Data\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\JOBS.OFF
F:\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\Data\MSSQL10.SQLDEV\MSSQL\LOG.OFF
–These were empty and apparently created during the installation, but I then reconfigured SQL to not use them. Or, so I thought 

So, I renamed the ‘jobs.off’ and ‘log.off’ directories to remove the ‘.off’ portion. Easy enough. I find it really interesting that the installer created its own Data directory, but wouldn’t do that for the JOBS directory.

I then clicked on OK in the error dialog hoping the installer would retry the operation and continue. No dice on that.

About 2 minutes after clicking OK, the upgrade process finished with this lovely dialog.

DEV_image2

There is nothing quite like seeing RED on your summary screen. Summary is basically saying that everything worked, except for the database engine. You know, the most important part. The heart of everything. That part failed, but hey…your tools will work.

I also received a message that the computer needed to be restarted. So, of course, whenever there is an error first step is to reboot. So, I did that.

After the reboot, I ran the SQL 2012 setup.exe again (right-click, run as Administrator). Went through all of the beginning dialogs without an issue, setup rules, checks, product key, blah, blah, blah. When I got to the ‘select instance’ page, it correctly listed the SQL 2008 instances as well as both the SQL 2008 and 2012 versions of the shared components.

DEV_image3

I chose our DEV instance to upgrade and clicked Next and was moved to the ‘select features’ screen.

DEV_image4

The instance was pre-selected and I couldn’t click or unclick anything, so I just clicked next of course and was given this error.

DEV_image5

TAG: There are validation errors on this page. Click OK to close this dialog box. Review errors at the bottom of the setup page, then provide valid parameters or click Help for more information.

At the bottom of the screen is “there are no features selected for upgrade.”

What do you mean there are no features selected for upgrade? The instance is selected right on the same screen!

This was the time I started spinning my wheels for probably 30-45 minutes. A lot of looking at things on the server, rebooting the server and Googling everything I could think of.

I found a lot of blogs that spoke about this ‘no feature selected’ error, but their ‘select feature’ dialog didn’t list their instance properly. This was not my situation.

I also found a number of blogs that indicated I needed to uninstall my instance. This was not going to happen as my DEV instance was still fine – it was still SQL 2008 and was functional.

Of course, throughout this, I had reviewed my logs in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Setup Bootstrap\Log directories. I finally found the big clue in the file “Summary_A2SQLDEV01_20140423_171837_GlobalRules.txt”. Here is one section of the file (I removed a couple columns for readability sake):

Product features discovered:

Product Instance Instance ID Feature
SQL Server 2008 sqldev mssql10.sqldev Database Engine Services
SQL Server 2008 sqltest mssql10.sqltest Database Engine Services
SQL Server 2008 Management Tools – Basic
SQL Server 2008 Management Tools – Complete
SQL Server 2008 Integration Services
SQL Server 2012 sqldev.inactive mssql11.sqldev Database Engine Services
SQL Server 2012 Management Tools – Basic
SQL Server 2012 Management Tools – Complete
SQL Server 2012 Integration Services

The clue is that there is a SQL 2008 “SQLDEV” instance as well as a SQL 2012 “SQLDEV.inactive” instance. What the heck? I thought it was upgrading my instance, not creating a new ‘inactive’ one? But, OK. hmmm.

At least I had a new keyword to Google with. I read a few more things and developed a strategy to remove the ‘inactive’ or ‘orphaned’ instance.

First, determine the ProductCode (GUID) of this inactive instance, then uninstall it from the command line and then retry the upgrade.

Determine product code:
In the log directories for the most recent failed attempt, I went to the Datastore directory and found the file “Datastore_Discovery.xml”. I opened this and searched for the keyword ‘inactive’. Found it. I then located the product code in the same section of the XML file.

Uninstall:
Now that I had the ProductCode, I should be OK to uninstall it. But, being the cautious person that I am, I wanted to verify that this ProductCode was actually for SQL 2012 installation (and NOT either of my functional SQL 2008 instances), so I opened regedit and searched for 19B2A97C-02C3-4AC7-BE72-A823E0BC895A. I only found one occurance of it and it was specifically for SQL 2012, so I was confident.

I opened a command line and executed “msiexec /x {19B2A97C-02C3-4AC7-BE72-A823E0BC895A}.

This brought up a very generic and ominous “are you sure you want to uninstall this product” dialog (it does not indicate what the product is). After clicking yes or OK, a SQL 2012 screen appeared and within a minute it was completed.

Things looked clean.

I restarted the installer from scratch. Went impatiently though all of the screens waiting to get to the feature selection. When I got there and clicked next, the dialog moved to the instance configuration screen! Success. I clicked though the rest of the prompts and started the upgrade. After a short 7 minutes, I got this beautiful message.

DEV_image6

I rebooted the server and then started the installation of CU8. It was slow, but was progressing. After about 10 minutes, my remote desktop session disconnected and wouldn’t reconnect. I tried pinging my DEV server with no reply. VM had crashed? In the middle of the upgrade? How in the world would SQL Server installer handle this? My evening was shot.

I contacted our support guys and shortly after my pings started getting answered, I got the ‘OK , try again’ email. As I logged back in, I didn’t know what I’d find in terms of a broken instance. But I was greeted with the wonderful “upgrade progress” dialog. The session had continued to run the entire time I couldn’t get to it. The VM had not crashed, the problem was just with my communicated with the VM. Phew!

Another 15 minutes of waiting before I got this:

DEV_image7

Done!!!

 

 

Tags: SQL 2008 2012 UPGRADE INSTALLATION ERROR FEATURE FOLDER DIRECTORY

 

Richard Sherman and Erin Andrews

Immediately following the Seattle Seahawks NFC championship game victory over the San Francisco 49ers on January 19, 2014, Erin Andrews interviewed Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Here is the interview.

Sherman has been widely and viciously attacked for his over-the-top rant.

A little context

  • Sherman had just completed the biggest game of his life.
  • He had just made the biggest play in that game.
  • His team had just advanced to the Super Bowl.
  • Sherman is a very emotional, loud, trash-talking player. This is well known.
  • After the final play of consequence (not including the kneel downs), Sherman was pushed in the face by Michael Crabtree.
  • I think it is a safe assumption that Crabtree and Sherman were jawing at each other for the entire game.
  • So, after all this, Erin Andrews and her producers at Fox decide to get Sherman live on camera immediately after the final gun sounds.

A few questions

  • Was the end result not predictable?
  • Was it not understood that he would be emotional with tons of adrenaline flowing?
  • Did Fox hope that he would say something loud and perhaps over the line? Or at least near the line?
  • If Fox truly didn’t want this to happen, were they stupid enough to not expect it?
  • Could they have recorded the segment and aired it 30 seconds later if it was appropriate?
  • Could they have waited 10 minutes to interview Sherman?
  • Were there not other players available for comment?

My Take

Sherman is a human being. He is not a robot. To expect him to complete this game one second and flip the switch to non-game mode the next second is stupid and naïve.

We want our football players to be aggressive. They have to be aggressive to be employed at the NFL level. We want them to rise to the occasion at the most important and most stressful times. Is it fair to expect these same players to be aggressive, violent AND to be subdued immediately following a game?

The analogy I would draw is some of the new ‘targetting’ rules in the NFL. We want defensive backs to be aggressive and not give up receptions or big plays, but if a receiver lowers his head 6 inches, they are supposed to hold up and not complete the hit they have been making their whole lives. Again, these are people not robots.

I am not a Seahawks fan. I am a long suffering Lions fan. I had not dog in the race in the NFC title game, but I think Sherman was fine and is being wrongly criticized. If you are angry for what happened, blame Fox and Erin Andrews. Although, I think Andrews handled the outburst as well as possibly could be expected of her. But, she truly only has herself and anybody in the Fox booth to blame.