That was a long game.

April 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Sports 

As some of my long-time readers know, I have season tickets to the Trenton Devils – the ECHL (2 levels down from NHL) affiliate of the NJ Devils.

This year the Trenton Devils started off badly (with a record of something like 3-11) but then had a stellar 2nd half and have made the playoffs.  They are 2nd seed in the North Division.

Last night was the first playoff game against the Elmira Jackals.  This should be an interesting 7-game matchup – the record against each other in the regular season was 6-6-1.  Last night’s game was about what was expected, with neither team having more than a 2 goal lead.   Regulation ended with the score tied 4-4.

In the ECHL during the regular season games that are tied after regulation go to a 4-on-4 5-minute overtime period, followed by a shootout.  For the playoffs, they use full 20:00 sudden death overtime periods with a 15:00 break between each overtime for zamboni work.

At the end of the 1st overtime, the score was still tied.

At the end of the 2nd overtime, the score was still tied.  We went home, but I listened on the web after that.

At the end of the 3rd overtime, the score was still tied.

At 6:10 into the 4th overtime, Elmira scored to win.  That made the game 126:10 playing minutes long and 4:55 duration time, the longest in ECHL history.  Both goalies finished the marathon, and Elmira goalie Michael Teslak now holds the ECHL record for saves in a game with 71.

Both teams have to play again 19 hours after the game ended tonight at 7pm.  I’m seriously considering bringing my blankie and teddy bear to the game.

That was a long one.

A disappointing weekend

February 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Sports 

This was one of those weekends where nothing quite goes your way, but it’s not really anybody’s fault.

Friday evening I went to a Philadelphia Wings lacrosse game.  A friend of mine (from camp and church) has season tickets and we’d made arrangements for this game way back in October or November.  I was looking forward to “catch up” time with her.  Unfortunately (for me), she recently started dating the guy who sits behind her at the games.  Carolyn and I enjoyed the game (it was close until the 4th quarter when the Wings went on a tear and blew out the other team), but we felt a bit like 3rd and 4th wheels.  I can’t really blame my friend for concentrating on a new romance.

Saturday was quiet at home.  I got the bills paid, some reading done, and rested.  Nothing bad there.

I’ve recently been asked to take on yet another task for church – a short-term task related to the capital campaign.  A woman that I work with closely on other church stuff is chairing the group that handles this particular task.  I have some tough questions for her about this job.  We had made arrangements to meet after worship on Sunday, but she wasn’t there.  I believe that she’s having a health issue in her family and that this is probably why she wasn’t at church.  Nobody to blame.

Sunday evening our youth director had planned a big “Bible Goes To the Oscars” program.  He worked really hard – we had a red carpet and special lighting and movie stuff all over the place.  We were going to have the youth do bible skits and then give awards for things like “Best Jesus” or “Best Supporting Disciple”.  Only 4 youth showed up (with 5 adults).  I think the issue is that many of our youth are involved in theater productions at the various high schools next weekend.  We had to punt and switch to a discussion of films that have made a difference in your life and relating them to faith.  Again – not really anybody to blame but not quite what we wanted.

One bright spot – I asked my pastor a pressing question for me regarding ethics and the workplace.  He mentioned it in his sermon yesterday.  He didn’t have an answer, but he posted the question to others on the church’s new blog.

A Great Sunday, part 2

January 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Religion, Sports 

PCOL Youth at Devils game

On Sunday afternoon, I treated the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville Sr. High Youth Group to a suite watching the Trenton Devils vs. Wheeling Nailers.

I get a free suite for a game once a year as part of my season ticket package, and I decided to use it for the youth.

The group numbered 21 including my wife and I and included regulars and some youth who don’t attend often.  The afternoon was fun but theologically ambiguous – when the mascot comes to your suite is it OK for Presbyterians to yell “The Devil is here!  The Devil is here!” and then run TO the devil?

Unfortunately the team lost the game, though we got to see every possible second of hockey.  It took the 6th round of the shootout to decide the contest 6-5 for Wheeling.

We got away with no lost youth and only one minor injury.  Here’s a safety tip – if you are sitting directly below the TV mounted on the wall, be careful when you jump up to celebrate!  We’re hoping some of the non-regular youth will participate in future activities such as the lock-in in two weeks.

We have got to do this again next year.

The best part of the whole evening was having the seminary student get his picture taken with the Devil.  We’re planning to send it to his CPM.  (for the non-Presbys – the committee in charge of his development as a candidate for ministry)

Check back in a day or two for the picture.

So what’s up?

January 18, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Ham Radio, Religion, Sports, Work, Youth 

So what’s going on, Mark?

I’m glad you asked.

This week has been eventful.

Earlier in the week, we got the news that the company is looking into some form of ownership change for all or part of the company.  I’ve already written about that.

Today we actually got good news.  IT has gotten permission to give an allowance to IT employees who are required to be on-call for support issues.  The department will pay up to $75 of our home broadband Internet and cell phone charges.  For me that means $40 for Internet access.  My cell phone usage for work is minimal and always within my plan.

At church I got the Project Open Door meeting scheduled for next week – we’ll be going over inactive members and how to interview them gently.  I had a good Sr. High youth evening last Sunday and a great Youth and Young Adult council meeting on Tuesday.  The YAYA council actually reduced the amount of logistical stuff that we go over to focus on the substance and theology of our program.  We’re going to be more intentional about linking our activities to our theology in the future.

Hockey – there are 3 games this weekend.  I’m going to tonight’s game with Carolyn, and tomorrow night’s game with Carolyn, my sister and a friend of hers.  Sunday’s game will get skipped – 3 in a weekend is too much.

Ham Radio – I got voted in as a member of the Delaware Valley Radio Association last week. Last weekend I went to their radio “shack” and got an orientation on the building, antennas, and radios.  I’m also nearly finished with the ARRL EC-001 Level 1 Amateur Radio Emergency Communication online class.  That class will teach me how to be useful in an emergency (like a flood, hurricane, or other disaster).  The class is going really well – my mentor told me that I’m the first student out of the 100 or so that he’s worked with who managed to format all 4 sample emergency messages correctly on the first try.

In the Presbyterian world, things have been busy.  We’ve had a presbytery approve a lesbian candidate as ready to receive a call to ministry, we got a young adult candidate for General Assembly Moderator (for the non-presby’s, that means roughly “head Presbyterian”).  These actions (particularly the first one) have prompted the expected reaction from the conservative wing of the church.  Our General Assembly this June will also be considering a complete re-write of the Rules portion of our constitution.

At my own church we have a congregational meeting this Sunday that will consider a change to the bylaws to loosen up the rules on the number of Elders and their term length.  This is intended to allow the church to ordain it’s first Elder under age 18 for a term shorter than 3 years (because the youth probably couldn’t serve a full 3 years).

Life is a roller coaster, but in retrospect it’s been more up than down this week.

It’s Friday afternoon, it must be time for a roundup

August 10, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Sports, Work 

You may be wondering why I do these on Friday afternoons.  You see – my employer does something called Summer Hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Employees who choose to take advantage of the program work an extra hour Monday through Thursday and go home at noon on Friday.

I do not choose to take advantage of Summer Hours, so the place is quiet on Friday afternoons.  I have time to write a little on break.

Work
I had a good conversation about career paths and discovery and discernment with my boss this week.  This is probably setting off alarm bells in most of your minds, but we have a really good rapport (we’ve worked together since about 1996) and I fully trust her to be discrete.  There are benefits to both sides in being open and honest with your boss, and we plan to make good use of them.  I can’t say more here.  I’m glad that it went well.

I had a medium-sized project go live today.  It was a bumpy installation – caused mainly by a consultant who doesn’t know our setup and change management package.  It’s not his fault – everybody has a hard time the first time.  Once we got the issues worked out all is running correctly.  I have another one going live soon, and a third larger project going live at the end of the month (with pieces continuing to be worked on into September).

I am getting a brand-new laptop at some point in the next few weeks.  They’re here, but I’m a low priority replacement (others have broken systems or are new employees working on “loaner” PCs).

Work has been generally busy.  In the last 2 weeks I’ve had an overwhelming number of problems, issues, and small requests.  It’s like everybody decided to hold them until the last week of July and then dump them all on me at once.  I think I’m through most of them, but the workload did increase for no apparent reason temporarily.

Weekend
This weekend is a bit active.  My parents are coming over on Saturday evening and we are headed out to see a Trenton Thunder baseball game.  The Thunder are the AA affiliates of the NY Yankees and have been playing in Trenton since 1994.  Our seats are behind the 1st base side dugout and I think they’re the 2nd row behind the dugout (or maybe the first row).

Then on Sunday I head up to Camp Johnsonburg for check-in for the last week of regular camp.  I’m going to be in charge of medical form paperwork this week due to my friend Jill’s vacation – she is usually the person doing the job.  It’s looking to be a bit warm.  I think there are lots of kids from my church going this week, but I’m so far away from the actual check-in tables that I probably won’t see them.  This isn’t my last visit for a long time – I’m also planning to attend the Youth Worker Training on September 7, and I’ll be chaperone when my church’s Sr. Highs attend the camp Sr. High Retreat in November.

Church
We’ve finally got the Welcome and Outreach Task Force started.  We have 8 members with 2 outstanding invitations.  For the month of August, we’re doing optional reading assignments on our topic.  I’m reading The Present Future:  Six Tough Questions for the Church by Reggie McNeal.  In September we’ll get everybody together face to face and really get started.

The Youth Director came all the way to Bristol for lunch earlier this week.  We talked about my career search and the upcoming Confirmation Class.  He had lots of good input on the career discussion.  For the Confirmation Class, he’s asking how he can get me involved without overbooking my time.  At this point it looks like I will end up being the Cat-Herder for the group of mentors assigned to the confirmands.  That’s an easy assignment – a bit of work up front but after that just keeping people on schedule and watching for problems.  I’m also probably going to teach a few lessons – probably polity and beyond that we’ll see.  I really want to be involved in this process because the youth that I know who are the right age are really great!

All other areas of my life are fine at the moment.

Have a good weekend!

Hello, Trenton Devils

May 18, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Sports 

Trenton Devils

The New Jersey Devils announced today that they are changing the name of the Trenton Titans to the Trenton Devils.

Trenton,   NJ (May, 18, 2007)
– The National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils today re-branded its ECHL affiliate from the “Trenton Titans” to the “Trenton Devils.”  The team’s new home and road jerseys will feature “TRENTON” in red across the chest, with a stylized horn in the “T” and “N,” along with the familiar New Jersey Devils logo.  The announcement was made by Devils’ CEO/President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello.

“The Devils’ organization prides itself on two things:  consistency and excellence.  Our goal is to have all of our players at every level play for the same name and logo,“ said Lamoriello.  “We want our players to
feel a sense of pride every time they put on their respective Devils’ sweaters.”

The Devils will become the only hockey franchise with the same nickname at the NHL (New Jersey), AHL (Lowell), and ECHL (Trenton) levels.  Five other NHL teams – Boston, Dallas, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and San Jose – currently share a nickname with their AHL affiliate.

In 2007-08, the ECHL’s Trenton franchise, 2004-05 Kelly Cup Champions, will enter its ninth season of
operation.  The team will continue to play its home games at the 7,605-seat Sovereign Bank Arena.

Full and partial season-ticket plans for the 2007-08 season are available by calling a Trenton Devils ticket representative at (609) 599-9500.  For further information, visit www.trentondevils.com.

The Trenton Devils are a member of the ECHL, North America’s Premier “AA” Hockey League.  They are owned and operated by the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils.

I am heartened to see that the owners are recognizing this fall as the 9th year of the team, rather than the 1st year of the new image.

Ticket prices (according to the Trenton website) for season tickets are up about 10% over the earliest discount price from last year.  This is fair, given that they haven’t increased for several years.  The single-game tickets appear to be up 3-8% depending on location.  At the season ticket rate, I’ll probably renew.

Goodbye, Trenton Titans

May 17, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Sports 

The Trenton Times is reporting that on Friday, May 18 the NJ Devils will be holding a press conference in Trenton to announce that the Trenton Titans hockey team (ECHL) is being renamed to the Trenton Devils.  A new logo will be shown as well.

There is still some question about the league that this team will end up in.  The AHL Lowell Devils have one year remaining on their lease in Lowell, MA.  The Lowell city council is getting ready to take steps that implement a loophole in the contract that allows them to kick the Devils out now.  That would leave the AHL Devils with no home.  There has been rampant speculation in Trenton ever since the Titans were bought by the NJ Devils that the AHL team would be relocated to Trenton, possibly for this fall.  Other options for the AHL team include sharing the new Prudential Center in Newark, NJ or possibly going to Hartford, CT.

So we may have the ECHL Trenton Devils or the AHL Trenton Devils tomorrow.

We know that it won’t be the Titans.  The Titans played for 8 years and only failed to make the playoffs once in that time.  They contended for the Kelly Cup twice, winning it once.  I hope (probably in vain) that the NJ Devils will retain that history and keep the Titans banners hanging in Trenton.

The Lowell Devils are wholly owned by the NJ Devils.  The Trenton Titans are 80% owned by the NJ Devils, with the remaining 20% currently held by the founding Berman family.

Busy Week

April 18, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Sports 

Here’s my crazy schedule for the rest of the week.

Wednesday – 6:30 – 8:30pm – Youth Sunday rehearsal
Thursday – 6pm – 10pm – Trenton Titans playoff game
Friday – 6:30pm – 10:30pm – Trenton Titans playoff game (if they win Thursday)
Saturday – 10:30am – 1pm – Youth Sunday rehearsal

Then Sunday:
8:45am – leave for church
9am – 9:30am – set up for Earth Day adult forum
9:30am – be adult shepherd for ushers for Youth Sunday
10am – Youth Sunday service
11am-ish – as soon as the service is over, run directly to the lounge
11:15am – be the speaker for the 1st 15 minutes of the Earth Day adult forum
Noon – Adult Forum ends, go home
1:30pm – leave for opera (Boheme OperaRigoletto)
1:45pm – pre-curtain talk (always worth the time)
3pm – 6pm – opera
6:30pm – come home, collapse

Unfortunately, I have to miss the post-Youth Sunday service lunch with all participants in order to do the Earth Day presentation.

Apology to LSU Fans

March 27, 2007 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Sports 

As long as I’m apologizing ….

Rutgers Big R

I’d like to apologize in advance to my readers who are LSU fans (and I know you’re out there – I see LSU.edu in my statistics) for the trouncing that the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team will be giving your ladies this Sunday.

It’s nothing personal – they just have to win the game in order to reach their proper place as the National Champions.

Friday Roundup

March 9, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Sports 

Time for a Friday life roundup.

Carolyn got back last night at midnight from her business trip.  She went to the Turbolab Pump Symposium in Houston, TX all week.  I’m a little tired from her post-bedtime return.

I saw a great hockey game Wednesday night.  The Trenton Titans won 5-2 over the Johnstown Chiefs, including:

  • 3 goals in less than 90 seconds.
  • A short-handed empty net goal with 30 seconds left that was really just a lucky clear from the defensive zone.
  • A penalty shot granted (and made) with only 4 seconds left in the game.

More hockey continues tonight and tomorrow at noon (an early game – March Madness comes to the arena Saturday evening).

I have to finish compiling specific recommendations from the church Green Team to the Buildings and Grounds committee for the capital campaign.  These have to be together by Sunday evening.  It’ll be a rush, and I might have to make up some of the justifications because I’m missing information.

Don’t forget – Spring Forward – the clocks go forward one hour Saturday night for most locations in the US.

Sunday I have church (cookie exchange after worship!) and youth group.

Work is a bit nerve-wracking.  The restructuring firm is making their recommendations to the Board next week.  We’re all a little on edge.

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