January update….We are still here

So a new year has come and with it some new things and some of the same. Jesse is now the personal chauffeur for the Zeliff family as he has to get more practice driving. Anytime we go somewhere, he drives and is getting more confident with each trip. He still manages to scare either Renee and I, but he is getting better. We did nothing special for New Year’s Eve and celebrated at the house when the clock struck midnight. This involved drinking some sparkling grape juice and then off to bed. The next day we watched the Rose parade and then took all the Christmas decorations down and packed them away for the rest of the year.

This past weekend, I watched the NFL playoffs and once again saw my beloved Chargers crash and burn. Same result as every other time they have entered the playoffs. I am angry and bitter now about how it ended, but come the fall I will have renewed hope that they might finally secure a championship. It is strange how one can get so wrapped up in the efforts of grown men that you don’t know simply because they wear the jersey of your favorite team.

Thankfully, my faith rests in one who eternally won. He defeated death and hell and will reign for all eternity. And the cool part of that is He did so once and for all. My sports teams may fail and let me down, but the Creator of Heaven and Earth is always faithful and victorious. I hope everyone reading this is doing well and that you know His love for you is so great that He stretched out His arms and died for you.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-8

Last blog of 2009: Christmas at the Zeliffs

It’s Monday December 28th and another Christmas has passed. I enjoyed having 4 days off from work and spending time with the family. While I stayed home on the day of Christmas Eve, Renee and Jesse did some last minute gift shopping. I did a little cleaning up around the house and made some pumpkin cake. It’s like pumpkin pie without the crust. After they returned and finished their wrapping of presents, we set up the tripod for family portraits. They were great fun and if you are on Facebook you can see them if not be patient and I may get them up on the website…eventually. Following that, we went out for some fast food and to look at lights around Apple Valley. As the evening drew to a close, we gathered in the living room for our tradition of reading the birth narratives of Jesus from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Jesse led off with Matthew and I picked up with Luke. Jesse then chose one gift to open and we turned in for the night.

Christmas morning came and I was the first one up. I read the paper and talked to mom in FL while waiting for Jesse and Renee to awaken. Once everyone was showered and awake, we enjoyed some homemade banana bread before Jesse passed out the stockings. After the stockings were done, Renee took over and began passing out presents. Halfway through opening presents, we were joined by my best friend Jim Ritch. He drove up from San Diego after duty on the USS Reagan the night before. Too sum up the presents this year: Jesse = guitar, music and books, Doug = golf stuff, candy and new Zelda DS game, Renee = Magic Bullet, kitchen stuff, and popcorn. We watched some NBA before enjoying a ham dinner. We then watched the Chargers demolish the Titans and secure the #2 seed for the playoffs.

The next morning, Jim went for a 16 mile run before showering and heading back toward SD. After he left, we went out to spend some gift money at Target, Best Buy, Tom’s Music, the mall, and finally the Super Target. On Sunday, we sat around the house doing nothing and eating leftovers/sweets. It was a relaxing weekend and glad it is another short week.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a great New Year. For those of you we haven’t spoken to in a while, we miss you and hope to hear from you soon. For those we got reacquainted with this year, glad to have back in our lives. For those that never left and are always there, thanks for being with us through 2009 and we look forward to the blessings ahead in 2010.

Holidays on the way

I had a pretty good weekend. I went grocery shopping with Renee on Friday night as we picked out all the great munchies for Thanksgiving. The cart was full to overflowing as we left Stater Brothers grocery store including my favorite, pecan pie. We got home and managed to get everything packed into the refrigerator.

Saturday morning, I was up early working on my weekly battle image for the NAPP forums before heading to the driving range to meet two co-workers. I recently bought an old set of irons and a golf bag for a whopping $35 after deciding that 43 might be a good age to try and learn how to golf. I played some tennis in high school and college, but never tried golf. I arrived and paid $10 for a JUMBO basket of golf balls(195) not knowing what size I should get. I then spent the next couple hours taking my swings. According to my co-workers, I did well for a beginner. I hit the majority straight and learned some of the technique involved in swinging a club. On one swing, the club head flew off the end of the shaft as I made contact. So much for my 7 iron, at least until I get it repaired. 😛 On another swing, I cut a ball in half, though I suspect it was an old ball and it would have happened to anyone. I returned home for a hot shower and icy hot on my back. That night, we ran to Best Buy and purchased Up and Star Trek on DVD. We watched Star Trek that night before heading to bed. Great movie!

Sunday morning, we finished straightening the house and awaited the arrival of my mother who had flown in to Las Vegas on Saturday night. My hands felt like I had been running a jackhammer the day before and muscles were letting me know that I should not hit as many golf balls next time I go to the range. Mom called to say she was still tired and planned to get some more rest before driving down the I-15. I relaxed and enjoyed watching the San Diego Chargers win their 5th straight game by defeating their division rival Denver Broncos. As the sun was setting, mom called to say she had just awoken from her nap and that we would not see her until the following afternoon. I finished the evening watching the LA Galaxy lose the MLS Cup to Real Salt Lake on penalty shots.

Now for the short work week before the holidays arrive in full force. I am not sure if we will attempt any Black Friday shopping as we usually don’t. We will enjoy a great Thanksgiving feast with my mother and the next day the Christmas Tree and lights will go up. Let the festive season begin.

Sympathy for the longsuffering fan.

Yesterday, I saw my beloved Chargers once again fall short of winning it all. It’s nothing new as they have never ended the post-season winning. My friend Marilyn, at whose house we watched the game, is a longtime Steelers fan. She turned to me afterward and said, “I know how you feel.” I had to correct her and say, “No, you don’t, because your team has won the Super Bowl.” Unless you are a Titans, Panthers, Falcons, or Seahawks fan you don’t know how I feel. Each of these teams have made one appearance in the Super Bowl and lost. On the other hand, I have no idea how fans of the Bills, Vikings, Bengals, or Eagles feel as they have been multiple times without winning it all. Then there are the fans of the Browns, Jaguars, Texans, Lions, Saints, and Cardinals that have never even been to the Super Bowl. Besides being a Steelers fan, she also roots for the 49ers which hardly seems fair since they have 10 Super Bowls wins between them. Every team in the AFC West has won a Super Bowl and a couple have won it twice while my Chargers have yet to win the big one. I appreciate the sympathy, but to be a fan of the Chargers is to know what it means to never win it all. I remember in the 90s hoping I would live long enough to see them make it there. They did and were smashed by the 49ers. Now I hope that before I draw my last, I will see the Lombardi trophy hoisted by my team since the days of Dan Fouts and Air Coryell, the San Diego Chargers.

I will be watching the “Ed Hochuli Bowl” next Sunday night.

After a very dismal season where a blown call by Referee Ed Hochuli seemed to set them into a tailspin, the San Diego Chargers have a chance to make the post-season by beating the Denver Broncos at home next Sunday night. In the second game of the season, referee Ed Hochuli blew an obvious Denver fumble dead which ended up costing the Chargers the game. Now they will meet in the “Ed Hochuli Bowl” in San Deigo to determine the AFC West Champion. I sat mesmerized as San Deigo came on strong to beat Tampa Bay 41-24 in an early game. I then watched the ticker for the Buffalo-Denver score in the late game. Buffalo beat Denver to ensure a rematch with a playoff berth on the line. Thanks Buffalo. Go Bolts!

A So-So weekend

We are now another weekend closer to the holidays. On the good news side, gas continues to drop, but groceries still haven’t come down. I spent part of the weekend reading Children of the Jedi and watching DVDs. Saturday, we went out for a little shopping (Best Buy, Target, Gamestop, Stater Bros.) and picked up a free DVD rental from Blockbuster. We came home with munchies, the two Hellboy movies, and Jumper as our free rental. Saturday night we watched the first Hellboy and then Jumper. Hayden Christiansen (aka Anikan Skywalker) is one stiff actor (not much depth to his acting). Sunday, we went over to an old co-workers house for our annual NFL get together. Her Steelers beat my Chargers in an abismal game. We played some pool and hung around until the 2nd quarter of the Dallas-Washington game before heading home. Our tv was non-stop fire coverage all weekend as SoCal had its annual fires. Fortunately, we were not inundated with smoke like in previous years, but that could change as the winds shift.

Finally….Chargers win!

It only took three weeks and two excruciating last-minute losses, but the San Diego Chargers have finally gotten their first win of the season. I still think the team is in need of work on defense and special teams, but I will take a 48-29 win anytime. Next up is a trip to Oakland and the dreaded rival Raiders. I hope they continue to play at a high level and don’t let down. They are now tied with the Raiders for second in the division and have a lot of work to do to catch the 3-0 Denver Broncos. Go Bolts!

Yelling at the TV….

This time of year you can always here me yelling at the TV for one reason or another. This weekend, I was yelling at the referee’s call in the San Diego-Denver game that gave what was clearly a fumble back to Denver helping decide the outcome of the game. I really enjoy watching the Chargers play, but I hate watching them lose. At least the Angels are giving me plenty to cheer for right now.

Just short of the destination

After a great comeback from a 1-3 start, the Chargers didn’t have enough firepower to beat the Patriots. They put up a good fight, but not enough points. I yelled, I screamed, I cheered. Thanks for a great year. As a fan, all you ask for is for your team to win the championship. As the saying goes, there is always next year.

The rest of our weekend went well as Jesse enjoyed Homecoming dance while Renee and I had an evening out. I purchased a recumbent bike and have dedicated myself to spending at least a half-hour everyday on it. My last doctor visit resulted in being cleared of high blood pressure, but now I have to get my triglycerides down. Exercise and diet were my doctor’s recommendations. I have 90 days to see what kind of progress I can make.

One down, who’s next?

Nobody picked them. No one gave them a chance. Both pre-game shows said they would lose. At the end of the game, they proved everyone wrong. The Chargers are in the AFC Championship for the first time since 1995 when they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to their first Super Bowl. Now they are one win away from returning to it. In their way now are the New England Patriots. Nobody will pick them and no one will give them a chance. That’s ok by me. They beat New England at home to break a big winning streak before. They can do it again. Go Chargers!!