Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something about this reminds me of the fire department

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a “gripe sheet,” which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems; document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS ‘ pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

HOC post is three down...scroll down and take a look. Sorry it took so long.


The DeMauros

A Lot To Catch Up On...Not A Lot Of Time

First is the tale of a boat. Minding it's own business on a trailer. Made a long trip from the midwest only to be crunched less than a mile from the race course. Not a great way to begin our journey.
The wonderful guys at Vespoli loaned the girls a boat, new and almost like the one they were used to rowing.Some pre race jitters...Theirs...
But mostly mine...Off they went.
Like they spend every weekend at the worlds largest head race. They raced very well. Improving the gap between them and the team from Minnestoa by over 30 seconds. Racing at a higher rate and with more intensity then they'd shown all fall.
Post race debriefing.Cutest team on the water! Mollie and I
Elizabeth and Haley
Meghan and Kit
A cozy ride back to the hotel.
The team and one of our Dads...Thanks Tim!Some more great parents, Kathy, Cory, Marty and Pat.
We can't do what we do without you!

One more KCRC athlete competed...Way to go Greg!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!!

Happy, Happy, Happy!!!!
You know who you are...

Friday, October 19, 2007


The Girls race Sunday at 10:26.
You can get realtime results at http://www.hocr.org/results/results.asp.

Some Press

Check out the article on the girls from today's Kansas City Star. A copy is posted on The Ronneblog.

Thanks GB for your never ending support!

And thanks to all of you for always being in our corner.

Today we find our borrowed boat. Elizabeth will attend the coxswain clinic presented by the national team coxswains and then we'll go for a practice row.

And a shout out to all the coaches out there. So many have offered equipment and encouragement. It's a comfort knowing that we have such a large rowing family.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's Been Quite A Day

We're here. The girls are fed and tucked in.
The day was...well, not exactly without incident.
Started off with my bank running a very large check twice through...think buying two singles....I was 'overdrawn' somewhere in the neighborhood of $2000. They fixed it and my heart rate returned to normal.
There was fog in Boston and storms in between so after an hour delay we sat on the runway for 45 minutes, flew 3 hours to Boston and circled for 30 minutes before we could land and then sat on the runway for another 30 minutes until a gate opened up. But the seats were wide and comfy and they did have those great chocolate chip cookies.
When we landed in Boston I got a call from the guy who trailered our boat (Mike, sit down before reading further and I'll call you with the details). A car cut behind him and took the sterns off of three boats including ours.
So...here I am in Boston not even off the plane yet and we have no boat to race. I was pretty freaked and didn't want the girls to panic so while they stood at baggage claim I started making some phone calls. Talked to some coaches and got the ball rolling on a replacement.
We picked up our rental and promptly got very, very lost. While trying to navigate this crazy town I continued to get phone calls and finally spoke with Dave from Vespoli who will be loaning us a boat to race. A boat like the one the girls are used to rowing.
The very nice concierge from our hotel figured out where we were and talked us out of our lostness.
Then I had a beer. Okay, I had two.

Are You A Chronic Overpacker?

Well...I am.

I really don't understand those people (my stepmother is one of them) who can travel with one pair of black pants, two shirts and a jacket and make it work for an entire week.

First off, I don't have one pair of pants that can take me from Regatta site to dinner out. VERY different activities.

And my jeans...well, I can maybe wear them twice and then they look like I've been in them all week. So that's two (actually 3 'cause I'm wearing a pair on the plane) pairs of jeans.

Now for shirts. When I'm 'working' at a regatta. I'm WORKING. Not the place for anything other than a t-shirt/sweatshirt combo. And trust me they won't be fit to wear again on the trip...I don't even like to have to put them back in my bag to come home. SO that's 3 t-shirts, plus one to sleep in, plus 3 shirts to wear in the evenings when I should look slightly presentable. Total-7 shirts.

Then misc. stuff. Sleep pants, a khaki jacket to wear in the evenings, my rain suit because it WILL rain, two pairs of shoes-slip on clogs to fly in and heavy duty sneakers for regatta time, my big bulky sweatshirt-I'll carry it on, my camera, my laptop, a book, my coaching bag-rolled up in the suitcase.

This trip has an extra burden. I have to take all the boatrigging and coaching things with me, cox box, wrenches, speed coach, boat towel, tape, extra hardware, pitch meter.

Seriously, it looks like I'm moving out.

And I'm only going for a few days.

PS A big THANKS to my little cousin Amanda. She's moving in for the weekend to hang out with my lovies. She'll love on them and I feel very fortunate.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Update From The Head of the Oklahoma

My kids ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...even my kids that aren't my kids anymore and belong to some college coach.

...and the masters are pretty great too!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kid Free!

You know...I think I'm a much better coach when I don't travel with kids.
We are competing this weekend at the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta in OK City. A big race at a big venue.

I came in earlier today by myself, got our boats squared away (with a great deal of help from the guys and gals of the KUCrew...Go Hawks!), checked into the hotel, grabbed some dinner and got all my ducks in a row for tomorrow. The kids are traveling with their parents and should arrive around midnight.

Bow numbers are sorted and checked, t-shirts are waiting for the kids in their rooms, my coaching bag doesn't look like a bomb went off and I'm off to bed...before 11:00!!!!!

This is nice...but likely won't be repeated.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Today...It's Good To Be A KCK Firefighter

Well, actually it's good most days but today I feel inspired and re energized.

We have a new Fire Chief and New Battalion Chiefs. Everyone is excited about the positive changes that are coming.

October is Fire Prevention month and the second week is inspection week here. We clean the stations top to bottom, scrub the toilets, the kitchens and the rigs. We mop and wax the floors and clean the windows. We attack every cobweb.

Then...on inspection day, we get all gussied up in our clean, pressed uniforms, our shiny black shoes and our ties. The chiefs come by one at a time and visit. They compliment us on the work we've done and we visit about the up coming year.

This inspection was very significant as we got to talk to the 'new guard'.

About 2:00 this afternoon our new fire chief arrived.

He's young. He's smart. He's progressive. He values all of us.

The Chief stayed for about an hour. When he left I felt like going through the training book, catching plugs, driving territory. Working, running, lifting, learning. Doing things that will make me a better leader and a better firefighter.

I was interested to see what he had to say.

I didn't expect to be so inspired.

I'm proud to be a firefighter. I'm proud of my department and I'm proud of the guys I work with. I feel very fortunate to work for this guy.

(and this station is kick ass clean!)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Very Inspirational

My friend Jeremy is the coach for the KU Crew. He sent me this video. It is worth sharing.

Xeno Muller single scull training session Australia 2000

This is some really great video.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Letter To My Lovies

(I did not write this letter. It was sent to me in an email by my friend Mike, a lurker here and proud dad of Soloman and BB. He got it from his sister...)

Dear Dogs of Mine,

It seems that lately things have gotten a smidge slack around here. I feel it is time to remind you of the rules that heretofore we have operated under. You are both cute dogs, but your continued cuteness in no way negates our previous agreement. Let me remind you of a few details of this agreement.

1. In exchange for room and board, you are to guard the kingdom. That would be guarding the kingdom from any and all bad guys, robbers, serial killers, etc. Feel free to bark maniacally at any of those that should appear in the yard. Guarding the kingdom does NOT include barking maniacally at bunnies, squirrels, cows, sheep and invisible things that only you can see, especially between the hours of 5am (when I stumble out of bed to let you out) and 8am (when I actually have to be out of bed to get to work).(And let me take a moment here to remind you that the pizza guy is a potential bad guy. He is not your friend. Just because he come s bearing food does not allow him free and easy access to the kingdom. He is potentially way more dangerous than the bunnies that you threaten to tear limb from limb.)

2. All of the stuff that lives in the toy basket is yours. Everything else is mine. Yours includes squeaky balls, random bones, partially unstuffed stuffed animals and chew ropes. Mine includes any and all shoes on the floor (especially the expensive leather ones), underwear that missed the hamper, bras, socks, dishtowels, the remote, the cell phone, the legs of my grandmother's antique chair and the vacuum. Did I mention shoes? ALL the shoes are mine. They come in pairs, not quads, for a reason.

3. The cat gets to sleep on the bed. You do not. You each weigh 50 pounds. The cat weighs 12. You sleep smack dab in the middle of the bed with all four feet spread out covering approximately 12 square feet apiece. The cat sleeps in a neat little ball covering about 2 square feet. The cat does not bring fleas into the house. You do. You, dogs, will never be allowed to sleep on the bed. Quit sneaking up when you think I'm not looking. Your 50 pounds of dogginess negates your stealth superpowers. I know you are up there!!

4. Speaking of the cat- when he hunkers down into that little mound, lays his ears back, squints his eyes and growls way back in his chest, HE IS NOT A HAPPY KITTY. Leave him alone. He does not want to play with you. What he wants to do is poke your eyes out and shred the skin around your face. He can do that, you know. Five of his 6 ends are really sharp and pointy. He has previously shown very little restraint. Clearly he enjoys smacking you upside the head with a paw full of claws. Do not aggravate him. When he takes your head off after you have cornered him, I will let him. You have been forewarned.

5. The cat is mean. He will lead you down a path to destruction. He likes to tear around the house winding you up. He does this knowingly and intentionally. When you chase him, I will only yell at you for careening into walls and furniture. He knows this. Quit falling for it.

6. If you find something in the garbage can, assume that I intend for it to be there. Plastic tampon shells are not chew toys. Don't eat them.

7. Also not for doggy consumption- anything you find in the litter box. This is why you no longer get to kiss me.

8. You are allowed to sleep on the furniture. You are not allowed to eat the furniture.

9. Yes, I have to leave every day to go to work. No, you cannot go with me. That's why there are two of you, so you can entertain each other. The cat gets to stay in the house. You both have to stay outside while I'm gone. The cat does not chew things up. You do. Quit whining about it. Your porch is air-conditioned. It's just like inside the house minus the sofa. If you'd quit chewing up dog beds, it would be just like inside the house. You have made your own proverbial bed by destroying two very expensive dog cushions.

10. I have opposable thumbs. This is why I get to be in charge. I can open cans, doors, and bags of treats. I am the only one in the house that can operate the hose sprayer. I'm also the only one with a driver's license and a car. I win. Being cute is no match for opposable thumbs.While I in no way wish to suppress your rightful dogginess, I feel that these very simple guidelines will allow us to continue to co-exist in peaceful harmony.

Please know though, that should you choose to continue in willful violation of these rules, I WILL PUT THE CAT IN CHARGE. He has just been itching for a position in management.

Much thanks,
The Human

The Unseen Elements Of Coaching

I woke up this morning at 6am thinking about all the stuff that needed to be done for the next 3 regattas...gave up trying to go back to sleep, got up and made some coffee.

At the computer a 6:30 and worked solid until 11am.

Figuring costs for Masters and Juniors for The Head of the Oklahoma (OKC).

Posting and emailing costs to parents and for masters. Figuring out and confirming or adjusting hotel reservations.

Coming up with a plan for boat transport to Lawrence.

Figuring costs for The Head of the Charles (HOC)

Tyring to sort out hotel reservations for HOC...the Marriott folks are wonderful! and very, very patient.

Planning the HOC trip.

Making Reservations for Frostbite...

Doesn't look like much when I write it all down but it sure took a long time!!

So...it's not all megaphones and coaching launches...there sure seems to be a lot of administrative work.

Now I'm off to Kindergarten. Volunteering in Andrew's class for the first time today!!!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Racing Season

Sorry for the infrequent posting but we are deep into the fall regatta season.

Raced last weekend in Des Moines. Everyone did great and even without Laura and Margaret things went smoothly.

This weekend is an off weekend and then we have OK City, Head Of The Charles and Frostbite...

Then basketball season starts with AJ playing 3 on 3.

Posting will be...sporadic...but meaningful...I hope.