Does Knowledge Lessen Your Imagination?

When I was a kid, my brothers and I created a theme park. Actually is wasn’t quite a theme park, it was sort of a sandbox, but I’ll explain…

I think it started as an un-manicured part of our backyard that was covered in rocks and dirt. One of those areas that you’re not quite sure what to do with. Too small for a plot of grass, but too big for a garden (especially for a family who wouldn’t know how to make a garden in the first place).

My brothers and I loved playing in the dirt, and when my parents saw this they came up with a great idea to turn it into our very own jungle gym.

They bought a slide, built a swing set, and dumped tons of sand to cover the rocky ground. What had been the messy part of the yard had become an awesome playground.

Thanks to a lively childhood imagination, my brothers and I would bring out the hose, spray down the sand, and create a muddy wonderland.

Long before mud runs were all the rage we had the dream of creating our own sandy/mud theme park. We talked about opening the park to kids from all across the world to enjoy rides such as the “chocolate milk mountain” (a sand mound that when covered in water, flowed muddy liquid that resembled chocolate milk).

In our minds the mud land had potential to become the next Disneyland. Oh to be a child…

These days I think differently when it comes to building my own muddy theme park. I get too focused on the facts and figures needed to make something like that happen. My mind gets too jumbled by something like the cost of the water needed operate chocolate milk mountain.

When I was 8 and dreamt of starting a theme park I had no clue about admission prices, profit margins or marketing plan. I didn’t know a pie chart from a pumpkin pie.

Now that I know that information, it seems like I have less imagination. Why is that?

After giving it some thought, I think I have come with an explanation.

Although my example makes it seem like knowledge lessens your imagination, that isn’t true.

Knowledge simply gives you more ways to find excuses.

As an 8 year old, my thinking would go something along the lines of, “we should totally make a theme park covered in mud! Kids like mud and they like theme parks, it would be the best of both worlds!”

Now my thinking is something like, “sure kids like mud, but do you know what kind of overhead a theme park must have?”

I used to not know a thing about business, so those details didn’t get in the way of creating a mud theme park.

The business knowledge I’ve learned throughout the years should have nothing to do with my imagination. I can still dream about a mud land just as well as when I was young.

The only problem is there used to be a time when I didn’t let details get in the way of my imagination, but now I use them as an excuse.

Have you experienced something similar? Have you envisioned a business idea, book series or cool new product only to shoot it down with excuses disguised as details?

Knowledge is great, but don’t use it to find excuses.

Keep your imagination big and your excuses small.



(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tips To Improve Your Memory

A major sporting event took place this weekend.

No, I am not referring to March Madness. And I don’t mean Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.

I am talking about the U.S. Memory Championship, which took place in New York on Saturday. I know you are probably thinking this is an early April fools post and that I am going to tell you the Memory Championship is televised on ESPN Ocho.

But I am not kidding around, this is a real contest. And apparently it has been around for 17 years.

I had never heard of the U.S. Memory Championship until this weekend (or maybe I had and just didn’t remember), but I find it very interesting.

The competition takes place in one 10-hour long contest and features four categories.

The first contest requires the competitors to memorize names and faces. The players are asked to memorize a number of pictures with corresponding names. From there they must take all of the names and correctly match them up with the right photos. And they have to get them all correct. One mistake eliminates them from the contest.

In the second category, the remaining players are given five minutes to memorize a series of numbers that randomly generate on a computer screen. They are then asked to recite the numbers in order. Again, one mess up and they are out.

If they advance to the third round, players must quickly memorize and recite poetry verses, words, and recall personal information given to them on the spot about a stranger. In case you haven’t figured out how this works…one mistake and they are eliminated (this is how I picture the eliminations).

Once the field has been cut down to three, the remaining contestants are given a deck of cards that has been mixed in a random order. They have five minutes to memorize the order of the entire deck. Whoever can last the longest in reciting the sequence of the cards is crowned the winner!

This year’s champion is a 28 year old named Nelson Dellis.

Dellis, who claimed his third U.S. Memory Championship crown on Saturday, says he was inspired to improve his memory after seeing his grandmother suffer from Alzheimer’s.

How has Dellis developed an extraordinary memory, you ask? By doing ordinary things such as:

  • memorizing grocery lists
  • memorizing names of people he meets
  • eating foods rich in omega 3, like fish
  • and staying active

Dellis say there is nothing magical about how he went from an average dude to a memory champ.

I myself am a 28 year old and an average dude, and I find it encouraging to know that the way to improve my memory is not too different from many of the other things we talk about on this blog.

Whether it is improving our writing, growing our confidence or upgrading our memory, we can fine tune our skills simply by working on them a little at a time. We may not be able to win the U.S. Memory Championship after one day’s work. But if we work on it little by little, who knows what could happen.

Bravery Rewarded

For today’s Memory Monday, I would like to share a story I was recently told by my grandfather…

In early October 1960, my grandfather was in New York for business. During his stay, a propeller driven airplane traveling from Boston to Philadelphia crashed and 62 people tragically lost their lives.

The plane flew into the path of a flock of birds and hundreds of birds were sucked into the engines. The accident became one of the worst in airline history and struck fear into the minds of many future airline travelers.

My grandfather was scheduled to fly home the next day and his flight was to take place using the exact same propeller driven Lockheed L-188 Electra style plane that was used in the Boston crash.

Understandably, he was nervous and wasn’t sure if he should board the plane to go home. After all, planes fly by birds all the time and there was mass media questions wondering if this same thing could happen again.

Even greater than his fear of taking the flight, was my grandfather’s desire to get home to be with his wife and kids. He had been away from them for a week and utterly wanted to be home so they would not worry about him.

After hearing reassurance from the airline that they were taking every precaution necessary, he decided that it was worth taking this risk, so he decided to take the flight home.

This prop jet style plane was built to hold 70 people. When my grandfather boarded the plane, he was one of only 7 people who decided to make the flight.

Seeing the empty plane he started to question his decision. But once again he decided that taking this flight home was worth the risk and he was not turning back.

At that time, it was common for the flight attendants to pass out a complimentary glass of champagne to the passengers. Because this particular flight was so unoccupied (and probably to ease everyone’s apprehension), each of the 7 passengers were given their own bottle of champagne to enjoy on the flight.

Just like all the other flights he had taken, he made it home safe. But that flight remains the only time that he was given an entire bottle of champagne during all his years of air travel.

My grandfather speaks fondly of this gesture and considered the champagne to be a fun reward for being among the brave few that decided to take the flight home.

I think this is a fun anecdote of how bravery can be rewarded.

Sometimes we are rewarded with champagne. Sometimes we are rewarded with getting to see our family. And when we are really lucky we get both.

No matter what reward we may receive, it is important to know that risks can pay off, and sometimes we should board that plane. Even if we are only 1 of 7 people.

Own it

At my first ever book reading I was asked a simple question. One so straightforward, I wasn’t prepared for it.

“Are you a local author?”

That is a fairly common question for a person to ask at a book reading, right?

Somehow I blew the answer.

I nervously laughed and sarcastically joked, “I am local, but I don’t know that I would call myself an author.”

The nice woman who asked the question didn’t laugh. This was clearly not what she wanted to hear. “Oh, umm, okay,” she said as she walked away probably thinking, “If this guy isn’t an author, why did I just sit and listen to him read a book for 15 minutes??”

Looking back on it, my response showed that I was being protective because I didn’t want to feel vulnerable. Given that I have only written one book, and it had only been out for days, I wasn’t feeling like a true author. And even more, I was afraid to claim to be an author because I felt people might consider me a fraud.

After all, authors are people like J.K Rowling & R.L. Stine who have written numerous books and sold millions of copies, right?

How am I like them? Beside the fact that I use my first name and not two initials, I haven’t written multiple books or sold millions of copies.

Sure, those folks are authors at the highest level, but I now realize something.

I wrote a book and that is what authors do.

If I could go back in time and redo the conversation from my first book reading what I would say now, is simply, “Yes.” I would explain that I grew up in the area, thus making me a local author.

That is what this woman wanted to hear. She was probably excited to talk to an author from her city and was disappointed by my response. Who knows, had I just said yes, she would have been happy and maybe even told her friends about my book. I could have gained a fan or two. I could have sold more books.

But more than that, I needed to just own it. I don’t know that I will ever feel like an author in the proper sense. But I know that I definitely won’t feel like one if I keep shying away from it.

Instead of making jokes that land with a thud, I need to own my achievement and be proud.

I wrote a book, so I am an author. I need to own it.

What do you need to own?

Are you a guitar player in a garage band who is afraid to call himself a musician?

Or maybe you make magnificent doodles in a sketch book but you are ashamed to refer to yourself as an artist.

Whatever your case may be, learn from my mistake.

Own your art and you will be amazed where it can take you!

Care Enough To Get Hit

One person gets hit more than anyone and makes $130 million. Another person quit because he didn’t like getting hit. Who made the right decision? What if I told you they both did…

Get Hit

If you have ever played baseball you know that getting hit by a pitch is not a fun thing. It can lead to bumps, bruises and broken bones.

My older brother Matt learned quickly into his Little League baseball career that he did not like getting hit by the ball.  And who can blame him.  After all, as a batter your job is to hit the baseball, not the other way around.

After taking a few pitches into the gut, Matt decided that he didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.

So he stopped playing.

Matt was a great athlete and had the skills to be a very good baseball player, but the fear of getting hit by the ball limited his potential.

Some may hear that story and think that quitting was a wrong decision. They may think that he should have stuck with baseball long enough to conquer his fears.

But quitting baseball just might have been the best decision Matt could have made for his athletic career.

Matt stopped playing baseball and devoted his time to track and football where he thrived and became an All-State performer.

The difference between Matt’s baseball career and his career in track and football is that he cared enough about track and football to fight through the hits.

Because of this, he excelled.

Had he stayed in baseball for the sole reason that you shouldn’t quit something, he would have toiled in a sport he didn’t care about and he never would have reached his potential in track and football.

Don’t misunderstand me to think that I am saying you should quit everything that gets tough. What I am saying is that Matt didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.

But Shin-Shoo Choo does.

In 2013, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Shoo Choo led Major League Baseball by being hit by a pitch 26 times.

Like Matt, I would bet that Choo was also hit by the ball numerous times as a child while playing little league.

He probably didn’t like getting hit anymore than Matt did. But he certainly liked baseball enough to stick with it and continue to get hit.

Choo also slammed over 20 home runs in 2013 and was rewarded with a seven year, $130 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

Choo obviously loves baseball enough to get hit more than anyone. And he has been rewarded for it.

In life we are all going to get hit. Whether it is a bad book review, a poor performance evaluation or fastball that gets a little too far inside, we all get bumps (in the road), bruises (egos) and broken bones (or spirits).

What is important, is finding out what you care about enough to get hit. Once you do this, you will have a road map guiding you to where you will excel.

You still may never like taking the hits, but when you love what you are doing, the hits don’t feel nearly as painful. This is what Shin-Shoo Choo has realized ($130 million probably also helps).

On the flip side, if you do not care enough to get hit, it is better to take Matt’s approach and do something else with your talents. Doing this will bring out the best in your talents and abilities.

Whether it is life or baseball, you are going to get hit. A lot. In order to be successful you must determine what you care enough about to take those hits and keep going (and going and going).

Rhyme Week

I am going to start off this post by letting you all know that this week I will be using performance enhancements. Not only did I figure it would be my only chance at being compared to some of the best baseball sluggers of all time, but I thought it was better to be honest and admit it upfront since you will be skeptical when you see how great my posts are this week.

Confused? Let me explain…

Recently my mom gave me a book titled, The Complete Rhyming Dictionary. She either gave it to me as a nice gift or as a subtle hint that my rhymes need a little work. Whatever the reason, I thought I would get some use out of this book and see if I can do an entire week’s worth of posts in rhyme. Sound impossible? We will find out in no time. (rhyme 1, check!)

The rest of this week on Blog by Bake will be known as Rhyme Week. And like I said, I will be using The Complete Rhyming Dictionary to enhance my performance. So if you don’t like the rhymes, don’t blame me, blame the book’s editor Clement Wood.

Just kidding, don’t blame Clement, I’m sure he’s a swell guy.

And away we go…

One segment on this blog is the Memory Monday post.

It is when I write about myself, but I do it not to boast.

It is a time to look at my history and try to learn something from my past.

But my life is sometimes boring, so who knows how long this feature will last.

The posts aren’t always exciting or drama filled like on Glee.

They are simply just something that comes from my memory.

I’ve discussed competitive eating and a game of Wiffle Ball.

I’ll talk about all the smart and dumb things I’ve done, anything I can recall.

Who knows what you will get out of my tales or what lessons you will learn.

But instead of me sharing all the stories, I think you should have a turn.

Recall your most memorable story, like when you got the high score on Frogger.

And let me know in the comments below if you’d like to share it and be a guest blogger.

Well that’s enough for now, I hope this posts is a good sneak peek.

Of what you will encounter for the rest of Rhyme Week!

Fear Disguised As Your Brain

To an eight year old, a horse can be either fantastic or frightening.

To Dillon, a horse was The Shining type of frightening.

The other five kids in my group at camp couldn’t wait to ride a horse, but not Dillon.

As we walked up to the stable, Dillon took one look at the horses and hid behind my legs.

Recognizing that he was scared, but not wanting him to miss out on his only chance to ride a horse at camp, I encouraged him to give it a try and asked him if he was sure he did not want to ride.

His exact words were, “I am not getting on that thing.”

To Dillon, that’s exactly what a horse was…a thing. A thing he wanted no part of.

To help him see that the horses weren’t so scary, I started petting one of them. I asked Dillon if he wanted to join me and he reluctantly agreed.

“These things are soft,” he said after stroking one of the horses.

“Now that you see how soft they are, do you want to try and ride one?” I asked.

Dillon took a minute to answer. He squinted up his face with a painfully, confused expression and said something I will never forget.

“I want to try but why is my brain telling me no?”

I was taken aback by his comment and didn’t know how to respond.

What a mature and introspective thing for a terrified eight year old to say.

I can’t remember exactly what I said next. I think it was something along the lines of, “come on, you can do it” as if I was a little league coach talking to a player with two strikes.

My response in no way matched the magnitude of his question.

Looking back, this poor kid really believed that his brain was telling him not to do something he wanted to do. I can see why he was so confused. After all, his brain was supposed to be on his team, not against him.

Given another chance to answer his question, I would tell him that it wasn’t his brain telling him no. It was fear disguising itself as his brain.

I should have explained that his brain was telling him yes, ride the horse, but fear was the one telling him no.

I’ve read a lot about fear, but it wasn’t until this experience with Dillon and the horse that I realized this type of power fear has.

Fear can be so powerful that we think it is really our brain telling us not to do something we want to do.

For an eight year old (or a 28 year old or a 58 year old) it can be difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference.

What is the thing that you want to do, but are afraid to try? Are you convinced that your brain is telling you not to?

Despite my little league caliber answer, Dillon somehow mustered up the courage to ride the horse.

He was still scared to death, but he wasn’t going to let his brain, or fear (or whatever it was), prevent him from his only chance for a horseback ride.

I know it may sound too made-for-TV, but not only did Dillon get on the horse, but at the end of the ride he immediately wanted to do it again.

To an eight year old, a horse can be either fantastic or frightening.

To Dillon, it became fantastic all because he shut up his fear and started listening to his brain.

Your Loudest Ovation

Do you receive a bigger ovation from a perfect performance or one that you struggle just to get through?

That may seem like an easy question to answer but let me first tell you a story.

This past weekend I attended a Christmas event that featured a performance from a high school glee club.

(Despite what you may see on tv’s Glee, the rest of this story is not filled with the drama of a teen pregnancy, fights or a love triangle).

This glee club very merrily sang all your favorite classics from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer to Frosty the Snowman to Silent Night.

They were very good, but nothing to write home about (or write in a blog about).

That is, until they sang The 12 Days of Christmas.

The song was going fine until they got to the 10th day. They forgot the words not once, but twice. They didn’t remember what the true love got on the 10th or 11th day.

I am sure they were embarrassed. After all, they were now struggling to do the one and only thing they were brought on stage to do. Sing

But to their credit they didn’t panic. They didn’t stop or run off stage.  They kept right on going and recovered enough to finish the song.

After they finished the very last verse something remarkable happened.

They received their loudest applause of the entire night.

After each of the many songs they performed perfectly they received little more than a golf clap from the few hundred people in the audience.

But when they messed up and struggled to complete a very common song, they earned an ovation that you might find at an NFL game.

We appreciate others struggles because we can relate to them.

We all remember a time where we forgot the words to a song, colored outside the lines, or struck out with the bases loaded.

You aren’t going to be perfect on every song (or painting, or sales call, or test). It’s okay to struggle. Just keep going and once you get through it you may just receive your loudest ovation ever.

Wiffle Ball World Series Part II

Yesterday’s Memory Monday post left off when Baker Boys Plus had just defeated Plastic Devils in an epic slug fest.

But the game took its toll on the team and it’s star player was left with a stomach ache greater than one you would find after Thanksgiving dinner.

Will Baker Boys Plus be able to recover? Will it be another family disaster? Will we ever get to the end of this dumb story??

Here’s the exciting conclusion of the 2005 Wiffle Ball World Series.

“Sorry, but I feel terrible,” Matt says as he starts to pack up his stuff and leave.  “You can’t leave now,” I say trying to get him to reconsider.  “If I stay I will just keep throwing up,” Matt says.  “Maybe you can use that as intimidation,” Eric jokes.  “Kids won’t want to play us if you are puking all over the place.”  “Funny but I’ve got to go take a nap,” Matt says as he leaves the field.

So now we are without probably our best player.  Once again, I am starting to feel that nervousness again as we walk over to the next field where our second game will be played.

“Is that the other team?” Chris asks as we approach and see three little kids on the field where our next game is supposed to be played.  “They are like six years old,” laughs Eric.

Turns out they weren’t six.  They were 13, 10, and 8 and were playing with their dad.  Thinking a win was a sure thing, we made plans to try and keep it close.  We didn’t want to rub it in.  We planned on being nicer than all those other teams had been to us when we were younger.

As the game starts, I laugh and joke with Eric that this game with be no problem.  My laughter turns to shock as the first two kids hit homeruns.  ‘What just happened’ I thought to myself.  It was almost as if when the game started the six year olds took off their kid costumes to reveal three major league baseball players.

“Did we really just lose?” Chris asks as we sit down in the grass after losing the game 13-2.  “Is there steroid testing in wiffle ball?” asks Eric.  “Cuz those kids had to be on something.”

Still in complete shock from what just happened, I call Matt to repeat the score.  “We just got crushed by an old man and three six year olds,” I tell Matt as he answers the phone.  “Are you serious?” Matt says thinking that I am joking.  “No, actually they were 13, 10, and 8,” I say as if their real ages made any difference.

So now we have to win our next game.  If we lose our next game we don’t make it to the playoffs and our championship hopes are gone and this year will be like every other disappointing year.    Luckily for us the next team never shows up and we win by forfeit.  Now we are in the playoffs.

Our first opponent in the playoffs is the type of team that is the most fun to play against.  This type of team is made up of guys who don’t really care about wiffle ball and just use the tournament as an excuse to get away from their wives and get drunk at the park.  They crack a bunch of terrible jokes and are easy to beat.  We were playing them at the perfect time because it was now early afternoon and they had been drinking since 8:00 a.m.  We beat them easily because whatever little wiffle ball skill they once had was, just like most of their beer, long gone.

After beating Team Beer we were in the semifinals.  The team we would be playing consisted of three athletic looking high schoolers and two older guys who looked like they belonged on Team Beer.  The game was going back and forth when finally it happened.  My dad got hurt.  He was running (if you can really call it running) to first base and he pulled his hamstring.  “It wouldn’t be a wiffle ball tournament without dad getting hurt,” I say to Chris as we go to help him off the field.

Now we are without Matt and my dad.  I didn’t like our chances.  The game continued to go back and forth.  They would score four runs, we would score five.  They would take the lead and we would have to come back again.  The game went into extra innings.  Each team scored two runs so we went into another extra inning.  This time each team scored one run.  Was this game ever going to end?  Finally after one more inning we held them scoreless and won 26-25.

We had made it to the championship.  And who were we facing?  None other than the six year olds. And this time it was only the kids because, like our dad, their dad got hurt attempting to run (I guess pulled hamstrings were contagious for old men that day).  So now it was on.  Us vs. the six year olds for the Wiffle Ball World Series Championship.

“This time I don’t care about being nice,” Eric says as we take the field.  “If we lose to these kids again, I am quitting wiffle ball forever,” I reply.

During the first inning we hold them to three runs.  Something didn’t seem the same about them.  Maybe they couldn’t handle the pressure.  Or maybe the major leaguers from earlier went home early and all that was left was three little kids.

We didn’t take it easy and we ended up winning 23-7.  And it wasn’t even that close. We destroyed them. We hit homerun after homerun and they didn’t stand a chance.

As I went to shake their hand and say the obligatory good game I thought about what had just happened.  I had just done to them what so many guys did to me when I was little.  I beat up on a bunch of little kids and got enjoyment out of it.  I had become everything I hated when I was their age.  But it was worth it and I’ll do it again if I get the chance.

Wiffle Ball World Series

When I started this blog, I introduced a segment called Memory Monday. The segment was influenced by author Jon Acuff who says that looking into our past is a good way to reveal what we find important in the present.

I really liked this idea of looking at my past and I thought that the Memory Monday posts would be a great way to learn from the many exciting and heroic things I have done throughout my life.

Turns out that one thing I learned was that my past is often too boring, even for this silly blog (more on that to come).

Due to that realization, I have gotten away from the Memory Monday posts the past few weeks. Memory Monday probably won’t be a weekly segment, but I will be sharing memories from time to time.

In order to share a blast from my past this week, I dug up a story I wrote in 2006 about an event my family participated in called the Wiffle Ball World Series. Since it is a little long, I have decided to break it up into two parts. The second part will come tomorrow, which means we will have our first ever cliffhanger on Blog by Bake. How exciting.

Without further delay, here is my story about the 2005 Wiffle Ball World Series…

Every fall my dad, my two brothers and I play in a wiffle ball tournament.  It’s called the Wiffle Ball World Series.  It isn’t really the World Series, it isn’t even that big of a tournament, but for my family and I, its one of the best weekends of the year.  We have been playing in this same tournament every year since I was nine years old.  And every year was the same thing; a lot of fun, but also a lot of losing.  We were always the youngest team in the tournament and being the youngest meant also being the easiest to beat.  We would play teams with guys two or three times older than us and except for my dad, they were also two or three times better than us.  Most of the teams wouldn’t even take it easy on us.  They seemed to like destroying our confidence by building up their own.  They would hit home run after home run and each time celebrate as if to say “look how great we are, these dorky kids don’t even stand a chance.”

Even though we always lost, the tournament was still fun.  As we got older, we also got better and a little more competitive.  We might actually win a game every now and then.  It was fun to come back every year a little better and to see some of the same teams who once destroyed us now a little fatter and with a little less hair.  So when this year’s World Series rolled around I felt confident.  We were no longer young and easy to beat.  This year was going to be different…hopefully.

This year’s team consisted of my dad, my older brother Matt, my younger brother Chris, my friend Eric and me.  The perfect team.  Each person brought a little to the table.  My dad, although past his prime, can still hang with anyone (as long as it doesn’t require too much running).  He has always been the best player on the team; that is until about game four when he hurts his back or strains a calf muscle.  Matt is a great athlete who is good at hitting homeruns.  He may even have passed up my dad for best player on the team (even though dad will never admit it).  Chris is the youngest on the team, but he is a very strong kid who has been playing since he was five, so he’s no beginner.  Eric had been playing with us for the past two years.  He played well last year, so we decided to keep him on the team.  And then there’s me.  I’m not the greatest, but I would like to think I am on the team because I am good enough and not just because I’m part of the family.  So there it is, the 2005 version of Baker Boys Plus (Eric being the plus).

When we arrived at the park the day of the tournament, the weather was great.  It was a warm sunny day with no sign of rain.  Rain is kryptonite to wiffle ball, so with none in sight I felt like it was going to be a good day.

Our first game was against a team called the Plastic Devils.  They were a team of five seniors in high school who looked like they would be no pushovers.  “Can’t give him anything to hit,” Matt says to me as we watch one of them hit home run after home run as they warmed up.  “This next guy doesn’t look as good,” I reply as a new batter takes his turn.  “Wrong,” Eric says as the new batter hits one over the fence, past the bushes and into the parking lot.

The game begins and the Plastic Devils jump out to a 12-0 lead after their half of the first inning.  I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I am starting to get a little nervous.  We answer right back with 10 runs of our own.  The nervousness goes away as I realize that we can keep up with these guys.  The game goes back and forth and we end up winning 32-31 in what is by far the highest scoring wiffle ball game I have ever played in.

We may have won the game, but it didn’t come without a price.  Matt had woken up that morning not feeling very well and now he was feeling worse.  After the game, he threw up and was now lying in the fetal position.