It has been a bloody long time since my last post. So much to go over.
I turned 57 two days ago. I had a wonderful birthday with my wife and my daughter at a fantastic restaurant called Quarters Korean Barbecue in the Koreatown section of Los Angles.
I have actually been able to play some rugby this year, after not playing at all last year. Back in the spring, I played in the Pasadena Old Boys vs B squad game. In August, I joined the Huntington Beach old boys and played at Sharkaplooza-where I was able to run into AB, a player I knew from my time with Metropolis RFC back in Minnesota. Tomorrow, I will play with the Huntington Beach old boys again in a match down in Temecula, California-my first time there. After not playing at all last year, it's great that my knees are feeling well enough for me to play-Losing 20 pounds since January, has not hurt either. (No diet, just eating more clean-more whole foods and vegetables)
Back in March, my wife and my partner in Rugby travel crime, Tom Daniels, went to Vancouver for the Vancouver sevens. http://www.canadasevens.com/blog/2017/03/17/hsbc-canada-sevens-inpictures/We had done the Vegas sevens 3 times in the previous 5 years, and although we have a good time in Las Vegas, I felt that it would be nice to check out a new place. Vancouver is probably the most beautiful city in North America(Sorry San Francisco). The people there are very friendly, lots of great food(particularly sea food, Chinese food and Poutine-French Fries with Cheese curds and beef gravy) The rugby matches were at the BC Place, a covered stadium, which is good, because it rains-a lot- in Vancouver. I would strongly recommend going to Vancouver, either as a tourist, or to catch the HSBC Sevens tour stop there in 2018.
In June, my wife, Tom and I went down to San Diego to catch the USA -Canada Rugby World Cup Qualifier. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/aztecs/sd-sp-rugby-20170701-story.htmlAfter a draw in Canada in the first game, all the Yanks had to do was was to win in Sunny San Diego. An emphatic 52-16 win over the Canucks not only punched the Yanks ticket for Japan 2019, it is the first time the USA had ever qualified in the America 1 slot. Well, the good news is that the USA qualified, but in doing so, the Eagles landed in what is pretty much The Group of Death in Japan: England, Argentina, France and Tonga. In my lifetime, it is probably the best game that I have seen a USA men's team play internationally. The second half was really a sight to behold in front of 5,000+ fans at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium. (Would like to see the USA play there more often-it's a nice stadium, beautiful surroundings, and San Diego has several craft breweries!)
After going to Rugby World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015, we naturally are planning on going to Japan in 2019 https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/?lang=en-we have already starting saving our money, for what will surely be an expensive-but rewarding trip. One of the other things I want to do while in Japan, besides watch rugby, is to go to the city of Niigata, in the northern part of Honshu, where my son Ian stayed for a year with the Hara family as an AFS exchange student. It will mean a lot to me if I can meet the family who took my son in for the year, and also played a big part in his maturation process. I sent a 15 year old kid to Japan, and got a 16 year old young man when he came back. He had changed so much during his time in Japan, that I actually walked right past him in the airport.
My wife and I ended up buying a house and moving to Pacoima, in the northern part of the San Fernando valley. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-lopez-househunt-20170903-story.html
Hopefully, I can blog with more regularity moving forward, and sorry it has been such a long time between posts. Last year was a tough year for me, but I'm doing better now. In the words of Monty Python, I'm not dead yet...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jdf5EXo6I68