Thursday Thanks (21-25)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a two-year venture from when I started last month!

1) Gift Cards
Some people consider them a lazy gift; I consider them a gold mine. Last week, I enjoyed 90 minutes of carefully selecting a couple blocks at Chapters as well as a precious date with my wife at a great local restaurant – all paid for by a couple good friends. Gift cards rock!

2) Sports
It is a fantastic time of year for sports lovers. March Madness ended just in time to make way for the NBA and NHL playoffs. My viewing habits are considerably lighter than they were in my younger years, but a few moments here and there along with the highlights are more than enough for this guy to follow the drama and the storylines. Great fun!

3) Travel
Next week presents me with the unique opportunity to attend the Pepperdine Lectures for the first time. The event is said to be one of the finest in our fellowship, in terms of presenters and teachings. And Malibu isn’t hard to take either!

4) Bikes
Today marked the first bike ride of the year. Our three girls and I re-familiarized ourselves with the path near our home. They felt considerably heavier than they did last summer, so I best put some more peddling on my weekly routine.

5) Candles
Who doesn’t love the flickering of a flame? A single candle burns nearby as I compose this list, and I am amazed at the calming, peaceful effect that little light can generate.

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  • Did any of this week’s list especially strike a chord with you?
  • What’s one thing you’re particularly grateful for this week?

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NHL Playoffs: Round One

Are you or a loved-but-currently-lost one consumed by this year’s NHL playoffs?

Here is my interested-but-not-immersed approach to time-efficient fan-dom:

1) First three games of all series: Maybe catch minutes here and there.  Mostly follow series score through TSN’s iPhone app.

2) Game four, a few minutes of viewing is supplemented by morning edition of SportsCentre.  (More attention is given if a sweep could happen.)

3) Game five, a period may be viewed, especially a third one.  At this point, overtime becomes nearly mandatory viewing.

4) By game six, I may commit to watching two-thirds of a game, and overtime has become must-see TV.

5) Game seven: I follow the flow loosely until the third period, when a close game will hook me in for the duration.

Now that you know how to view the playoffs.  Place your votes on the big-money question for the first round:

How about you?  Any playoff routines or rituals?  Is this “the most wonderful time of the year”, or a waste of ten weeks?