Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anna: Dogs' best friend

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna's first real interaction with a dog (other than several of her dad's friends) came yesterday afternoon when Uncle Matt and Bauer paid us a visit up at Perkins Pond.

At first, Anna was very inquisitive and rather mesmerized by Bauer. She wouldn't taker her eyes off him as he sauntered in and out of the water. When he started to play fetch with Uncle Matt, she was definitely locked in.

With Anna's interest piqued, I decided that it would be OK to let her play with Bauer a little. I swear that Bauer doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, so I wasn't worried for a second about how he would treat Anna.

It was definitely the highlight of a what turned out to be a gorgeous day for me. Anna would get excited every time Bauer came near and she would pat him (sometimes rather vigorously) and Bauer just let it roll off his back. As you can see (right and below) Bauer planted a big wet one on Anna and the two soon became best friends.

Thanks Uncle Matt for bringing Bauer up to visit us. Anna has a new best friend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Perkins Pond

By K.J. Cardinal

The official vacation of The Cardinal Blog is well underway.

The entire Cardinal family (minus Aunt Kate) is currently up on Perkins Pond in Sunapee, N.H. We have rented a five-bedroom house right on the water for this week.

We're nearing the halfway mark of our stay and we've had a blast so far. The weather isn't cooperating 100%, but the house has a pool table, foos ball table, ping pong table, hot tub and more, so there's been plenty to do.

Last night we had our second big family dinner together...spaghetti and meatballs.

Anna gave spaghetti a spin for the first time. I started off by feeding her small pieces and then I decided to give her a whole piece. She loved the fact of having a long piece to whip around and somehow it devolved into me putting the piece of spaghetti all over her face (pictured right).

Of course, she was rather unphased by her dad's antics as she just tried to work the spaghetti into her mouth.

Seeing this, Andrew had to get in on the action. He was letting Tiffany put the spaghetti all over his face and even posing for the camera with it on his face. Tiff couldn't miss out on the opportunity to get in on the action too. Andrew's so much fun.

Not to be left out, Papa even got into the spaghetti on the face act, which made Andrew get into the whole scene even more. It was just a priceless scene all around.

Maybe this isn't everyone's idea of a good vacation, but we all couldn't be happier to hang out and enjoy life's little things with all the kids. Spaghetti on the face is just one example of the ideal vacation for all of us.

The place we're staying at is so great that we've already declared that we're coming back here EVERY YEAR. It's exactly what we were looking for...a comfortable family environment for us all to relax and enjoy each other's company.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anna hits the big time, featured on

By K.J. Cardinal

As if I wasn't already the proudest father in the world, Anna's latest antics have me through the roof.

Last week I submitted a photo of Anna with the Red Auerbach statue to's "Celtic Fan Photos" and I just happened to check back tonight to see that she made the cut!

She is currently photo 74 out of 98 [click here for the actual gallery]. So, it's not like she was the "chosen one" or anything, but it's still awesome to she her cute face on the state's top website.

What's also pretty funny is that my buddy Ben's niece (Katie) is also featured in the photo gallery too (she is #61). Her dad, Andy, is probably the biggest Boston sports fan I have ever met, so it's no surprise that he submitted a photo too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lakers got Rondo'd

By K.J. Cardinal

Last night Rajon Rondo was on top of his game and a big reason why the C's were able to blow out the Lakers.

As we walked into the new Garden last night, they were handing out these small signs that said "You got Rondo'd". A clever slogan for Reebok.

Then, during the game, they played a few new Reebok commercials with the "You got Rondo'd" theme. There's one featuring Vince Wilfork and one featuring Dee Brown, but the best one stars Jo Jo White. Take a look below at the one of Jo Jo White.

I can't wear Reebok's because they have too much of an arch for my rather flat feet, but I'd consider putting up with the pain because of this campaign. Good idea...especially considering the Lakers got Rondo'd.

Green Seventeen

By K.J. Cardinal

When I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn't stomach the idea of the Celtics winning the NBA title in Boston without being there. So, I did what I had to do (once I got the OK from Wife of the Year Angie), and purchased a rather pricey balcony seat for Game 6 of the NBA Finals (pictured right).

What a decision that turned out to be. In hindsight I probably would have paid double, if not triple, the price of the ticket if I knew what was going to transpire. It was a night for the ages. Truly a dream come true for me. Not many people can say that they witnessed their favorite team win a championship in person. The fact that it was at home, versus their rival and a blow-out was just the icing on the cake.

I'm not going to dissect the game, because when you win by 39 points, 131-92, the score really speaks for itself. But, I will say that I am so elated for Paul Pierce.

I feel like Pierce is the only one on the team that can truly relate to die-hard Celtics fans like myself, my dad, Glenn, Ben and Moody. He's the only guy on the team that truly bleeds green.

He remembers playing for Pitino. He lived through first round picks like Jerome Moiso, Kedrick Brown, Joseph Forte, Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones. He KNEW Red. He was part of The Comback (circa 2002).

Up until last night, Paul Pierce was known as the best player on a bad team. Now, his legacy has changed for ever. He is now the best player on the WORLD CHAMPION Boston Celtics. He is a future Hall of Famer. And, his #34 will one day grace the hallowed rafters alongside numbers like 6 and 33. He deserves it.

The struggles that Pierce has endured here in Boston makes this sweeter for him and just as sweet for us die-hard fans. I really feel vindicated on a few levels as well.

I feel like watching all those late night west coast games was worth it. Now, when I say "late night west coast games", I'm not talking about games 3, 4 & 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals. I'm talking about those west coast trips during horrible seasons like 1996-97 (15 wins), 1998-99 (19 wins...strike) and 2006-07 (24 wins).

I feel like the thousands and thousands of dollars that I've spent on the Celtics over the past 10 years was worth it. It was an investment in the future. I really don't think I would be reveling in the glory of this title as much if I hadn't put so much time, energy and money into this team when they weren't good.

With this win, I feel like I somehow get vindication on all those endless arguments with anti-Celtic fans and Antoine haters. Say what you want about the Celts, but I stuck by these boys through thick and thin and it feels great.

While sitting in traffic on the way home last night, as revelers were terrorizing the city of Boston, I couldn't help but start to think about the random things over the last 15 years that only die-hard Celtics fans can remember and more importantly things that I experienced with my family on all those long, late nights going to Boston and back to watch some of the worst basketball ever played in the NBA. Things like...

- The Cracker Jack Guy
- Full of Bull on Route 1
- The lady in the green suit at EVERY game
- The fish market
- Marrrrtttyyyy! Conlin
- Rare Bird
- The blind lady that sat behind us
- Mike the beer guy that my Dad became VERY friendly with
- Tiffany's halftime shootout
- Halloween night 1997 (Pitino peaks in debut: Celts beat Bulls)...chanting "Seventeen!" on the way out of the building.
- Bringing a sign to the games that read "ANTOINE: I'LL NEVER BOO"
- Taking a shot on the parquet with Glenn during the 1998 draft party
- Larry Bird in Section 316
- The 2002 playoff run
- A birthday salute on the Jumbotron
- Handing out mugshots of Jason Kidd on Causeway Street
- The Wiggle
- Katie's love affair with David Wesley
- Wearing wifebeaters with the #5 and "Kidd" on the back
- Loving "Gino" before everyone jumped on the bandwagon
- Jokes about Greg Minor's 48 illegitimate children
- Getting on the Jumbotron nearly every game
- Bringing a sign to the 2002 playoffs that read "8 + 34 - Pitino = 17"

I'm sure there a million more memories that I'm forgetting, so feel free to post them in the comments.

Remembering all of those things really makes me happy that my buddy Glenn was willing to shell out the dough to go to the game with me last night. God knows that I have been to more horrible Celtics games with him than anyone without the last name Cardinal. Glenn and I went to probably 15-20 games a year together. Unfortunately for us, these games just happened to come during the worst stretch in franchise history...The Carr-Pitino eras.

Also a nice personal touch for me, was that my Uncle Bill and cousin Missy were fortunate enough to win a lottery to get tickets for last night's game. The two of them hadn't been to a Celtics game in a long time, but they were both fired up to be there and had a blast. We met up before the game and also just happened to run into each other as we were walking out of the building. Seeing the pure joy on Missy's face was so great.

The icing on the cake for me was getting home at 2:45 a.m. and going to check on Anna in her crib to see her fast asleep with her Celtics' headband on. I really couldn't think of a better way to cap one of the most memorable days of my life. Sorry Anna, but my addiction is now yours.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pack Network gets some pub

By K.J. Cardinal

The Sports Video Group, a New York-based professional community that produces and distributes sports content, recently featured Pack Network in its exclusive SVG-U: College Sports Video Insider.

I really couldn't have captured the essence of Pack Network better even if I wrote the article myself. The article is posted below, but it can also be viewed on the SVG website here. Good stuff.

What was pretty neat too was how the article was presented in their weekly newsletter (pictured left). The Pack Network article was the third headline, just below a headline that read "ESPN, NEP Ready For College World Series." It's so cool to be featured in a publication right in line with ESPN...kind of unreal, actually.

We have a bunch of cool new potential projects that we're trying to work out the details for the 2008-09 season, so we think year two is going to be even more successful than year one. The best part of the first year of Pack Network has been that I've been able to move the business along while also taking care of Anna and even managing to do this blog.

Anyway, here's the story...

Pack Network Helps Non-Techies Stream College Sports
By Carolyn Braff

At many mid-major colleges, the barrier keeping the athletic department from riding the streaming wave is simply learning to use the necessary equipment. For those schools located in the northeast, the one-year-old Pack Network provides a flexible, affordable lifeboat.

K.J. Cardinal and Adam Polgreen devised the Pack Network two years ago, while working as sports information directors at their alma mater, Northeastern University.

“We wanted Northeastern to be our guinea pig on the streaming stuff,” Cardinal explains. “They enabled us to test out a lot of different things and gave us some legitimacy.”

When Cardinal became the assistant commissioner of the America East Conference, Polgreen moved into Northeastern’s web services division and began testing the equipment the two had been discussing. One year later, Northeastern was the Pack Network’s first client.

Neither Cardinal nor Polgreen has any broadcast training, but that is the idea behind their business model.

“We don’t have any traditional television equipment and we only have about $30,000 worth of gear,” Cardinal explains. “From working in sports information, we’re used to not having budgets, so we figured out how to do it on the cheap.”

The Pack Network’s webcast system – the PackCast – is designed so that any member of the sports information office can learn, in about two hours, how to produce and stream a four-camera broadcast.

“You don’t need a $15,000 camera to do web production,” Cardinal explains. “We’ve found the necessary expensive pieces to purchase and we can set up all of our equipment in three spots on press row.”

For character generation, for example, the PackCast pulls pre-made graphics straight from Adobe Photoshop.

“The graphic element is done in advance and then the text is done live during the game,” Cardinal explains. “We’re using programs that people can go out and purchase on their own, but the general person isn’t going to be able to set up our exact system, so we package everything together.”

For the Pack Network, however, teaching clients how to use the equipment is just as important as selling it. As former Sports Information Directors (SIDs), Cardinal and Polgreen both know how overworked their clients can be, so they have trained students, graduate assistants and other staff members at Northeastern, University of New Hampshire and University of Maryland Baltimore Country how to set up the PackCast equipment and produce a game.

“I can sit down with someone and I can guarantee that you can do a four-camera production,” Cardinal says. “But to take it to the next level, you have to have somebody who’s a specialist. For the higher-quality productions, if you really want multiple angles, replays, stats and graphics, Adam and I are both going to the game as the producer and director.”

In addition to consulting and producing, the Pack Network has its own server that can handle Web streams for up to 100 people. Because so many of the nation’s universities are locked into streaming contracts with their web content providers, demand for the Pack server is low, making the 100-person limit the perfect size for events like May’s Northeast Conference softball tournament.

The Pack Network celebrated its one-year anniversary on June 1 and in its first 12 months, the company’s top two clients streamed nearly 200 events, ranging from hockey games at state-of-the-art arenas to crew races on the Charles River.

The productions ranged in price from $3,000 to $600 per event. By comparison, a traditional television broadcast for a mid-major conference costs upwards of $25,000, so Cardinal sells his clients on the advantages of making 10 times as many events available, at comparable quality, for the same price point.

“If only 500 people are going to watch your women’s basketball game on TV anyway, why not pay us a tenth of that price for the production?” Cardinal explains. “It will be available live online, so anybody in the world can watch it, which eliminates the trouble of getting television clearances. You can also provide an archive, so your impact is far greater.”

The Pack Network relies on flexibility and affordability to build custom streaming solutions for the mid-major market, and that combination has produced a highly successful first year in business.

“People don’t expect good production quality from streaming video yet, but they should,” Cardinal says. “Next year people will start saying, we need to make this a better production, and that’s where we can help. We’ve been busier in year one than we probably even wanted to be.”

Friday, June 13, 2008

The key fit

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna really hit the nail on the head with her key to yesterday's Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Celtics and the Lakers. Defense and depth were huge factors in the amazing come-from-behind victory, but she admits there was another "D" that she may have overlooked.


Yesterday I wrote "I know I have been ultra-critical of Doc all season long, knocking his annoying 12-man rotation, but that could actually bail the Celts out as they try to fight through these bumps in the road."

Well, not only was the depth huge because of Doc's deep rotation, but he also pushed all the right buttons last night.

Don't get me wrong, I love Rondo more than the next guy (I even have a Rondo jersey t-shirt), but Doc did the right thing by sitting him and giving Eddie House (not Cassell) a lot of minutes. Eddie helped spaced the floor and hit some big shots in the second half.

Doc also did well managing KG's foul trouble, spelling him with just enough Leon Powe to keep the C's in the game, and going "small" with a line up of House, Allen, Pierce, Posey and KG proved to be a winning combination.

The first half was a disaster all around and I won't even get into that, but the team came out with such defensive intensity for the second half. It was remarkable.

I am so happy for Pierce. He stepped up at the half and said, "I want Kobe." Who does that? Who wants to defend the best player in the league? Especially when you're down by 20+ points on the road. I mean, nothing good could come of that, right? Wrong.

Pierce hiked his shorts up and buckled down to play some good old fashioned defense. It was really quite a sight. I think just the message he sent to Doc and the rest of the team at the half was probably the turning point of the game. The fact that Pierce didn't have any quit in him and knew that the only way to get back in the game was on the defensive end was very impressive. He's come such a long way.

An attitude like that is why I loved Antoine so much. He was a leader. Sure those teams weren't very good, but Antoine always said and did the right things when it came to leading his ball club. Pierce was always the guy behind the guy.

Paul seemed to hate to take charge, which is why the C's struggled after Antoine left. It wasn't because Toine was a Hall of Fame caliber player by any means, but it just exposed Pierce's weakness of being a poor leader. Well, that all changed last night.

Selfless acts like volunteering to defend the best player in the league is what Celtic legends are made of. With one more win, Paul will solidify himself with some BIG names. Russell, Bird, Cousy, Havlicek and Pierce?! That's what I think one more win would do for Paul. Amazing.

I can't believe MY BOSTON CELTICS are one win away from a title. It's insane. I know this is "The Cardinal Blog" and is supposed to be about my family, but the Celtics have always been and will always be a big part of my family.

Don't believe me? You're crazy. About 10 minutes following last night's game, my Dad called me and said "I just wanted you to know that I'm still awake! I told Mom after the first quarter, I'm staying up for this one because they're gonna win this game!"

It was the perfect way to cap an amazing night. One more baby. BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anna's key to Game 4

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna has been busy breaking down film since the Celtics' Tuesday night Game 3 loss to the Lakers and her key to tonight's game is D.

"D" doesn't only mean defense, even though she recognizes that defense wins championships, but D also stands for depth.

With Pierce's knee still a little sore, Perk's ankle a mess and Rondo a game-time decision (ankle), the Celtics' depth tonight could be huge.

I know I have been ultra-critical of Doc all season long, knocking his annoying 12-man rotation, but that could actually bail the Celts out as they try to fight through these bumps in the road.

By saying that, however, I don't mean that Cassell should ever see the floor. Rather, I think that guys like Eddie House, PJ Brown and Leon Powe need to step up tonight.

Pierce and KG aren't going to play as poorly as they did in Game 3 and Ray Ray has gone from dog house to penthouse as he's been the only consistent player in the Finals. So, I expect big things from the Big 3.

If the Celts can succeed in Anna's "D" keys tonight, Defense and Depth, then it could mean Disaster for the Lakers. BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When blogs collide

By K.J. Cardinal

With the rivalry of all rivalries taking place on the West Coast tonight in Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers, two titans of the blogosphere met in Natick on Tuesday morning in a match-up for the ages as well.

The Cardinal Blog duo of myself and Anna had a "play date" with the "Big 3" of daddy Steve and three-year-old twins Cricket and Samantha.

No, Cricket and Samantha didn't treat Anna to a Kevin McHale on Kurt Rambis clothesline or anything, actually the trio of hit it off admirably. It was more reminiscent of Larry Bird Night when Magic took to the stage donning a Celtics T-shirt under his Laker warm-ups. Joyful admiration all around.

Anyway, Cricket and Sam were gracious enough to share their toys with Anna and Anna was foaming at the mouth with jealousy as the girls chased each other around the house. Just like at Meme & Papa's house, Anna also took kindly to the ceiling fans...definitely a big hit.

After playing at the house for more than an hour, the "play date" changed venues as we headed to Boloco in Natick for a quick lunch. Anna isn't quite ready for a burrito just yet, so she opted for the tasty Enfamil Lipil with Iron.

Despite the sweltering heat, it was great to finally meet the Lemon twins. Steve's parenting tactics of beating his kids incessantly is an interesting one, but it appears to be working fantastically as the girls have impeccable manners and give great hugs.

It was the first of many hopeful play dates in the future, so let's just hope the blogging world can handle the impact of such momentous occasions.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pub Crawl success

By K.J. Cardinal
The 1st Annual TBG Pub Crawl, held on Saturday, June 7, successfully raised over $600 for the Ted Everidge Memorial Fund.

Over 30 people attended the one-day, seven-bar event, while others that could not make the crawl also contributed to the cause. Check out the full photo gallery of the day's events below.

A special thanks to all for their generous contributions. It was a great day as we were able to raise money for a great cause and remember a great man.

If you couldn't make the pub crawl but would like to purchase the official shirt of the inaugural event, a limited number are still available. T-shirts cost $30/each and can be purchased by sending a check payable to "K.J. Cardinal" to:

K.J. Cardinal
27 Gerry Drive
Hudson, MA 01749

Additional proceeds from the remaining T-shirts will also benefit the Ted Everidge Memorial Fund.

Friday, June 6, 2008


By K.J. Cardinal

Sweet Jesus! Was that a game or what?

I don't think I could've asked for anything more on what turned out to be a PERFECT night. Definitely one of the top 10 moments in my life...maybe even top five.

My dad got down to my house around 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. We enjoyed a few beers and watched the final six plays of the "Larry Bird's 50 Greatest Moments". It was a good way to get us geared up for the game.

We then headed into the city nice and early to take in the scene and, of course, have dinner at The Fours. We got a great parking spot and motored directly over to the Pro Shop to buy some Finals swag.

I had to go with the classic "Beat LA" T-shirt, while my dad opted for a "Beat LA" hat. With our new gear, we then made our way over to The Fours.

After dinner we went over to DJs at the Garden where Jamie and Moody would meet up with us. When we walked into DJs they were handing out raffle tickets for two tickets to the game. When the bouncer handed me my ticket as I was walking in, I turned around to let him and my dad know that the last two numbers on my ticket were none other than 86!

Of course I thought this was an omen and that we were destined to win the tickets. When Jamie and Moody showed up, my dad and I gave them our raffle tickets so they could increase their odds of winning the tickets since they didn't have any.

We participated in some Celtics trivia and then they pulled the raffle ticket. The tickets had six or seven digits and like usual they were dramatic in calling the numbers...taking forever in between each number. It was something like 4-1-6-1-8...

When we got to that point, we had a 20% chance of winning the tickets because I had 86 and my dad had 87. Then, they called.........5. Damn! We were one freaking number off from winning two tickets to the game. I can't even explain how pumped up we were. Even though they didn't get the tickets, it definitely got our adrenaline going and with that we headed over to the Garden.

Before we went in though, we had to stop for a photo op at the HUGE Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy (see above and right). It might look kind of corny, but it was actually pretty cool.

As we walked in the building, you could already hear the "BEAT LA!" chants. The place was electric from the jump and I knew we were in for a treat.

James Taylor sang an awesome acoustic rendition of the National Anthem (pictured left). I felt that having JT sing the anthem was a good sign because he also sang the anthem at Game 2 of the World Series game that I went to back in October, which the Sox won.

The Celtics intro and lineups had such a party feel to them and like usual included pyrotechnics. It's not the best quality video in the world, but I wanted to capture the scene of the intros and whatnot, so at the bottom of this post is an uncut clip of the whole thing. Pretty cool...I apologize for screaming like a school girl at times, but I couldn't contain myself.

I could probably write 5,000 words on the game itself, but I'm just going to assume that everyone watched it...and if not, please refrain from reading my blog in the future. I will note a few key plays and moments though...

- Pierce did his best Willis Reed impression. When he went down, no one in the building really knew how bad he was injured. They didn't show a replay and we didn't see him get carried off the court either. But, right after the play I got text messages from a few friends saying it didn't look good. Without having seen the play though, I just said, "He's fine" and I'm so thankful that ended up being the case. When he came running out of the tunnel, the place went was awesome.

- I know the entire fourth quarter was really close and there were some big plays, but I think two of the biggest plays happened with about a minute to go in the third when Pierce nailed back-to-back threes on consecutive possessions.

- Does Eddie House's son go to school? A game ending at midnight has to be past his bedtime, right?

- Garnett had two HUGE plays. One was when he saved the ball from being a backcourt violation, which led to a Sam Cassell (I think) jumper. The other big play yielded the loudest, craziest scene that I've ever been a part of at a sporting event and that was his follow dunk. Good lord was that sick. Not only was it one of the most powerful dunks and athletic plays I've ever seen, but it was the nail in the coffin. It made it a three possession game with just over a minute to go. The only thing I can compare it to was in 2004 when I was at Game 3 of the Red Sox Division Series versus the Angels and Big Papi hit a walk-off homer to sweep the series. Definitely worth the price of admission.

- The Larry O'Brien trophy floor logo is absurd. Red is rolling over in his grave.

- I don't think I've ever hated a Celtic as much as I hate Sam Cassell. Why on earth he played 13 minutes and took nine shots is beyond me. The most maddening play of the night though was when he actually had an open look with the shot clock winding down, but hesitated and then opted to make an extra pass as the shot clock expired.

- PJ Brown is awesome. I can't believe how much of a key factor he's been in the playoffs. He just does the little things right without doing anything wrong. He's the anti-Cassell.

- Phil Jackson is an idiot for not fouling right away at the end of the game. The Celtics would've won anyway, but when it's a three possession game and the C's have the ball with under a minute to play, he's got to foul. I'm sure Red was looking down with a smile on his face then.

What a night. Thanks so much for going with me Dad. I know you had to get up around 3:45 this morning to go to work, but I hope you think it was worth it. A dream come true type of night and now the C's are three wins away from a title. I can't believe it!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Anna's milestone overshadowed by NBA Finals

By K.J. Cardinal

I know that I might be conceding the "Father of the Year" award with this statement, but even though today is Anna's eight-month birthday, all I can really think about is tonight's Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

I'd like to think it's because I'm taking my dad to the game tonight and we're both fired up, but truth be told the Celtics in the playoffs seems to take precedence over EVERYTHING in my life...even Anna?!? So much of my life has changed with the birth of Anna, but my obsessive compulsive behavior surrounding the C's in the playoffs apparently will never subside.

As you've witnessed right here on The Cardinal Blog over the past month and change, Anna has gotten the playoff bug too. It all started with the awesome Celts sweat suit from Ben & Lynsey and included photo shoots with Red & Larry Legend's sneakers as well as getting creative with her floor mat. I'm glad that she's been able to get into the spirit of the playoffs too...God only knows what I'd have to do with her if she wasn't into it.

Luckily for Anna, over the past week she has been able to become a model student in the subject of the greatest rivalry in NBA history. Her daily routine of watching her favorite cartoon "Super Why" has taken a back seat to NBATV, ESPN Classic and any other station that's carrying anything Celtics related.

She actually witnessed "Daddy's" curse-laden tirade at the DVR yesterday when his 60-minute recording of "Larry Bird's 50 Greatest Moments" was pre-empted by 40 minutes of an overtime WNBA game. Good lord was I fired up. If she could talk, I'm sure she would've asked Mommy, "Why's David Stern an a*shole?!"

Anyway, no need to worry Meme, I'm still feeding Anna and changing her diapers and whatnot. It's just that my mind is 100% preoccupied with the NBA Finals. I'm sure my Dad's in the same boat...especially since I called him this morning to tell him that James Taylor is singing the National Anthem tonight.

It'll be the perfect way to start a night that I've always dreamed of. I know I'm a total sports junkie, so it says a lot when I say that seeing the Celtics in person in the NBA Finals is #1 on my sports wish list. So, tonight a dream comes true for let's just pray the C's can get it done.

By the way, Happy Birthday Anna...and BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Anna shows playoff spirit

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna once again let her playoff spirit shine through on Monday afternoon, this time by getting creative with her new alphabet floor mat.

As you can see, she wrote "BEAT LA" and "GO C'S" with her letters. She also managed to throw in my name, the #17, #34 and the #5 (which she's sitting on). If you don't know the significance of those three numbers for the Celtics, then you're an idiot.

Like Anna says, "BEAT L.A.!" I can't wait for Thursday!

Andrew's birthday bash

By K.J. Cardinal

On Saturday, we all got to celebrate Andrew's second birthday with him at a full-out birthday bash at Tiffany and Pete's.

The weather wasn't so great, but that didn't stop the packed house from having a good time under the tents. Here are some of the highlights...

- Auntie Sheila made one of her famous cakes for Andrew (as aforementioned right here on The Cardinal Blog back in March) and it was awesome. The picture at right doesn't do it justice, but it was a guitar cake and the strings were made of spaghetti. It was great...and of course yellow...Andrew's favorite color.

- Andrew got a ton of many in fact that he actually had to stop for snack breaks in the middle. He cracks me up.

- Another "highlight" of the party for the kids was the balloon lady. She made balloon animals for the kids. She was quite a piece of work and provided a bit of unintentional comedy for the adults.

- Three-year-old Ben Lauze, Jon & Nikoll Lauze's son, is a riot. At one point during the party, he stood on his chair playing a guitar made by the balloon lady and serenaded us with his lovely version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I wish I would've caught that on the was priceless.

- At the party, I asked my Dad if he wanted to go to Game 1 of the NBA Finals with me on Thursday night and he said "YES!" I was a little nervous that he wouldn't want to go because the game starts at 9 p.m. and he has to get up early on Friday morning to work, but he jumped at the opportunity to go to a Finals game. I'm psyched that I finally get to hook him up with a ticket to the C's after years of him taking care of me. Let's hope they win!

After the party, Angie, Anna and I made our way over to the Rochester Manor to visit my grandfather. He seemed to be doing really great. I dropped off a Pack Network polo shirt for him and that really made his day too.

Also of note, on Saturday morning Anna's food experimentation continued...this time with scrambled egg yolks. Apparently egg whites have a lot of bacteria in them, so she can only eat the yolks. She was more interested in squishing them between her fingers than eating them though.

On Sunday, my Dad and I managed to hit the links for 18 holes at Farmington. My Christmas gift of a membership at FCC has proven to be a huge hit. He's addicted to golf now!