Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The other side of the fence

My oldest plays softball. In general, I've always tried to stay out of a coaches way. The league is run completely by volunteers and they really do put a lot of time into making sure kids have a good time playing softball. We've always been a "if you need something, ask" kind of parents. This typically turns into warming a pitcher up or throwing pop ups at practice. I've helped with the bases and putting down the foul lines a few times before a game or covering if someone doesn't show up to work in the concession stand. One time it was pretty windy so I hosed down the infield before the game to prevent a dust storm. I like to think of it as helpful without initiative.  If you need something, let me know otherwise I'm going to sit here assuming you're all set.

On the registration form where it says are you willing to coach or manage I wrote "Will help out as needed." The league runs a pre-season clinic. While checking in my daughter to the clinic, one of the coaches greeted us with excitement and pretty much said (I'm trying for a direct quote here), "My assistant coach hurt her knee and can't really get around, you wrote 'will help out as needed,' I need you. Please, please, please, please."

So I'm an assistant coach. I had to go to tryouts with a clipboard to take notes and rank players as if I had a clue. Seriously, I have no business judging the ability of players. For the most part, my scouting report didn't really matter. Since the tryouts, I've spent a lot of time on YouTube looking at drills and things to do in practice (Anyone have ideas? I am very open to suggestions." We've had two practices so far and for the most part they went well. I tried to run a pickle drill but the team isn't quite there yet. They got the general idea, but couldn't pull it off in slow motion. Full speed in a game isn't going to work.

The next 6 weeks are going to be very busy. We've got 2 more practices and then the season starts. Not sure I'll ever get used to anyone calling me coach. In terms of softball knowledge, I am an imposter on this side of the fence. I'm an out of shape pizza enthusiast. I don't really have any business instructing sports.

Need help cooking dinner, I'm your guy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Annual Girl Scout Cookie Tally

Ever year I take a look at the Girl Scout cookie sales and every year, they are pretty much the same percentage wise. Looking at the entire troops sales to date:

31% Thin Mint
28% Samoa
17% Tagalong
9% DoSiDo
7% Trefoils
4% Rah Rah Raisin
3% Savannah Smiles
1% Toffee Tastic

And here is all that data in a pie chart because...well it was already in Excel so why not.

Thin Mints continue to dominate with Samoas (a personal favorite) trailing slightly behind. Keep in mind Toffee Tastic is gluten free and cost an extra buck so clearly sales aren't going to be huge. One thing I've noticed, especially at booth sales, is that some people are fiercely loyal to their favorite cookie. For example,  one woman that stopped at the troop's table in Crossgates, said she'd be right back, went to an ATM for cash, and then bought 5 boxes of Rah Rah Raisin cookies.

Cookie Sales Demographic Fact: Men between the ages of 18 and 25 really have a thing for Tagalongs. To the point where when a guy wearing a SUNY tshirt walks up to the table you could say, "How many boxes of Tagalongs would you like?" Usually the answer is 2 boxes. One box is immediately consumed while walking around the mall, and the other box probably gets eat later that night. During the last booth sale, an out of town men's lacrosse team was in the mall killing time. After they walked past the table, they were now killing time with a box of Tagalongs.

It should also be noted that people shopping in Crossgates are very generous with people often stopping just to donate money without buying cookies or spend $5 on a $4 box of cookies. If you are looking for some Thin Mints or Samoas or happen to be a 20 year old guy needing a Tagalong fix, the troops last scheduled booth sale is tomorrow afternoon in Crossgates Mall in front of the Starbucks near Uno's and Best Buy.