Christian Ross

What’s in a number?

Last fall, I had the privilege of stepping in to coach the Junior Varsity baseball team at my boys’ school for the off-season program. By rule, the “real” coaches are not allowed to be on the field with the players when they are not officially in season so they recruit others: dads, past players, outside coaches, etc to step in a run the practices and games on their behalf.

Obviously, they asked about 30 others before deciding to call upon me, but in the end, they reached out and afforded me the opportunity. 

The fall season was short, just a 6-game league play where — due to a field shortage — we had to play everything away. Also, just to see where our boys stacked up, our head coach of the baseball program signed us up for the JV1 division which means we would be playing against 5A and 6A schools, instead of the 2A and 3A-sized schools that we typically play against. No complaints, we had a great time.

We also got our teeth kicked in most games. Thankfully, we improved every week, ending up pulling out a win in our last game to finish the season with a 1-5 record…


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Life in Grapevine, Texas during the 1920s to 1950s

Life in Grapevine, Texas during the 1920’s to 1950’s (from the Star-Telegram archive)

A while back I stumbled across this post from the Star-Telegram of photos from our little town back in the day. Because too much on the internet gets lost, I decided to grab a copy of it all as an archive for myself. Your mileage may vary.

A couple things I’ve noted looking through them:

  • #1: We attend this congregation though neither the building or the location are the same as this photo.
  • #7: This school building still stands and has been a place of education for both of my boys (currently the younger one still has 1.5 years left in it). It’s also a block from our house.
  • #12: We’ve had the same mayor for over 40 years. The mayor before him? His dad.
  • #19: The Lucas family has owned and operated a funeral home in Grapevine for decades. My current office used to be the place where they stored their caskets.
  • #24: Ola Mae (Black) Hodges was one of our favorite Grapevine residents for years when we first moved here. She and her husband lived in the same house for almost 60 years and amazingly enough, had the same phone number for their entire time of owning the home. Her husband Bob was a war veteran, a varsity quarterback at Grapevine HS, and has forgotten more committed-to-memory scripture than I’ll ever be able to learn.
  • #32: There are more cantaloupes in this picture than I’ve seen grown in this town in my entire time living here. I kind of wish I was around when we were a little more agriculture focused.
  • #33: The tallest building on the left side of the street in this photo is my office (right above where it says Drugs).
  • #36: This building is about 3 doors north of my office. No longer a bank, now it’s a steakhouse.
  • #37: We live in the D.E. Box neighborhood of Grapevine. Prior to this photo, I didn’t know who D.E Box was.
  • #43: Again, office on left side, tallest building.
  • #44: A little more recent view of downtown to match it up with #43.


Family hangs, DFW

I originally thought this would work well as a tweet. It ended up being a little long for that.

Last week was Spring Break for our kids. It wasn’t in the cards for us to do a big SB trip but we also didn’t want the boys to not have anything the whole week, either. We opted for a few days of mixed rest, chores, and play for them and them and then Melanie and I both took Friday off to hang and do a bit of a stay-cation date with them. If you’re local to DFW and wanting to pull one of your own off, here’s our itinerary and my feedback:

La La Land Coffee (Oak Lawn)
Cool spot. Lots of yellow. Plenty of parking behind the building. Wait was probably 15 mins from entry to getting coffee. Limited seating inside and tables were totally full, had to get it to go. Cohen got some sort of “campfire” drink that was pretty cool — they dropped some marshmallow cream on top and cooked it with a torch, crumbled graham crackers, etc.

OSO Climbing Gym (Design District)
If I could figure out how, I’d give this 4.5 stars. I had a blast and I think the boys did as well. Melanie enjoyed it but I don’t think it’s going to be her “thing.” OSO is a ‘bouldering’ gym only which means that there are no harness or ropes, just shorter walls that you climb down or jump off when you’re done and mats at the bottom. OSO was welcoming and friendly; the place was super-clean; they were cool with the boys being there; and I felt zero judgement from anyone. They had ‘routes’ for everyone from beginners to experts. We just bought day-passes which gave us access to everything but if I was 10 years younger and 10 miles closer, they might have been able to talk me into a membership. Lessons learned: (more…)

Old hats still fit.

Atlanta Braves worn out hat. 2021 World Series Champs

At the time of this writing, I’ve been married over 21 years. I bought this hat in college, prior to getting married, meaning that I’ve owned it for more than 21 years. As you can see, it’s been worn a couple times.

The bill shows signs of wear. A frayed edge; exposed guts; sweat rings; a faded autograph. There’s paint on it. The blues are muted and the whites definitely aren’t white when you set it next to something that is.

I don’t wear it that much anymore. Sometimes I’ll pull it out of the closet and toss it on backwards. The barrelled curve of the bill isn’t as trendy as it used to be, but more than that, it’s a little hard to finagle when wearing with my glasses. I’ve mowed in it. I’ve surfed in it. I’ve rescued it just before sinking to the bottom of the lake on a summer day. I’ve worn it to baseball games. I’ve tucked it under my leg while riding my motorcycle knowing that when I took my helmet off I would want something to hide the craziness of helmet-hair.

On the back, it has a ‘1974’ embroidered on it. It’s a commemorative hat. April 8, 1974 was the day that Hank Aaron hit career home run number 715, passing the mark set by Babe Ruth. Hammerin’ Hanks record (755) stood for another 30 years (and if you ask some purists, still stands today).

The lower case ‘a’ on the front is a throwback to the one worn by the Atlanta Braves in the 70’s. Today’s version is a capital ‘A’, sometimes combined with a tomahawk.

There’s controversy with the name. There’s precedence for change. The Football Team went first and then the Guardians. One has to wonder how much longer before the Braves become the Vipers, or the Pine Trees, or the all encompassing Team of Baseball Players.

BRB, moving to Norway.

This is a public plea to @melanieross to let me buy this place in Bjarkøy, Norway. I bet the weather is terrible. And the sun shines for like 3 hours per day. And the food would cause my stomach to do backflips. But those all seem like minor hurdles to owning this slice of heaven.