used tv's



We were treated to a lovely rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" this morning, sung by Abby. Apparently she learned it at Blanca's house because we haven't taught it to her. The only bad part she will probably be too shy to perform it to anyone besides Natalie and me, so you'll just have to take our word for it. It is pretty amazing.


Cash and Rubin

I came across the last batch of Johnny Cash songs produced by Rick Rubin here. I'm only 3 songs into it, but I'm already blown away. The fact that the songs on this release generally deal with death is made even more poingnant by how close Cash was to the end of his life when he recorded them.


3 Games That Changed My Life

The votes came in, and this was the clear winner. As most of you know, I have loved soccer since I was quite young. This love reached new levels as a result of watching 3 soccer matches in my life.

Preface: Soccer has had its ups and downs through the years and I was born during a down time. The US had not been to a world cup in decades. The top level soccer league (NASL) had just folded, and generally soccer was ignored in this country as a serious sport. It was something for boys to play until they were old enough to wear tights, protective pads, and a helmet so they could play throwball. Soccer coverage was non-existant, but I was able to get a pretty decent rundown on World Cup and English Football history through VHS cassettes we ordered from a catalog. I saw Pele score two goals in the 1958 World Cup Final as a 17 year old. I saw Maradona dribble through the essentially entire English team and score probably the greatest goal of all time in a 1986 World Cup semi-final. I saw the brilliant George Best in his greatest moments for Manchester United in the 1960's.

GAME 1. USA vs. GERMANY (US Cup - June 6, 1993) I happened upon this game while it was in progress with the US losing 1-0 in the first half. I was blown away first of all that soccer was on national TV. I had never seen that before, and it was incredible to me. The USA had a team, and we were playing against a country with the second richest soccer history (next to Brazil.) The Germans clearly had more talent, but the US team was relentless and opportunistic. They pulled the game level on a nice sequence before seeing the Germans pull ahead 4-3 on the strength of a hat-trick from Riedle. The US clawed their way back into the match with goals from the speedy Ernie Stewart and the aged Thomas Dooley. They actually made quite a game of it. I came away a proud fan of the US Men's National Team. (The highlights are on youtube here.)

GAME 2. MANCHESTER UNITED vs. BARCELONA (Champions League - October 19, 1994) I still remember moments from this game nearly 15 years after watching it. My brother James borrowed a tape of this match from his best friend Chad, and we watched it together. The atmosphere and pace of the game were beyond what I had ever seen (including World Cup matches). I became an instant fan of Manchester United and I was mesmerized by their stadium, Old Trafford. The game featured two unbelievably talented sides. Romario (of Brazil) and Stoitchkov (of Bulgaria) had been stars in the 1994 World Cup. They led the attack for Barcelona and proved to be a handful for United. The Red Devils on the other hand had great players, but were very much a team. They worked extremely hard on and off the ball and were unselfish and creative. The roller coaster of a game ended in a hard fought and well desered 2-2 draw with the equalizer coming from the heel of the supremely talented United winger, Lee Sharpe. (See the moment of utter brilliance here.)

GAME 3 REAL SALT LAKE vs COLORADO RAPIDS (MLS - April 2005) Sure, the season may have been a bit of a disaster from a competitive standpoint, but the first home game in franchise history was truly magical. Seeing thousands upon thousands of people decked out in red RSL gear with faces painted, flags, drums, and the like. What's more, James had organized a huge group of friends and family to all buy tickets together. It was amazing to realize how many people in Utah share my passion for the game. I will never forget seeing Brian Dunseth dive and head home the winner. The place went crazy and I think I started dancing uncontrollably. (You can see the goal in this highlights video. It is the second goal on the video and it also shows the great crowd on hand that day. It still gives me chills to watch.

"Change my life" may seem to be a bit of an overstatement, but I can honestly say that these three matches have left a lasting impression on me. The ups and downs of being a fan are pretty incredible. It's fun to see an organization push for excellence and respect and in some cases perfection. Manchester United's unbelievable treble in 1999 (EPL, Champions League, and FA Cup Champions), USA's incredible run in the 2002 World Cup (though I experienced it in 2003 when I returned from my mission), and RSL's seemingly impossible capture of the 2009 MLS Cup (in person) were made sweet in contrast to the disappointments I had experienced through the years with these teams.