I’m not big on the idea of “bucket lists”. While some folks have them I’ve often wonder what the criteria is for such a list. One guy that I know had hunting wild hogs on his list. I spoke to him afterwards and it went something like this: dogs track down and corner the wild pig (somewhere in the timber) then you go up and knife it (the hog, not the dog) until it bleeds out. Really? That was something that you wanted to do before passing from this life? A lady that I work with has a bucket list as well that sounds more respectable in my book. She’s sixty-four, about five foot tall and full of vinegar. Two of the things that I know of that she’s done off of her bucket list include: sky diving and shooting a machine gun (but not at the same time, though that would be pretty cool I’d think). I have no bucket list but tend to “change on the fly” when I see something that I want to do like the following story coming up right……..now.
One of the reasons that I blog is that I have no, none, nada hobbies. Zero. Outside. Interests. Sure….I was a pretty good ninja for those three weeks back in 2009 but other than that…I don’t do much outside of work for a living. That’s where my new interest comes in….I’m attempting to become a basketball official. I know…earth shattering news that ESPN is sure to stop their regular programming to announce. “This just in….Rich Ripley has announced his intentions to officiate junior high basketball games starting this season! NBA Commissioner David Stern had this to say ‘We look forward to Rich’s progress through the ranks and expect to have him ready for the NBA Finals this coming season.'” (this all happened so quickly I don’t know what to say) It doesn’t hurt that I look great in black slacks, and the striped black and white shirt is sure to make me look thinner….and the whistle…well let’s just say that our family cat has been getting whistled for several household rule infractions including but not limited to: hairball hacking, poor attitude and malfeasance in regard to her litter box.
I’d like it to be known that I wanted to give this officiating thing a try several years ago but knew my boss at the time would have sh_t a brick over it (even though his kids played sports) but I ran the idea past my new boss and he encouraged me with “YOU’RE CRAZY!! But if you want to do it I’ll support you in any way that I can.” (Now how cool is that?) I’ll have to leave my job early so I can make it to the school where the game is, so I needed his permission to do that, so we’re cool in that regard. Hopefully next season I’ll move up to high school games and I won’t need to leave work early.
I’m impressed with the amount of training that I’ll receive prior to being certified as an official. If all goes well I’ll be certified by the mid November and can start working games from there. It’s not quite “bucket list” material I suppose but I feel that a person needs to continue to grow, and for me that will include getting ready physically for running up and down a basketball court, knowing all of the rules and passing a test on those rules (it’s been awhile since I’ve had to take and pass a test, like decades….so I’m a little anxious about that, and as far as I’ve been told…there’s no swimsuit competition so I’m good there as I lost my summer tan in the past few weeks)
There are some other added benefits to officiating like meeting new people, the whole “physical fitness” staying in shape thing and making a little money on the side. If it works out well this winter I’m seriously considering adding baseball umpiring into the mix for next spring and summer. There’s some monetary investment into this new interest of mine (uniform, shoes, certification and association fees, and a top of the line FOX 40 officials whistle) so I’m hoping to break even this winter.
Wish me luck….I’m headed off to the gym again to stretch, run and lift a few weights (I doubt that I’ll have to physically pick someone up and throw them out of the game….but if it comes up…I will be ready….as long as they don’t weigh over 70 pounds).
Good luck with your bucket lists, I’ll take my bucket, turn it upside down and have a seat upon it.