"I'm in a "moody blues" right now over my lost cord..."

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January 3, 2008 soaring above 20,000 feet to another Chinese City, Guanzhou, and their local team...our last road trip for the season, and one game to go...at home on Sunday...

Please please forgive me for not being "wired" the last several days on this weblog, as I truly was in a "moody blues" type of funk over my misplaced power cord for the laptop, leaving me with a weak battery (where's the "Bunny" when you need POWER??) and that lasted about as long as Papa Murphy's Pizza in the oven...I finally figured out I left it in the last hotel we we're in...having left it in the room on the desktop outlet...the hotel is sending it to me but I couldn't wait, so I went and picked up a new power cord. and now life is good again: "I'm on..."...So, where to begin? First off, Happy New ALL Year to my Family, Friends, Students, their Parents, Coaches and Officials in Youth Sports today...New Year's in China is a "quiet" celebration, quite distinguishable and separated from the normal universal observance of 95% of countries...There were no firecrackers, fireworks, loud, boisterous, alcohol-induced behavior on the eve of New Year's...My evening began with Larry Stone, Seattle area resident who was visiting for 5 days and taking in the CBA atmosphere that produced two lottery picks and starters in the NBA today...we were accompanied by Babacar Camara, DT and his wife, Rah-Rah...We had a wonderful Buffet-style dinner with a Readymade Chef behind the grill, ready to serve noodles and pasta to any patron wishing something "readymade"...Man oh man, were the Lamb Chops, Scallop Potatoes and Squash an Epicurian delight...Now you're asking me where does one indulge in such a feast (oh yes, an Australian Shirazz to complement my palate's delight)? The ShangraLa Hotel in Coldchun...Then the "next" entree' I chose from was a fresh turkey *** that only Moms and Grandmas "know" how to make the right way during the Holidays...How good was it? I didn't even WANT gravy to go with it...now this "bird" was prepared better than the T Day soaked in wine sauce without feathers prepared bird that we had a while back...To top it off they had a fountain of decdent rich chocolate three tiers high to cover one's vanilla ice cream...IT DID!!

Then after dinner, the fellas and Rah-Rah wanted me to join them at a club in town that is called The Mayflower...I'll put it this way, "my guy" CBerr (former Center, Steve Castleberry) had it right the one time he went there: "a lot of lasers, a lot of smoke, a number of males whose pheromones presented a malordorous fallout anytime they walked by...'' ...all I could think of was that as soon as the clock struck 12, my sneakers were turning into slippers and this cowboy was headin for the barn...Afterall, we did have an early practice the next day and even though we're out of the playoffs, both American players have remained a model of social discipline in getting their rest and being ready for practice on off game days...I would surmise that our two Americans may be the best complement to their Chinese teammates as they have connected well with them, the coaches and of course the Fans and community...I am really proud to speak of them glowingly, especially when I've heard horror stories about other players who have had troubles with their teammates, coaches and administration...This organization has been totally professional, every step of the way, including the owner, Mr. Qu...I have no regrets whatsoever about the early "awe and shock" that hit me and the team when the change was made, more surprised and disappointed in the process of elimination (SunJun) and the addition (asked to stay on as the top assistant to new Head Coach)...I survived, and even though the season as a team was a disappointment, I have learned many new lessons on the cultural differences in teaching the game here in China than I ever would have known without getting my "feet" wet this go around...

Update on last 4 games: lost two on road before Xmas...won one at home day before New Year's Eve, which was our first win in 7 games...whew...then lost a thriller last night by 1...we missed a FT with 5 seconds left in regulation that would have put us into OT...It was by far the BEST EFFORT at both ends of the court for 4 quarters all season...I felt bad for the players afterwards, because they truly did leave it all on the floor this night...Shucks, even Tiger, our backup 2 Guard PLAYED man to man defense in the "new" Year!!! So, we have one more tomorrow night, then home for Sunday's finale, and meetings with organization thereafter, then off to Beijing to be a guest coach at a very famous basketball academy for high school boys and girls, directed by Wang Fei, former National Men's Coach of China and also a famous former CBA player in his own right...After that assignment is completed, Vladivostok, Russia beckons me for the college coaches clinic that I will be directing in conjunction with our State Department and the Minister of Sport and Education in Russia...And finally back to the good ol RED WHITE and BLUE, Family, friends and students, once again doing what I love most: teaching kids how to play the game the right way...

Take care, hope everyone had a safe New Year, and let's believe that a couple of miracles will happen in 2008: the Sonics go nowhere far from the Puget Sound; the Huskies surprise the Pac 10; Coach Willingham is vindicated with a great season in the Fall and my students hard work on the court in the offseason allows them continued success with their respective teams...Now THAT would make me a Happy NEWell Year indeed!! God Bless, safe travels, and again, those kids who have their licenses now, slow down, don't be in hurry anywhere on or off the court, as you are only late when you don't reach your destination SAFELY...much love, Coach tom Less I forget, Larry Stone left this morning for Beijing and then on to Seattle, having enjoyed himself immensely while here in Coldchun City...It was GREAT to have a NW friend visit and bring me up to speed on the sports happenings in our wonderful city...

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