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All I Want For Christmas Is A Few Kind Words And A Place To Lay My Weary Head
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When I was younger I used to ask my father what it is he wanted for Christmas, and his answer was always simple:
“A few kind words and a place to lay my weary head.”
And I thought that I knew what that meant. I even went so far as to one year print up a bunch of kind words on a dot matrix printer, laminate it with two pieces of adhesive vinyl and put it in a box with his pillow and place it under the Christmas tree.
He still has those words up on the wall in his office.
But now as I get older – and with children of my own – I think I finally understand what it was that he was getting at.
This isn’t a complaint as much as it is an observation, but the thing that they don’t tell you when you’re a kid is that the time that you’re so apt to complain about – “but I’m bored” – is the time that you’ll crave as an adult. Those naps that you used to relish in your 20s are something to behold in your 30s because they come so few and far between.
Now when I’m sitting at home on a Saturday and the urge comes over me to take a nap, knowing that I have other things to get done – housework, schoolwork, family duties – keeps me from slipping into that place where nodding off for an hour or so is actually possible.
And there’s never enough time in the day to get things done anymore. They say all that all you ever need to know you learn in kindergarten, and since that’s where I met my wife – who has taught me more about being an adult than I care to admit – that still rings true.
So this year as we get closer to the holiday that the kids look forward to more than anything else in the world, I can honestly say that my father was completely correct in his simple request.
All I want for Christmas is “a few kind words and a place to lay my weary head.”
And I’m okay with that.

Buffaloes On The Loose
I think congratulations are in store for the Manteca High School football team that crushed Placer of Auburn last weekend to advance to a CIF NorCal Bowl Game for the second time in five years.
And while the dream of a state bowl berth slipped through its fingers the last time, that might not be the case with the talent-heavy roster that it enjoys today.
And while we’re on the subject, it would prudent to point out that the best offensive and defensive player for the Buffaloes are only juniors – quarterback Gino Campiotti and lineman Justin Kakala – and that alone could make the Buffaloes a force to be reckoned with in the cutthroat Valley Oak League next year.
While the word on who their next opponent will be has yet to come down, murmurs and speculation point towards North Bay powerhouse Cardinal Newman – a school that at one time had San Francisco 49ers great Joe Montana as a quarterbacks coach.
And that’s kind of fitting, since Campiotti’s sister refers to him as “Bro Montana” on Facebook.
Despite the fact that some in the Manteca High camp were upset about the Buffaloes being dropped to Division IV based on enrollment, there has to be some satisfaction knowing that the Oakdale Mustangs – who Manteca beat handily – could win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship this weekend.
So by process of elimination, one could surmise that Manteca could have done the same thing.
Either way, earning a fifth section championship – the fourth under head coach Eric Reis – is a milestone to behold for a program that waited decades to hang their first blue banner in 2001.
Best of luck, Buffaloes. You’ve got the entire community behind you as you pursue this historical milestone to possibly win two state championships in two major sports in the same calendar year.

The Leaning Tower
 of San Francisco
If you have $3.8 million, I have a wonderful place to sell you right in the heart of San Francisco.
The only problem is that it’s sinking at a rate that worries structural engineer, who are studying while the Millennium Tower, a 58-story skyscraper, is dropping at a rate of over an inch a year into the landfill that it built upon.
Apparently, the entire building is secured by piles that were sunk 60 to 90 feet into the landfill as opposed to bedrock that would have prevented it from dropping under the heavy structural weight and kept it from leaning.
Maybe this is a metaphor for the drastic transformation of San Francisco – a building that was opened in 2009 to cater to the newly wealthy that is sinking slowly into the ground around it.
It’s kind of poetic if you think about it.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.