11.12.2017

Beat the November Blues...

My dad sent forwarded this to me and encouraged Kates to try some of this on her students. I would love to see it.

Funny stuff.

11.03.2017

Man Resolves To Read The Wikipedia Tabs He Already Has Open Before Starting New Ones

Onion headlines are even funnier when it references something I do myself ...
HILLSBORO, TX—Stopping mid-click and forcing himself to finish the entry for Motown, local man Keith Hayes resolved on Friday to get through the six Wikipedia tabs he already had open in his browser before starting any new ones. “No, no, no. I can’t just keep firing up new tabs whenever something in the text seems interesting,” said Hayes, adding that the entry for The Funk Brothers would have to wait until he’d completed those for Agent Orange, Jim Thorpe, Pseudoscience, Machu Picchu, and The Gemini Program first. “I need to get it together and have some discipline. It’s already crowded up there. One or two more tabs, and I won’t even be able to see what’s what anymore.” At press time, Hayes had clicked a link under References and was sucked into an entirely new website.

11.02.2017

Feeling blue

So the Houston Astros won the World Series last night.

Boo.

After an undeniably thrilling series ...





... the Dodgers had nothing left for Game 7. Yu Darvish, who certainly didn't have my confidence after Game 3, was terrible and helped seal the Dodgers' fate. It didn't help, either, that L.A. couldn't get the big hits when they needed them. Cody Bellinger couldn't seem to hit a grapefruit.

Had someone hit a gap or dropped a home run in the seats when the bases were full of Dodger runners during those first three innings, this would be a far different post. It was a series of lost opportunities for the Dodgers.

I thought it was most anti-climactic, worst Game 7. Ever.

Yeah, it was fun to see the Astros win. It was a long time coming for them. They have a great team with fun-to-watch, young talent. It's great for the city of Houston, after all its people have been put through since Hurricane Harvey. ... And there's the whole Sports Illustrated prediction thing. I vividly remember receiving that edition and thinking at the time, "What the ...!?" It was fresh on my mind throughout this series and now it's legend.

But I really wanted to see the Dodgers win, and -- after watching so much of their dream season -- I truly believed they would. Maybe next year. ... Even though Sports Illustrated already is picking an Astros repeat. (Is it me or doesn't that happen after every World Series - that some analyst caught in the glory of "the best series we've seen in recent memory" proclaims "This is a talented team that is built to win for a long time and I believe the will be back here next year!" I'm pretty sure we heard it last year with the Cubs, the Royals and numerous teams before them ... )

Here's a fun Astros' fans guide to glory. I can definitely relate to this after the Royals' big win in 2015.

Still, let's all remember we are in a Golden Era of Cubs baseball, too.

10.31.2017

Happy Halloween!

Oh, man, we have a Game 7.

The sweetest and most anticipated game of a baseball season. It would be wrong to have it any other way after this season, this postseason and this series.

And after this night.

We did the whole trick-or-treating thing tonight -- for the second consecutive night. The 'Ville has a unique trick-or-treating culture in that the community and the university step up big time to provide kids and their families with safe and fun environments to do the traditional dress-up and candy collecting stuff -- which renders the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating almost pointless.

We spent Saturday at a farm outside of town that opens each fall as a Halloween-season wonderland with a large pumpkin patch, corn maze and a load of kid-friendly activities that include rubber duck races, a huge slide, pumpkin bowling and mini train rides. This year there was an air gun that the girls especially enjoyed, shooting tennis balls at targets posted at various distances across the field. ... We spent so much time there Saturday afternoon and had so much fun that we skipped our annual trip to the trick-or-treating and haunted campground tour at the city's recreation area.

Last night was the annual downtown trick-or-treat. Kates packed the girls' costumes in their backpacks when we left the house yesterday morning for school. They changed into the costumes after the school day, we rushed from our respective places and met in the church parking lot at 5 p.m. to join the downtown crowd. For the downtown trick-or-treat, the city's square is sprawling with activity as all of the businesses open their front doors and invite children to step inside for candy and treats. A police and fire departments park their vehicles along the streets and hand out goodies. Mascot greet children and pose for pictures at the corners. Last night temperatures in the 40s made it easily the coldest one we've done, but the girls were troopers and would have visited several more businesses had Kates and I not forced them to cut some corners and stay on one side of the road at times.

And that brings me to tonight -- trick-or-treating in the university residence halls. It's another fun Halloween event that we took forward to each fall when the students on campus open their doors and hand out candy to the visiting children. Some of them even dress up, and it's fun to see them "awww" at the kids' costumes as they walk the halls and visit each room for candy. But after an hour or so of trick-or-treating -- and their classroom parties during the school day, not to mention the trick-or-treating Monday night -- the girls were done. The feet were getting heavier. The tears were starting to flow. And I was frustrated that they wouldn't pose for me to take a photo of them in their classrooms.

They were mermaids this year. Kates' mom crocheted mermaid tails for each of the them that were open at the feet but designed the fins so they covered their shoes. They had matching bikinis tops and crocheted flowers to place in their hair as well. Kates got matching pink shirts for both girls to wear. And they were adorable. But no picture.

Suffice to say, I could hardly wait to get them to bed so I could hide away to watch Game 6 and hope for a Dodgers win.

And they came through. Say all you want about Justin Verlander -- I agree, he's one of the greatest pitchers of his era and I enjoy watching him -- but the Dodgers got to him in Game 2, and I was confident going in the Dodgers could get to him tonight.
For five innings, Verlander was awful hard on the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig's single in the second gave them their only baserunner in that span, and George Springer's solo shot in the third seemed as if it might stand as the only run the Astros would need. 
But then came Austin Barnes' at-bat to start the sixth. When he worked the count to 2-0, it was just the fifth time all night that a Dodgers hitter had been in an advantageous count. And Barnes took advantage by anticipating that run and ride, staying on top of the 94-mph four-seamer that came his way and smacking it to left for a leadoff single.

Then Chase Utley -- one of my favorite players of this generation, I'm really disappointed he hasn't seen more playing time this series -- was hit by a pitch, and Chris Taylor -- who has seemed to come up with so many key hits in this series -- Taylor hit the game-tying double. Corey Seager hit a huge sacrifice fly to score Utley. The Dodgers -- with some fine glove work by Cody Bellinger -- went on to win 3-1 and all was swell.

Good reads ...