Saturday, October 28, 2006


....that was a whiff. (See entry dated 10/21)

That's why I don't hang out in Las Vegas sportsbooks. Well, that, and I don't smoke, either.

The Cardinals. I am rather indifferent to them and like most Americans I didn't really root for either team in this Series. Didn't even watch much of the Series. My view today? Hey, at least it wasn't the Yankees.

But I already know who will win next year's Series. The Texas Rangers. Why am I so sure? Because they just fired manager Buck Showalter. He was fired by the Yankees, they win it all the following season. He was let go by the Diamondbacks, and...yep, you know the rest.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back to a little sports bloggin'

So another team I like heads down the field in the final seconds. Only this time they make the field goal.

All things considered, I would rather have a Texas victory today instead of a Cardinals victory last Monday.


World Series? Don't know if I'll be watching. I'm going with the conventional wisdom on this one. The Tigers might just sweep. Or, at the most, it will go five games.

We'll see.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Am I becoming an optimist?

Yep, lots of hand-wringing and tears in the coffee this morning around the Valley.

See that game last night?

Actually, there's not much of the above going on right now. Remember, we're talking about the Cardinals.

In our home, I said to Geogal: "It's the end of the first quarter. Let's just watch something else, cause it just won't get better than that for the Cards." I was wrong. Better, than worse.

Yet, in the midst of all the sports talk this morning, did anyone notice that Matt Leinart looked really good out there? Just like he was back in a Trojan uniform. The offensive line did a better-than-adequate job of protecting him. The defense only allowed three Bear points. Yes, the Edge didn't get much yardage, but remember he was running against one of the best defenses this season, anchored by a guy from Lovington, New Mexico with the last name of Urlacher.

This is not the worst team in the league, and last night they showed potential to become better.

I'll stay in reality. The Cardinals won't be going to the playoffs. They likely will not have a winning season. But we've seen much worse in past seasons.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Lazy Saturday?

Ahhh. Cup of coffee. Backyard door slightly open. Somewhat cool temps outside. Dawn. Quiet. Just me and my thoughts.

I really should cherish times like these.

Summer is OK, and I am well used to the blast-furnace heat. Yet after a few months it does wear out its welcome and I'm ready for the slow change of seasons that is fall in the Arizona desert.


Now, you might be wondering how I can blog so close to my own backyard. Simple. I finally broke down last weekend and made the Geohouse wireless. Not with an Apple Airport Extreme, as I cannot find any at my friendly local retailers. Apparently the decision-makers at Cupertino can't manufacture these fast enough, as my local Apple Store always seems to be sold out. As is Comp USA. Order online? Only if I want to wait about 5-6 weeks. This product seems to be the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the techno-geek set.

So I visited Comp USA and purchased a Netgear router instead. (I had this option, as the desktop is a PC.) So far, no complaints. And it's always gratifying when I've done my homework and know more about the products than the salespeople. Hand to heart, one of them told me I might have problems with my MacBook recognizing and logging onto a wireless network that uses a PC platform. Should have seen the look on his face when I casually mentioned I had just taken it on the road and was able to get onto every wireless network at hotels and coffeehouses. Plus being able to log into my neighbor's unsecured Wi-Fi, which is most likely not Mac-based. Shut that guy up.

Anyhow, got to run. Need to take Geoana to gymnastics.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Post trippin'

How 'bout some Q and A?

Q: Geoguy, were you successful in all your Texas culinary pursuits?

A: Not exactly. I did get to partake of some good Tex-Mex, and the BBQ was decent. However, no chicken-fried steak met my standards this time around. (See the entry from Ozona.)

Q: Geoguy, I thought the purpose of taking your new laptop was to write entries from each of the cities in which you stayed. Why was there nothing for Midland-Odessa?

A: Remember when I indicated that all Wi-Fi is not created equal? The La Quinta in Odessa had a functioning network when we checked in, but by the evening it was down. The problem persisted into the morning. I then had the bright idea of using the Wi-Fi always available at Starbucks to access the Internet (yes, there is a Starbucks in Odessa, surprisingly). However it prompted me for a password, which I was not expecting. I just got frustrated, and decided it was better for all of us to just get on the road ASAP. Plus, the positive effect of the caffeine had not yet kicked in and I am known for not having the best mental faculties until that initial jolt of java.

Probably more of an answer than you were expecting.

Q: You make reference to Odessa. Did you drive by the high school from "Friday Night Lights?"

A: Yes

Q: Would you make this trip again, even though it seemed drawn-out toward the end?

A: Sure. Overall it was a very positive experience.

Q: So when's your next road trip?

A: Don't know yet. Sometimes they are dictated by Geogal's business trip happenings, other times they are in response to family-related events (such as the journey we just completed). Our own desire to go to new areas seems tertiary at this time. Hmmmm, perhaps that needs to change.

I think I'll get out the atlas.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Picture wrap-up

For those of you who live in verdant or tropical areas, these pics might seem stark and lonely. But for me, these were steady indicators that I was nearing home with each passing hour. I just wanted a good montage to illustrate what one sees heading west from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Remember, Fort Worth is known as the city "where the west begins." The things I remember from seventh grade Texas history.) And, for those of you wishing to be critical of the picture quality, just remember these were taken by either me or Geogal while the vehicle was pushing anywhere from 70 to 80 mph on the open interstate. The final shot is of the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, where I lived for 7 years and where Geogal and I met and eventually married. Sadly, there are no pictures from the last day's drive (Las Cruces to Chandler), as all of us were tired and just wanting to get home as fast as possible. Besides, there's always the next trip.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Finally, the front door!

That's better.

Home. Nice to be here.

(I used to dread coming home from a trip. That was back in my much-younger days when "home" was an apartment, usually one that fell somewhat short of my expectations for a nice dwelling. But now, being a homeowner, sometimes the best sight in the world is my front door.)

As expected, the MacBook turned out to be an excellent road warrior. On the second-to-last-day of the journey, we powered it up at every Texas rest area (needing to stop at every one on the way that morning due to my penchant to indulge in large cups of coffee--but hey, it kept me alert and improved my mood to boot). Texas, perhaps like some other states, is equipping all of their rest areas with wireless technology. I was able to check the e-mail while Geogal and Geoana tended to business. I can only dream of what a road trip ten years in the future will entail. I'm reasonably sure it will include the ability to watch DirecTV or Dish Network in one's vehicle (while moving) with only a miniscule antenna magnetically mounted on the vehicle roof. And that will just be the start. Should be some interesting journeys in my family's future.

Just in case you were wondering, the final trip odometer reading was (drum roll please...): 2,691 miles. I would guess only about 100-150 of those were non-highway miles.

I'll start going through some of the pics we took over the last 2-3 days and post the ones we deem postworthy. Then, this blog will return to my usual rants about sports, culture, and sports. And technology.

Thanks for the nice comments, Geocousin!

Friday, October 06, 2006


Dateline--Las Cruces,NM

Just a few more hours...

...and we're home.

Some of the things I learned during this trip. Not all wireless networks are created equal. Free breakfast at hotels gets old after a few days. There's still no beating strong, good quality coffee.

And the New Mexican food in Las Cruces is still just as good as it ever was.

Once I return to the Geohouse, I will post more pics with some snark-laden commentary.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Big Tex and Big D

Dateline--Dallas, TX

Just a short entry for today. The entire family went to the Texas State Fair (a first for your Arizona pundit, even though he was born and lived much of his childhood in the Lone Star State).

A relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating drive from Houston to Dallas yesterday. The top picture was taken near Huntsville. Stopped there with the intent of enjoying small-town barbecue, but alas the place I found online was closed on Mondays. However, in the "life's not all bad" department, this same business offers a hamburger joint adjacent to its BBQ restaurant, so we did enjoy wonderful burgers that put any of the fast-food outlets to shame.

Geogal showed mercy on me and found a BBQ place near our hotel in Addison, Texas. Spring Creek Barbecue. A larger, urban operation, but it served its purpose. Good meat, although pork was curiously absent from their menu.

I'll share more thoughts about the Dallas area in subsequent postings. In the meantime, the fair activities tired all of us out. Hasta manana.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

My suburbia can beat up your suburbia

In the interest of keeping my health and well-being intact, I will make no disparaging comments about members of my family of origin. Why? I'm surrounded by them presently, and will be until tomorrow morning.

But seriously, this visit is mighty good, and I have no beef about which to vent. It probably takes a visit to Southeast Texas to refresh my appreciation for living in the Arizona desert (dry heat!). And I am using my accrued knowledge to remind myself that a visit to Houston does not have to lead to pathos (not EVERY time, at least).

The entire reason for this trip was to be present to celebrate a milestone birthday for my mother (the exact age will not be posted here). Today's picture is indicative of the classy nature of this party (took place last night) and everything went off without a hitch. Which is no small statement considering the presence of two small children amongst pricey china and Waterford crystal.

Onto other subjects: Namely, the title of this entry. In preparation for the festivities, Geogal and I (and numerous other family members) made frequent trips to the local grocery store. Grocery store. Something of a misnomer in this case. I've been in Wal-Marts that are smaller than this place.

(pause--Geoana slammed her fingers in a door and is wailing. Must go now)

I'm back, Geoana is OK, just one of those childhood occurrences (although they are known to happen to adults, which is when they are more painful and embarrassing).

Where was I? Right, starting my rant about really really large grocery stores. I believe the correct term is "Big Box," at least that's how they're known in AZ. This one, though, I think, is representative of how grocers are reinventing themselves for the suburban shoppers. I don't mind a large selection of items, but different kiosks with store employees wearing the Garth Brooks-in-concert microphone giving pointers on how to correctly cook this or that? Numerous other businesses offering their wares or services in the front of the registers? It seems to me this is better limited to the aforementioned Arkansas-based mega-retailer

Perhaps I should not be so quick to criticize. After all, this was just my first experience with this type of a grocer-retailer and they apparently don't exist in my corner of the world. Yet. But I am certain this is not the first Really Really Huge HEB store in Texas and this might just be another indicator of what suburban life is becoming. More offerings, bigger store footprints, more businesses under one roof. Soon these stores will offer more square footage than the larger Las Vegas casinos.

But overall, is there anything wrong with this? After all, the consumer is getting what they want. However, will these places lose the personal touch? Even though I know it's fake, I still like it when the employees of my nearby Safeway still take time to greet me and ask me if I'm finding everything OK. I guess I should enjoy it while it lasts.

Maybe I just need to spend more time in the rural areas to remind me that suburban living is really not so bad.