Saturday, August 25, 2012

The National Pastime can really hurt sometimes

The other day news hit that the Houston Astros fired their manager.  Not a big surprise given their season but also this is another reminder of the long-standing pain associated with being a fan of that franchise.

Well the pain ever end?  Yes I remember World Series not that long ago where the Astros were the participants from the National League but lost four straight games to the Chicago White Sox and I do recall 1980 where the Astros made it to the playoffs only to be dispatched by the Phillies.  

But this very same season the hot team in the National League is the Washington Nationals.  The freakin’ Washington Nationals.  This is a team that was moribund not that many years ago.  Anybody remember the MontrĂ©al Expos?  When major league baseball was talking about contraction what was the team at the top of their list?  

Yes, the franchise that (at this writing) has the best W-L record in baseball.  

Why can’t this type of thing ever happen to my beloved Astros?  So sorry to see they’re flirting with a 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks-type season.  


With a little less interest I also noticed that the bicycling authority (or whatever the USADA is) decided to finally revoke Lance Armstrong’s victories.  Vacating wins seems to be the in-thing for sports authorities these days whether it’s bicycling (Armstrong) or college pigskin (Penn State). Sticking with the baseball theme of today’s blog piece let me ask: When is major-league baseball finally going to do the right thing and return the career home run record to Hank Aaron as well as restore the single-season home run record to Roger Maris?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In The Words Of That Great Yankee Sage...

...Yogi Berra, "It's like deja vu all over again."  

August 1979, the original family of Geoguy piles into a Chevy Suburban and transports the elder Geosister to her dorm at The University of Texas. 

August 1986, Geoguy and Geodad travel 240 miles south on Interstate 25 in the aforementioned Suburban containing many of the former's belongings.  Destination:  dorm room at New Mexico State University. 

Today, all three members of the current Geofamily travel to Colby, Kansas to help move Geogal's Items Essential For College Living to her dorm room.  Included in the two-vehicle caravan is a Chevy Suburban (but not the same one as in the prior mentions). 

That's right.  For the next year I will be doing the "single-father" thing while Geogal pursues her dream.  I take comfort in the fact she's less than a 90-minute drive away and experience has taught us we can endure just about anything for a year when there's a larger goal in place.  After discussing many different living arrangements we finally agreed the dorm was the best route.  Don't have to worry about utility payments, can walk to class even if a snowstorm hits the area, and is either the same cost or less expensive then living in one of the several (crappy) apartments in the area. 

Hey, we're not so glum.  We will still see her on the weekends.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The cooler days of August

I'm obviously not in Arizona in writing a title like that. 

Yes, the heat did break somewhat.  No longer are we sweltering under triple-digit temps.  Even if the daytime highs are still in the 90-plus degree range it's sure better than it was just a few weeks ago.  My garden is starting to produce more tomatoes and squash, the chile peppers are growing, and I'm thankful I kept watering everything even when all looked hopeless. 

It's also nice to wake up to temps that are in the 60's or even high 50's.  A crispness to the morning is but a reminder that the summer oven is just about on its way out. 

And I now have NFL preseason games to watch.  Sure, the games don't count and won't have any bearing on the real season but seeing the guys in full pads going against each other is another reminder fall is just around the corner, to use a tired cliche. 


Will I be upgrading the iMac to Mountain Lion?  Yes.  Just not for another few weeks.  I'm certainly ready to begin using some the newer features of the OS but don't see the hurry in doing the download.  Probably better to wait until Apple rolls out the 10.8.1 version as I've read some posts about mouse-related issues. 

For my venerable MacBook, however, it's a different story.  I have written before in this blog that it is on it's last OS (Snow Leopard) due to having an older processor that cannot run either Lion or Mountain Lion.  Still, not bad for a laptop I've had for six years come next month. 

And now I can wait and salivate over the prospect of getting a MacBook Air sometime in the near future. 


For Geoana, school starts this Friday.  Where did the summer go? 

Wait, scratch that.  I can tell you exactly where it went.  The end of May and just about all of June was focusing on the Daisy BB Gun tourney in Arkansas (not just practice, practice, practice, but fundraising as well).  And when we returned from the competition the gals unpacked their bags, threw the clothes into the washer, then turned right around and packed again for church camp.  After camp?  Geoana putting in a lot of time at the sewing machine as she entered a few items into consideration for the county fair.  She also baked and created a couple of art projects to boot.  Not until fair was in the books did she spend more of her time at the swimming pool with her friends.  And now here we are. 


Despite what you may think, I do have other interests that don't include electronic gadgets or the outdoors.  I continue to read, largely for my own entertainment.  I write a while back that I was reading something called Borderline by Nevada Barr (an author who was unfamiliar to me at the beginning of the summer).  It's a worthwhile read even if her prose doesn't quite match up to that of C.J. Box.  Borderline took place entirely in, or just adjacent to, Big Bend National Park.  Turns out that novel was just one in a series where the central character is a park ranger named Anna Pigeon.  Similar to how Box's Joe Pickett continues to find himself in scraps involving political issues in the new Wild West of Wyoming, Pigeon seems to be a magnet for murder.  I decided to get in a little earlier on the Pigeon series so now I'm reading the second book (A Superior Death).  Why the second book and not the first?  The library here doesn't have the first one. 

Just a few days ago I finished reading Box's Cold Wind, published last year.  Right now there's only one Joe Pickett novel of his that I have not yet read, Force of Nature.  I could read it but with Box I like to stretch out time between the reads and savor them when I have the book in my possession.  Besides, once I read Force of Nature I will then have to wait until the next Pickett book comes out. 


Geogal bought me a new propane grill just recently.  I disassembled the tried-and-true Char-Broil that I owned since 2007.  I simply could not get it to work right after the episode where our own Cold Wind knocked it over last year.  Replacing all of the burners, the gas fitting, and all the other doo-dads would have cost more in parts than me just buying a new one. 

So a new one it is.  It's another Char-Broil (that brand and Weber would be the only two I will buy if I'm considering a gas grill).  It's smaller than the previous one, and since there's only three of us in the household grid size is not really a problem.  I've already used it a few times and really enjoy (again) the convenience of firing up a propane beauty versus lighting charcoal. 

The fact that Geogal bought this at our local department store didn't hurt, either.  They are in the process of being bought out by another chain, so the existing merchandise must go, at 30% off.  I think I spent more in charcoal last year than what Geogal paid for this new grill. 


And there you have it.  Several vignettes which I might have posted in separate entries had I not been so fatigued at the end of my recent days.