Local again

Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:26 pm
mellificent: (Texans)
(Look! Texans icon! I made it myself!)

More Houston-Galveston stuff, some of which refers to yesterday's entry:
  • Aw man, I knew it was probably coming, but Jim Deshaies is leaving us for the Cubs. I adore that man. (But I'm not sure I adore him enough that I'll go watch Cubs games just for him. Of course, if the Astros are bad enough this next year, that may start to look like a more attractive option.)
  • In other (ex-)Astros news, Brad Lidge is probably retiring. Also, bonus footage there of the Astros clinching in 2005. (Rob and I were watching the faces and in some cases the jerseys during the scrum, and going, "Berkman! Biggio! Clemens!" Damn, that was a good team, even if they couldn't win a WS game.)
  • I had to go to Galveston today for a doctor's appointment, and the other Carnival ship was in today. I got out of my appointment right at 4:30, which I have learned over the past couple of years is about the time that the ships usually depart. You could tell that anyway, because when I got back downtown, half the passengers were lined up looking over the railings. To me this always brings to mind old black-and-white movies where the passengers line up to wave at their loved ones who are waving back from below. But nobody is going to stand around to watch you leave when you're just going sailing around the Gulf of Mexico for five days or whatever it is. Plus most of the passengers arrive on buses or park remotely, so there's nobody to watch, in any case. (I'm sure the passengers aren't really lining up for that at all, they're just watching the ship pull out. Still amuses me just the same.)
  • I said confidently yesterday that the Texans game was taping (by which I actually meant DV-R'ing, of course, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it) so of course when I got home it hadn't worked properly, and I only got the last hour or so. I didn't really care that much, anyway, but I really should probably investigate what happened there. It seems to have switched on at three o'clock or something, and our games are nearly always at noon. Honestly, U-verse, you're supposed to just read my mind! (And often it seems to. I'm terribly spoiled, really.)
  • Also, the Texans have serious injury problems. They coped with it pretty well, yesterday, but that was just the Titans. New England may be another story.
Note to self: 45 minutes is too long of a drive for a routine doctor appointment. (As the university knows full well, it's why they have about a zillion clinics scattered all over the north half of the county.)

(I was going to add a picture of the rather excessive holiday decorations around our apartment complex, but my phone isn't cooperating. Sorry.)

K's

Aug. 16th, 2010 03:35 am
mellificent: (baseb quote: fascist)

We went to a baseball game Saturday night, and it's probably the only game we'll go to all year (although we still watch on TV all the time), but boy, did we pick a gem of a game to go to. The funny thing is that it didn't feel that much like a gem, and I'm not sure why. If we hadn't been sitting where we could see the strikeout count, I'm not sure I would have even noticed how many Pirates were going down. The starting pitcher struck out 14, and I think there were 17, altogether. And Bud Norris (who? yeah, I said Bud Norris) had a single and a double of his own, besides the 14 K's, so he had a really good day, overall. One reason it didn't feel too utterly gem-like was that it started off badly - the first batter tripled, and the second one homered, so we were down 2-0 before a lot of people ever got to their seats. And I think probably the other reason was because it was Bud Norris, and not some guy that anybody's much in awe of, normally. I've seen a 14-strikeout game before, but that one was Nolan Ryan, and it was 1986 and the Astros were on the verge of winning the division - I'm pretty sure it was the day before they clinched, and also the day before Mike Scott's no-hitter - and the atmosphere was really, really electric. This one just didn't feel much like that. But Bud pulled his shit together after the bad start, obviously, and the Astros battled back and scored three runs late, so the crowd got back into it, and the Astros won, and life was good. Especially for this guy named Bud.
mellificent: (baseball)
The All Star game is a poor substitute for real baseball.
mellificent: (umbrellas)
No, we're still not evacuating. Yet. The damn thing is going to be awfully close, though - the E-word is not completely off the table.

Gawd, the "Fringe" pilot cost $10 million to make? Hmm, well, I failed to get full value out of it, considering I thought the face-melty introduction was silly and turned baseball on instead. We didn't even make it to the credits.

Have we discussed baseball lately? Like the fact that the Astros have the best record in baseball since the All-Star break? Like the fact that they called a guy up from Round Rock on Monday, who showed up too late for batting practice but still hit a homer on his first pitch in the majors? Things like that have been happening right and left - well, ok, maybe not exactly like that one. But it's been fun to watch, lately.

Obligatory link about That Woman (the one whose name I am tired of hearing already): Gender? No, Culture

Here's where Ike is supposed to be going - right in a half-circle around us, practically:
Iko

(Also, I keep typing "Iko" instead of Ike. Hi [livejournal.com profile] iko!)
mellificent: (Vegas sign)
Ugly game. Great seats, though!
mellificent: (Astros: scoreboard)
I would like to point out something important about the allure of minor-league baseball. This is the view from the $12 seats at the AAA game:
Minor-league baseball!
(Dell Diamond, Round Rock vs New Orleans, April 08)

vs the $12 seats at a major-league game:
Oswalt and teammates
(Minute Maid Park, Houston, Astros vs Dodgers, July 2005)
mellificent: (fall tree)
The Amazing Race is really entertainingly strange this year. The comedy gold (if that's what you'd call it) is mostly coming from a pair of crazy old men, or older men who act crazy, anyway - I don't think they're all that old, by real-world standards. One is competing with his daughter and the other with his grandson. To make it even more confusing, they're named Ronald and Donald. You can read all about them in the EW recap here.





Remember the other day when I mentioned that I didn't think trading Brad Lidge was a very good idea? Apparently I am not the only one thinking about this question. (Warning: that link started playing video at me when I clicked on it. Not really good if you're at work. Which I know *some* of you aren't, today!) And their analysis is that Philly got a good deal, which by definition rather means that Houston may have gotten a bad one.

I have been cranky today about being at work when other people get the day off. It's very annoying. I thought state employees were supposed to get every holiday known to man.


Oh, another Astros-related thing: their star rookie Hunter Pence is in the new issue of PCGamer. Apparently he plays World of Warcraft.
mellificent: (Dr Who - delete)
I am feeling terribly foggy-brained the last few days. Not that it's unusual for me to have trouble concentrating, but it seems like it's unusually bad. Maybe because I haven't been sleeping too well. I don't know why that is either, though. New house? I don't know why that'd bother me but it's possible. It's not the thumping I was talking about yesterday - that's not audible at all from the bedroom, only the living room.

I subscribed (well, I haven't actually paid yet, but I committed to subscribe) to a year of[personal profile] elisem 's Beads of the Month program (aka[profile] botmo ). I suspect that Rob would not approve, but, well, frankly I'm just not going to tell him for a while. The beads won't start coming until February or so anyway! Is that a terrible thing to do? I've been admiring from afar for a good long while and they were starting a new year and it just seemed like time. I have this jewelrymaking jones that I obviously need to work out of my system. (I suspect that "working it out of my system" could get very, very expensive, but oh well.)





In case anybody is hard up for reading material:

(Although I warn you, the quality of the posts is... well, let's call it somewhat spotty. There are 6000 or so people signed up for this thing, after all. Also the randomizer doesn't actually seem to be very random, considering I got more than one repeat in twenty or so total clicks.)

(I took the word "blog" out of that last sentence in deference to[personal profile] columbina , who loathes it. I hope you appreciate it, Col!)

Mr. 3000

Jun. 29th, 2007 10:37 am
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
So, I don't know how many of you were paying attention, but Craig Biggio of the Astros got his 3000th hit last night (also nos. 2998, 2999, 3001 and 3002 - a five-hit game), in what for that and other reasons was a really wild game. (This page has the SportsCenter video recap, and here's Jayson Stark of ESPN on how good Biggio really is and how come nobody outside of Texas usually notices.) This is Biggio's 20th season with the Astros - that in itself is pretty unbelievable, staying with one team for so long - and then, think about it, he had to average 150 hits a season all that time. No wonder so few people have done it.

(Added: another good article)



In other news, I am really tempted by the Ken-as-Legolas doll, now that it's half-price. Silly of me, I know. But at least I'm not buying an iPhone!
mellificent: (baseball - closeup)
"They just build and build, like nothing else in baseball. The way that Justin Verlander struck out the first two Milwaukee batters of the game Tuesday night, you could think: That would be no-hit stuff if he could sustain it for nine innings. When Verlander struck out seven in the first four innings, you could think: This might be the best he's ever looked. And when he wheeled into the seventh, you could think: He's gone from not allowing any hits to seriously working on a no-hitter. From there, the adrenaline and the bedlam and the Tigers' defense took over."

From here (I'm pretty sure that's a page you can get to without having a subscription) - scroll down past the NBA stuff and there's a pretty good round-up of pieces about Verlander and his stuff.*


* "Stuff" being a technical term in baseball, you understand.
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
Regarding my last couple of entries, in which I bitched about the cold weather and the price of baseball tickets, I am informed that I am no longer allowed to gripe on those two subjects. Apparently those are reserved for Bostonians.

I heard some Survivor on the radio (had the 80s station on again) and that reminded me of something funny from the baseball game: between innings, they had the two guys come out who do those Bud Light "Real American Heroes" commercials - the announcer and the singer, who not-so-coincidentally is the former lead singer of Survivor - and they did a special version just for the Astros game. Mostly what I remember is something about Houston being a real city with real people and real food, etc, etc - "In other words, this ain't Dallas!" Which of course got tremendous applause. (For you non-Texan types, Houston and Dallas do not generally get along. To put it mildly.) I am guessing that those guys do a regular circuit at baseball games and other such places where large quantities of beer are consumed, but I still thought the concept of seeing a live performance of a beer commercial was, well, an interesting one.

The Astros actually won their games the last two days, and today they were snowed out (in Chicago, not here) so hey, they swept a series! And they are on to Philly or someplace next, so we can expect more nasty weather, probably.
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
One thing I forgot to say about the baseball game - apparently the builders of Enron FieldMinute Maid Park never anticipated the need for installing heat in there. Air conditioning, sure, but heat? On the Gulf Coast from April through (possibly) October, you do not normally need heat, let's face it. So it was freaking cold in there. The roof was closed - it was raining, after all - but I put my coat back on after a while, it was that chilly.

(I do remember being cold one other time, but that was another early April game where the weather was pretty and sunny, and the roof was open. That time it was just that our seats happened to be in the shade, and I didn't think to bring a jacket. -- That was in 2000, when the idea of having a roof that would open was still very much a novelty. On the other hand, a game that starts with the roof open is still pretty much of a novelty. They don't do it all that much. They do open it toward the end of games in the summer, after it gets dark.)
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
We had Astros tickets last night, so we decided (or *I* decided, really, and Rob didn't object) that we should go to The Cheesecake Factory and eat beforehand, because I wanted to go to the Container Store, and Cheesecake Factory was the only place I could think of to eat that was close to there. (I probably need to expand my Houston dining horizons, but the fact is that we go up there so seldom any more that I don't keep up with the comings and goings of restaurants, much.) I was hoping that the crappy weather would mean it was less busy around the Galleria, but if so it wasn't enough that I could tell it. The weather really was bad, rainy and extremely cold by Houston-in-April standards (it was something like 41 last night), but there were still tons of people around, and the traffic was terrible as usual. We got in & out of the Container Store pretty fast - minus $50 or so and plus various storage boxes, bags, and a DVD tower - but Cheesecake Factory was already packed when we got there at 4:00. The game was at six, so that was cutting it awfully close, but we only ended up missing a few minutes. We had to wait to get seated, but asked for the check as soon as the food came, and that gave us enough extra time to just about make it. It was the end of the first inning by the time we got upstairs to our seats.

Neither one of us had been to a game in a good while - since toward the end of the season in 2005, I think. I know we never did get around to going at all last year. And we enjoyed it. The Astros won, which helped. (It was the only game they won all week, actually. They're off to a really appalling 1-5 start.) We had darn good seats - heck, they should have been, they cost $22, I think, and they were in the upper deck. They're actually virtually the same seats I used to get when I had my mini-season tickets in the Astrodome - except that there they were $7 or $8, I believe. That was 8-10 years ago, so that's going up a little faster than inflation! Which is partly why we don't go so much any more. But anyway, they were almost behind the plate, and on the 3rd row of the upper deck, so we really could see well. And Oswalt pitched a complete game, and Berkman and Carlos Lee hit homers, and Biggio had a hit and two RBIs, so it was a good night.

Did nothing today. Played Auto Assault. Read some of Snow Crash. That's about it.
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
I am at my desk and I have coffee and I am still half-asleep. Well, maybe one-quarter. Not quite completely awake, anyway.

It's finally baseball season, yay! (No, I am not going today - I have already been asked that this morning - but we are going Saturday.)
mellificent: (baseball - winter wait)
If You Want the Yankees to Win, the Key Plays Are at Home

(I have always been interested in why baseball fans - and players - are so prone to being superstitious. The best theory I've heard is that it has to do with there being so many games. Over a 162-game season, you start seeing patterns, even if the patterns you're seeing don't mean a damn thing.)
mellificent: (Xmas bow)
I am sorta kinda in the Christmas spirit. Our little white fake tree is up and decorated (we pull the cushion off our ottoman and set it on the wooden base, so it doesn't look so small). I will have to see if I can get a decent picture of it. It has white lights and ornaments of many colors - although if I thought I had enough orange stuff to do it I might try to emulate the tree in lucy's office building. I doubt that I could find enough small orange ornaments in all of Galveston to do that, though.

I've got a good many online people still to send cards to and I'm running out of cards that don't say "Christmas" on them. I know I have some more, somewhere. I don't mind sending the Christmas ones to my relatives (who are pretty uniformly Baptist) but I don't usually send those to other people. Next year I'm avoiding buying any at all that mention Christmas. It's not about Christmas at all to me, anyway, it's about the whole holiday season. I'm half-tempted to make my own cards next year - then I can say what I want! (But lord, if I do that I'd better start early. Really, really early. Like maybe July or so.)

Incidentally, while I'm on the subject, I will renew my offer I made once before - if you would like a card from me, let me know. Don't put your address in the comments since this post isn't locked - instead, e-mail it to mel(dot)crv(at)gmail(dot)com. You do not have to swear to reciprocate but I will give you my address on request, also. (Bear in mind that if I don't find that other box of cards, you may get wished a Merry Christmas whether you like it or not!)


At work, we took down the autumn decorations we had up, but we haven't got much in the way of Christmas yet. We had a nice big poinsettia courtesy of Administration, and I brought my tabletop ornament tree from home, and a basket of ball ornaments. It looks very pretty - another thing I will have to take a picture of - but we need some garland or something, at least. Everything looks bare overall.



------------------------------------

Well, the Astros not only didn't get the new pitcher, they lost an old one. (Although actually it sounds like the proposed Garland trade was a factor in Pettitte's negotiations.)

Actually, you know what upsets me most about losing Pettitte? No more of those goofy HEB commercials with Clemens, Pettitte and David Carr. Seriously, they were funny. (Uh, not to slam Pettitte there by implying that his loss is nothing to me - I just never did think it was very likely he'd be back.)

------------------------------------

Meme of the day (from[personal profile] iko):

Some grad students are doing an experiment to see how fast memes travel through the Internet and how willing people are to "sign up" for a game. In order to 'play', you need to get an invite.

Consider yourself officially invited!

If you follow the link, I gain points and the points trickle up to the person that invited me and so on. I'm not so interested in the points as to seeing what these researchers come up with. They don't require an email address (no chance to receive spam) and if you 'sign up' and update your own profile with a location, I will be able to see it on a map... and people who get invited by you and put their locations up, you'll see them on your map.


Holidailies gold
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
OK, so, the Cardinals' magic number* is 4. They have 4 games left (one of which they won't play unless necessary); we have 3. So they have seven chances to get the 4, in a sense. I was trying to figure all this out:

1. If we win all our games, then the Cardinals have to win all theirs, too - at least, to avoid a tie. Any day where we win & they lose puts us ahead. I would guess that if after the games are played on Sunday, they still have the half-game lead, then they would have to play the Monday game since we would have played one more game than they have. If they win that game, they would win the division; if they lose, it would be a tie and there would be a one-game playoff.

2. If I'm figuring this right, any scenario in which the two teams' records are the same over the weekend means the Cards have to play on Monday, because they would still only have the half-game lead. Same Monday scenario as in #1.

3. If we go 2-1 this weekend and they go 1-2, then WE would have the half-game lead on Sunday night. They would still have to play on Monday, but now they would be playing for a tie; if they lost, we would win the division.

4. If we go 1-2 and they go 2-1, they win. (Two losses for us, two wins for them. Four.)

5. If we lose all our games, the Cardinals would only have to win one game to clinch. (Because we would have just handed them 3 of the 4 in the magic number.) That would include the game on Monday if needed.

Whew. We need to win a lot of games, in any case. Or we need the Cards to lose a lot. Or both, which is how we got here in the first place. Anyway, it could be worse - we could be out of the running.


And yeah, I know, I'm putting way too much thought into this. What can I say, it's that kind of morning.

*If you don't understand magic numbers, here's Wikipedia's attempt at an explanation, which I hope is more enlightening to you than it was to me.
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
OMG. Half a game. That's what St. Louis' lead is down to.
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
Hmph. I just bought two tickets to an as-yet-theoretical playoff game, anyway.
mellificent: (Astros - retro)

Schwing!
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

We saw this truck as we were leaving Rob's hometown this morning.

We're home, and I don't know about Rob, but I'm really, really tired. Also, my brain refuses to process that a few hours ago we were in Ohio, and now we're back in Texas. (We got a glimpse of the World Series from the plane, which was sorta cool.)

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