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Showing posts from June, 2010

On being greener

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There are things we all can do to help the environment, and being a homeowner on a lot that is over an acre means that there is always ways for me to do more. I’ve discussed in earlier posts that I have planted a bunch of trees; in fact, I can almost see them sucking the CO2 right out of the air. Offered here are a few other things I am doing.

In addition to the trees, I’ve also mentioned in earlier posts that I have created and enlarged planting beds to lessen the amount of mowing I need to do. I’ve removed grass around corners to minimize both the string trimming needed and the back and forth with the lawn tractor, decreasing the time they run by about 20-25%. Conversely, I have seeded other areas, to prevent erosion and runoff of dirt and other matter into area streams.

This surprises many, but neither my neighbors nor I water our lawns—Mother Nature takes care of that. Cool nights in the Hudson Valley mean lots of condensation in the morning; coupled with the typical annual rainfal…

Interleague Play: It's good but could be better

With Interleague Play wrapped up, I thought I would share a few of my thoughts. I’m in one of those metro areas where cross-town rivals play six games against each other. That’s too many as far as I am concerned. I’m a Yankee fan who does not possess a real dislike for the Mets, and the appeal of this matchup has worn thin: In some series, the Yanks win two out of three, in others the Mets do. Big deal. A season series against the Mets is akin to one against an AL West or Central team—a team you know you will see on the schedule a couple of times a year. Yes, there is extra energy in the crowd with fans of both teams well represented, but I say so what. I was just as excited about the Phillies and Astros coming to town. I wonder how fans in Chicago, the Bay area, along I-70 in Missouri, etc, feel.

I was especially intrigued by many of the pairings this year, if for no other reason than their uniqueness. Royals–Cardinals has a very familiar ring to it, but Royals–Braves!? I can’t rememb…

On to the next round!

What a game by our team. And really, for the three games of the first round there were no losses. Nicely done by US.

We won't soon forget the goal that was taken away in the second game, which prevented us from winning two games in this round, but we probably will forget that we were nearly robbed of today's win when an apparent goal was disallowed for an errant off-sides call. And, that's just as well, as what should be remembered was the perseverance of the U.S. Team.

When the clock hit 90 minutes today, and the timekeeper showed four additional minutes to be played, I figured a goal was going to be scored--either by us playing very aggressively, or by Algeria, who despite looking a bit more tired had me concerned that they might capitalize on our aggression. But, just like that, there was that breakaway up the field, then a deflected shot from Altidore, a ricochet off the goalie, and then there was Donovan's waiting foot. Shoot, score, and to the round of 16 we go.

Ha…

Rhododendrons

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The rhododendron is the one shrub that has probably interested me longer than any other, largely because of a huge one we had in the backyard of the old family home. For most, its appeal is the flowers that bloom in May, but I think I liked it more as a winter shrub and indicator of cold weather temperatures. Evergreens in general provide some signs of life when all other plants are bare of such evidence, but there is something fascinating about the way the leaves of rhodies start to curl up to let you know that it is cold outside, or really twist up to let you know it is very cold.

Their appeal to me increased as I got into photography, and noticed several frequently recurring shots in photography magazines that I wanted to duplicate. One was of a moose standing in or near a lake with a mountain backdrop, another was white birch trees ablaze with golden foliage in late autumn, and the other was the rhodies under a canopy of monstrous trees in the Redwood National Forest. I’m still try…

That "perfect" game

While I’m on the topic of baseball, let me get back to that “perfect” game, the controversy over which is not going away. I’ve flip-flopped on whether Armando Galarraga should be given a perfect game retroactively. As much as we all know he was robbed, I’ve landed on the unpopular side of not having the box score rewritten.

Initially, I thought that he certainly should be credited with one, as doing so would have a negligible impact on stats: subtract 1 from his hits allowed; subtract 1 hit from that 27th batter who was credited with it; and obliterate the at bat for the 28th batter who made the final out. The win-loss column, pitching records, and all other stats neatly remain the same. Had the umpires decided to huddle to get the call right and overturn the on-field decision, I would have been fine with that. But, the game played out and Galarraga got robbed. All he gets is an asterisk. It’s sad, but it happens.

I just don’t think you can go back and make things right for one pitcher,…

Alternative baseball road trip?

The flight from my home to Phoenix is about 5 hours
The drive from Phoenix to Anaheim is about 360 miles
From Anaheim to, ummm, Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium) is about 30 miles.
The flight home from LA is about 5 hours.

Now check out this corresponding baseball schedule:

The Diamondbacks are home on June 23
The Angels are home on June 24
The Dodgers are home on June 25.

With this plan, we're only talking about three games, and way less driving time. But, we're adding a flight and a rental car, so common sense is going to prevail here too. Still, Anaheim is the only American League team I haven't seen play at home, so I wouldn't mind knocking it off the list. Further, if I am going to get to all of the ballparks, I will need to get to these stadiums at some point. And, finally, the two NL games are against the Yankees! I'm going to have to think about this a little bit....

Baseball road trip?

From my home to Cincinnati is about 560 miles
From Cincinnati to St. Louis is about 365 miles
From St. Louis to Minneapolis is about 560 miles
From Minneapolis to Detroit is about 690 miles
From Detroit to Pittsburgh is about 285 miles
From Pittsburgh to DC is about 245 miles
From DC back home is just over 300 miles.

Now check out this corresponding baseball schedule:

The Reds are home on June 29
The Cardinals are home on June 30
The Twins are home on July 1
The Tigers are home on July 2
The Pirates are home on July 3
And, yes, the Nationals are home on July 4.

The Pirates are one of the 7 teams I have not seen play at home, and the other 5 games represent an opportunity for me to knock off all at once the remaining "new stadiums" of teams I've already seen play in their old ballparks. Hmmmm.

The stars are all aligned. That it is a late afternoon game in St. Louis is not a problem. However, losing an hour for the time change between Minneapolis and Detroit does make that distance even …