Showing posts from 2011

Sharp enough to...

Last week I dropped them off, and now I have them back. Look how shiny the edges are...

Yeah, I know, lots of people get their skis tuned each year, but I got a little bit excited because I happened to go out and pick them up on a really cold and windy evening, an evening that started with some peeks at the snow reports from resorts to my north: six inches and up is what they're boasting.

Finally! Cold weather, snow, and a set of skis ready for it. Sweet!

But, take another look at that picture. Look how the flash bounces off the sharpened edges. Trust me, those edges are sharp. Sharp enough to shave with. Sharp enough to split a hare/hair. Sharp enough to cut a shadow off an icy slope. And the base is waxed as smooth as it was the day I picked them up.

Really hoping for a few good runs at some point over the weekend.

The Winter Solstice

Here's another one of my favorite days--the winter solstice. It happened overnight, but it's today according to most calendars and web sites.

What's to like about the solstice, you wonder? For one, it means that days are no longer getting shorter: They start to grow. For the next six months, every day will be longer than the one before.

For another, it means that Christmas is right around the corner. Sure, some may say Thanksgiving signifies that point, but December is a long month and a lot happens between the two holidays--football teams arise and collapse during that stretch, ski resorts start enticing suckers like me to hit the slopes, and the list goes on and on. At Thanksgiving, Christmas is still a month away, but, when the solstice arrives, you best be ready.

But really, the solstice makes me think about the sum of all that's great about this time of year: Skiing, playoff football, the end of one year, the start of another, and of course Christmas too.

So, celebrat…

New York Giants Future Schedule of Opponents

New York Giants Future Schedule of Opponents

This is the kind of link that will keep me awake at nights. For example, the Bengals have a "new" gridiron and the Giants are playing there next year? Sweet. I could knock off Paul Brown Stadium in 2012!

Likewise, in 2013, I could check off Detroit, catching Big Blue at Ford Field. Awesome.

Then, in 2014, I have a friend in Jacksonville, and need to scratch a Jags home game off the list. Nice.

In 2015, the Buccaneers will be a definite temptation when they host the G-Men. Woot.

I won't commit to deciding between Giants opponents the Browns and Vikings in 2016 unless the Vikings are in a new stadium.

In 2017, I suppose the 49ers will be the Giants opponent that I haven't seen play at home at that point, and so may as well pencil them in...

...Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. The Giants have lost the last few of their road games I've attended. Let me start over and not pick Giants opponents.

In 2012, Kansas City will b…

Jethro Tull | CD Reviews | East Bay Express

Jethro Tull | CD Reviews | East Bay Express

What to do, what to do. I first had Aqualung on vinyl, and then it was among the first CDs I picked up. Fifteen years ago, I bought the digitally remastered, 25th Anniversary version of the album. When the urge to hear Aqualung comes, it is the latter that I pluck from the CD rack.

But now this.

A 40-year, 2-disc, commemorative version is out there? Crisper vocals? Sharper guitar? Oh, I guess I'll be plucking down a few dollars for it. Forget all that song downloading stuff I've been posting: I like CDs. And this is a great one.

Anyway, be sure to check the comment box soon after this goes up, as Sliced Tongue probably has his retort ready before he even gets to this sentence...

Was it just a dream?

As I noted back in September, I look forward to autumn big time. I look forward to this season, and the promise of what follows, with skiing a huge part of that. Skiing requires snow, and so the first snowfall is something I await rather eagerly each year. It doesn't need to be a blizzard, no, just some flakes, flurries, and really just a little white on the grass will do. And, to make me really happy, let there be some white upon the trees, especially those bearing leaves that have changed colors. It's called "snowliage" by some, a term I would like to see in the dictionary one day. Snow + fall foliage = snowliage. Simple and beautiful.

Most years I actually don't get to see any snowliage, as, despite my Hudson Valley locale, the first snow usually doesn't strike until the trees are bare.

That was not the case last month. It was Thursday, October 27 when some snow started to fall. The trees in my yard were well past peak at that point, but there were still a…

Some modest proposals

Without knowing all of the specifics of the sale of the Houston Astros, I really like the idea of their moving to the American League West in 2013. This will mean that all six divisions have the same number of teams. It is rather ludicrous to have four teams fighting for one division while six fight for another. Now it will be five teams fighting for a division all around. So sensible.

Geographically, I suppose the Astros are farther "west" than any AL Central team, so I don't see any need for jockeying baseball teams beyond the straight move from NL Central to AL West. Clean and simple.

In football, however, I'd like to neaten things up a bit.

First, a move that struck me while attending those games two weeks ago: swap the Bills and Ravens. Buffalo travels over 300 miles to every one of its division road games. Now, that's a hop, skip and jump for western teams, but, in the interest of strengthening regional rivalries, why not swap Baltimore and Buffalo? Last ti…

Heinz Field

So here I am at Heinz Field!

That's right, baby, HKHWR has done it: The knucklehead, no, the magnificent bastard, has made the 209-mile trip from one gridiron to another, Buffalo to Pittsburgh, and is now watching a Steelers game. Two games in one day. Fantastic. The ride was surprisingly easy as the traffic stars completely aligned.

The black team-neutral NFL gear blends well, and I am totally rooting for the Black and Gold. I may be rooting against the Ravens, who I watched have their way against the Rams six weeks ago, and, worse, who beat my Giants in the Super Bowl, but I kind of like the Steelers. Hell, they were my favorite team when I was 6. I didn't realize that I bled blue until I was 7...

I guess I could note for symmetry with my post this afternoon that attendance here means I've now seen the four AFC North teams play a home game, so I'm getting there. I'm a hair over two thirds of the way done: 21 teams and counting.

Ok, I've got to get ready fo…

Ralph Wilson Stadium

So here I am at Ralph Wilson Stadium. I circled this weekend on the schedule when the lockout ended.

Given that I have been to over half of the NFL stadiums it does somewhat surprise me that it has taken so long to watch a game here, in my home state. I nearly did way back in 1991 when this see-them-all endeavor was in its infancy, but decided to drive home from a weekend in the area rather than stay out an extra day. Not many opportunities to see a game here came up after that. But, then again, many other games were attended because of the way they lined up with, say, business travel. For better or worse, business travel has never led me west of the Hudson in my Empire State. I'm here now, though, for the intrastate rivalry.

The AFC East becomes the first division where I have seen all four teams. It was rather docile in New England, more rambunctious in Miami, and, well, of course the crowd is always into Jets games. I'm curious as to what I'll see here, but I know plen…

I need more Cowsills!

So, it's two months already since I posted about my great audio cassette purge, wherein I was able to digitize a large chunk of my collection thanks to a nifty converting device I found online. I also noted that iTunes purchases came fast and furious for awhile.

I've had my iPod for seven years already--almost seven years exactly--and that means I've had iTunes for that long too. I bought the iPod days before a trip to Hawaii, loading dozens of CDs onto it to help me get through the long flight. I similarly dubbed dozens of CDs a few more times over the years, ultimately ending up using about 10 GB of space for the 2500 songs that made their way onto the gadget. During the first, say, six years that I had iTunes, though, I may have downloaded a mere 20 songs. I'm a CD guy afterall, but one who is breaking the habit.

In the past year, and especially during the recent cassette cleanup blitz, I downloaded over 250 more. A good chunk of these songs were ones that I had on …

¿ʍou ǝɯ pɐǝɹ noʎ uɐɔ

˙sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ oʇ sɹnoʎ uo puɐʇs noʎ pןnoɥs ɹou ؛dıɥsɹǝpɐǝɹ ǝɹoɯ ʇǝb oʇ pɐǝɥ ʎɯ uo puɐʇs oʇ buıob ʇou ɯɐ puɐ 'ɹǝʌǝʍoɥ 'ǝɯ ɹoɟ ǝʇıɹʍ ı ˙ןןɐ ʇɐ uoıʇuǝʇʇɐ ʎuɐ buıʎɐd ʎןןɐǝɹ sı ʎpoqʎuɐ ɟı ɹǝpuoʍ op ı sǝɯıʇǝɯos ʇnq 'ʇou ɹo ǝʇɐɹnɔɔɐ sı ʇɐɥʇ ɟı ʍouʞ ʇ,uop ı ˙ǝɹoɟǝq uɐɥʇ ǝɹoɯ sǝɯıʇ ʎʇɟıɟ ʇnoqɐ pɐǝɹ buıǝq ǝbɐd sıɥʇ uʍoɥs sɐɥ ǝbɐd sʇɐʇs uʍo sʇı 'ɹǝbboןq ʍǝu ǝɥʇ oʇ buıɥɔʇıʍs ǝɔuıs

Let's play seven!

Are you going to watch the World Series? Who do you think is going to win? Who do you want to win?

Those seem to be the baseball questions going around right now. It is October, there's a definite chill in the air, and it just seems right for the Fall Classic and a final round of games for the boys of summer. With my favorite team out, and all local regional rivalries done for the season, resolving these questions is more easy reflection than anything else.

So, first question: I absolutely will watch, as long as it doesn't turn into a one-sided affair, and with the offensive might both teams have shown, there is no reason to think that will be the case.

Second question: Hmmm.The Rangers simply put up runs that look like football game scoring totals. But, pitching wins the World Series. Usually. If it's the case this year, well, I don't think much of the rotation after Wilson. For the Cardinals, they likewise score runs at a pace that would make the Arizona football tea…

Whoa, I think Blogger might have something here...

Well, I'm in one of my I-don't-feel-like-blogging spells. I was away for work for last week, and then needed to catch up in the yard big time, plus I also wanted to spend some time with friends, and really just have a lot of baseball and football to watch. All that has left little time for posting much here. The closest I've come to a worthy topic lately followed that shameful loss the Giants suffered last week to a hard-to-figure-out Seahawk squad. Maybe before Sunday, I will get one out on that, but there's just too much sports to watch to spend much time posting. I mean, the MLB playoff rain delays do provide adequate time, but, there's just not much to write about.

Then I sat in front of my computer and relented to this "dynamic viewing" option Blogger offered. My first reaction was nice job! Well done for sure. Some post have slightly altered formatting, but nothing too irritating as far as I'm concerned. I really like how it brings some older po…

Where to Hit the Slopes in 2011-12 | Farmers' Almanac

Where to Hit the Slopes in 2011-12 | Farmers' Almanac

This past Friday I was at good ole Adams Fairacre Farms and picked up and flipped through a copy of this quaint almanac, something I remember showing up in our home every year when we were young. I was doing some serious shopping though--I was there for a roof rake and a stink bug trap, neither of which I even knew existed until these past couple of years, let alone ever read about in the Farmers' Almanac or any other resource. It hit me while shopping that I hadn't put down fertilizer since the spring, and I do know the importance of that fall fertilizing, so I set myself up with that. Then I walked by the bulb rack. I didn't bother doing my usual checking labels for that little portrait of the deer with a circle and slash, and went straight for daffodils, which I know they don't like.

I used my neighbor's roof rake last winter, and knew it was something I should have. Apparently, the Farmer's Almanac t…

Baseball ballparks so far...

Ok, as promised last week, here are the baseball ballparks at which I've seen a game. Unless I win some kind of radio contest, I'm done for the season, concluding visits with three straight walkoff wins by the home teams: The Angels and Dodgers obliged in consecutive games in July, and then this past Saturday, the Cardinals came to life in the bottom of the 9th, first tying the game, then loading the bases and scoring on a wild pitch. Great stuff in any ballpark.

Mets/Yankees Shea* Many for both
(but Yankees first)

Yankees Yankee*

1991 5/28 Orioles Memorial Stadium NYY2-BAL1

6/22 Red Sox Fenway BOS9-OAK5