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Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Red Sox Destinations Trip

I know I haven't updated in a long time, but there really hasn't been a whole lot to say. The Mitchell Report came out and shocked and dismayed a lot of people, and emotions are running high as to what MLB's response should be. I've gone through several opinions, and basically where I've come down is this. Unless it can be proven that any of these players used forbidden substances after they were banned, they should be left alone. A lot of the players named were using steroids before they were banned. Not much you can do about that. Whatever happens, baseball needs to move on. Oh, yeah. Selig should be canned. Just because all this happened on his "watch." Besides...we need a real commissioner.

Ok. On to something positive. Very, very positive.

We're going to Boston again. This time in the form of "Red Sox Destinations." We were thinking about going up there in August to see the Rangers play again, but I got to looking at the Destinations packages that the Red Sox offer, and realized that several of them are actually at Fenway. Most of them are in the other parks that the Red Sox visit, but a few are at home.

I noticed that two of the Destinations packages were against the Yankees at Fenway. And one of these is in late July. So I started calling. It was Saturday, so I guess they were closed. I started emailing. Finally, late Saturday night, I got a response (or maybe it was Sunday night) via email from one of their representatives. He said there were still spots available for the July Yankees games, but they were going fast.

I called early Monday morning, and finally got hold of him. Heheh...we were sitting in a room at Stephanie's orthodontist's office when I finally got hold of him. I booked us three spots for the July 25-27 series against the Yankees at Fenway Park! That's right, folks! I'm going to see the Sox play the Evil Empire at Fenway Park in July, 2008!! As we are prone to say in Texas,...YEEHAW!!

Along with tickets to all three games (I'm told we will get to sit in the newest section of seats that they are adding for '08, on top of the first base side, where that "temporary" box was), we get to stay at the Copley Marriott for several nights (we extended our stay there for one night so we can go back to the hotel after Sunday's afternoon game). We also each get a game-used ball, an official player jersey (we get to choose the player, too), and a pre-game reception with Q&A with a current player, plus photo ops and autographs with the player. It says there are 125 spots in each one, so the crowd won't be too terribly big.

I'm so pumped about this, I can hardly stand it. And...when I checked back on the web site on Tuesday...it was sold out! By the end of the week, the other Yankees destination at Fenway was sold out, as well.

I can't even imagine what it's going to be like to get to witness the greatest rivalry, perhaps in all of sports, live at the greatest ballpark in America.

Ok. I have to stop typing about this. I'm drooling all over the keyboard. Hahah....

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! And I wish everyone a Happy New Year! Blessings to you in 2008.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, December 7, 2007

wow hardware store

I'm also an avid player of WoW, and this video that someone made to Weird Al's song is hilarious.

Timlin Stays In Red

Mike Timlin has been signed to another year with the Red Sox. That's a good thing, in my opinion. He has always been a fairly valuable strength in the Sox bullpen.

There's still no further word on the Santana dealings. And, frankly, I hope it stays that way.

In other team news, my frustration as a Texas Rangers fan is mounting. (Remember, I live in Texas and root for the Rangers, except when they play the Red Sox.)

Wednesday, head coach Ron Washington was quoted as saying that his goal for the '08 season is "ten more wins."

WHAT???

The Rangers were 75-87 this season!

That means that Ron Washington's goal for '08 is another LOSING SEASON!!

His contract should be shredded immediately. The fans should be calling for his head on a platter.

That is absolutely unacceptable.

TTFN, y'all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Maybe Santana, But Please, Not Ellsbury!

I'm sweating here. I admit I get a little weary over the constant battling between the Red Sox and the Yankees over players.

Johann Santana is on the trading block. The Red Sox are interested in him. I'm actually not sure why. I guess it would be nice to not have to depend on Tavarez next season. He seemed to be the weakest spot in the rotation. However...if you give up Lester, then you still have an empty spot. Lester didn't lose a game after coming back from cancer treatments. Of course, it's always a risk keeping a player with that kind of baggage.

But, holy crap!! We definitely don't need to trade Jacoby Ellsbury for Santana! Especially if Crisp in in on the deal. Ellsbury got few enough at-bats this past season to be eligible for rookie status again in '08. If he plays like he did in the last half of '07, he could well be rookie of the year for '08. I don't think it would be worth it to trade that for Santana.

Plus, my wife got really interested in the Red Sox during the playoffs, and it was mostly from watching Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Lowell. If they trade Ellsbury, it will ruin everything!! Especially if he goes to a mediocre, exremely forgettable team like the Twins. Ew.

It doesn't look like the Yankees are even still in the running, because they don't want to include all the players that the Twins want.

The Red Sox have the same team in place that took the AL by storm in '07. Best record in baseball for most of the season, etc...

If it ain't broke...don't fix it.

TTFN, y'all

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and A New Friend

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

We have a turkey in the oven and are beginning preparations for stuffing (I used to call this "dressing"), gravy and rolls. Other people are bringing a ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (yuck), cookies, pies...Ooh...I hurt already!

The coolest thing happened the other night.

We have this food delivery place in our area, called Dine-In Delivery. They have access to 10 or so local restaurants (real ones, not fast food) and they will deliver hot, fresh food to your door (for a small fee, of course). But it's a very cool service, and we use it quite a bit.

Monday night, we ordered Italian food from Zio's for dinner. The guy showed up with our food, and as he was running our debit card, Stephanie said, "Hey, he's wearing a Boston Red Sox hat!" I looked up and, sure enough, he was. He looked cautious, as if he were thinking we were going to bash him for that, when I kind of lifted one leg and pointed to my Red Sox logo pajamas that I was wearing.

As is customary, there was an instant bond between us. That's all it takes for Red Sox fans, especially ones who are hundreds of miles away from Boston.

Now here is the really cool thing. In our brief chat that ensued, he mentioned that he, too, made it to Fenway for the first time this year. When asked when he was there, his reply was July 4th week.

Hey!! That's when we were there. What game did you go to??

Turns out, he was at one of the two games that we were at! We went to Sunday afternoon and Monday night. He was at Monday night and Tuesday night.

Hahaha...how cool is THAT? Then I asked him where he was sitting.

"Behind home plate," he said.

*massive jealousy!*

How??

"Friends of the family..."

Wow. He was actually in the old blue seats a section up from the field, but those are the oldest seats in any ballpark in the US. Possibly the most uncomfortable, too.

I was wondering if I could be their friend, too. Hehehe...

We are planning another trip this year. I never dreamed we could do it again, but my wife is all for it. So, we are looking at the week of August 10th, when the Rangers will be up there, starting on that Wednesday.

Good times.

Oh, and most excellent news...Mike Lowell has signed back with them for another three years. That means that the Red Sox will have virtually the same lineup for 2008 as they had this season.

Twofers, anyone??

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Update on Christi and Baseball

I took Christi to her first follow-up doctor's visit yesterday (November 16). It went very well. They took X-rays, which they said looked really good. She is cleared to ride in the car and even drive some if necessary. She is also cleared to return to work for at least partial days the week after Thanksgiving (which is next Thursday). It was a great report. She was also told that she doesn't need to wear the hard neck brace any more, so we picked up a cervical soft foam collar on the way home from the doctor's office.

In other news, (I haven't talked about baseball in a while) dear old A-Rod now says he wants to remain a Yankee. This is fine with me, in fact, I'm ecstatic about it. That means he won't be coming to Boston or even back to Texas. Let him stay in New York. Let the Yankees keep his baggage. Once again, look at the record. Yes, he will likely break the all-time home run record some day if he stays healthy. But no team has won with A-Rod on the roster. Not even the Yankees.

Barry Bonds is being indicted!!! Yay and Hooray!!!! Now, maybe he will go away!

Kenny Rogers has fired Scott Boras!! People, this his HUGE news! Especially in light of the fact that A-Rod had negotiations with the Yankees without Boras, as well. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for the "devil of baseball." I keep saying that all of the major league owners/GMs need to just refuse to talk to Boras. He is singlehandedly attempting to destroy baseball as we know it. Free agency may be not such a bad thing, especially for players, but representation by an agent is bad for the sport, especially an agent like Boras.

The Red Sox are still in negotiations with now free agent Mike Lowell. They have offered him a three year deal, but he seems interested in a four year deal. One of two things needs to happen. Either the Sox need to go ahead and give him what he wants, or he needs to have some loyalty and do something unique in the baseball world by not just going for the money. Either way. The Sox need Lowell. The Red Sox Nation would love to see basically the same team take the field on Opening Day as the one that left the field at the end of game 4 of the World Series.

I think they need to work on a good shortstop. That has been the weak link for years. Lugo and Cora are adequate, but neither one of them can be compared with the likes of Youk, Pedroia and Lowell.

Oh, I almost forgot. It has been announced that they will be adding at least 800 new seats to the legend that it Fenway Park for next season! All in the ongoing work to keep Fenway alive. And we may get to go back again next year. I may have actually made a Red Sox fan out of my wife, now. Hee!!

Well, Thanksgiving is next week. I have to go get some groceries today so we can start preparing for the big meal. We will be cooking a turkey, some dressing, and the ubiquitous grean bean casserole. Plus I am making a sopapilla cheesecake for church tomorrow. I've never tried that one before.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Surgery Update

Thanks for the prayers to everyone who did.

Christi's surgery went well. It took about a half hour longer than planned, but we aren't sure why.

We were actually delayed several hours getting started. We arrived at 5:30, as instructed, sat in a pre-op room for over an hour, wondering what was going on. Then we finally were told that they had had to put another surgery in front of us that morning.

They came and moved Christi in to holding at about 9:30, at which point I had to leave her side and go to the waiting room. No visitors in holding or recovery. My parents showed up shortly after that, which is nice, because the wi-fi that was available in the pre-op room was not available in the second floor waiting room. Not sure why. So I had someone to talk to during the next four-plus hours.

They didn't actually begin the surgery until 11:30-ish (?!) At 2:00pm, they called to let us know that she was being moved to recovery. At 2:30, they called and gave us the room number to which she would be moved. We went on up to that room, and at that point, I decided to go ahead and leave to pick up Stephanie from school.

We got back to the hospital at about 4:30 and Christi was in her room, doing well, feeling pretty good for someone who had just had surgery.

It is now three days after, and she is feeling some better each day. She feels that the surgery definitely helped her lower body. We are still waiting to see if it helped the numbness in her hand. She said sometimes that takes several weeks to go away.

I'm trying to make her as comfortable as possible. She's trying not to drive me crazy. *smile* We make a pretty good couple.

There will be more updates later.

TTFN, y'all!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Surgery Tomorrow, Prayer Requested

Christi will be having surgery tomorrow (that's my wife for those who don't know me) on her upper back/neck. She is having two herniated discs removed and replaced and some arthritis cleaned out. It's not supposed to be serious, but in my book, anytime there is back/spine involved, it is pretty serious. We appreciate your prayers. I'll post as soon as there are results to post. I'll be off work tonight and tomorrow night. I'd take off more, but I work for jerks. Pft.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

There was a whole lot of noise in the dispatch office where I work last night when Jonathan Papelbon struck out that last batter in Denver.

Of course, it was all made by me.

But still...there was a lot of noise.

It was an unbelievable season for the Red Sox Nation this year. I can't remember when we have watched our Red Sox dominate the AL East for the entir season (except for just a handful of days), and have the best record in baseball for most of that season. And except for a few brief moments of tremendous anxiety, they rolled through the playoffs like a juggernaut, crushing everything in its path.

The amazing thing is this: The Sox outscored the Rockies 29-10 in the World Series. If you add that to the last three games of the AL Championship Series, they outscored their opponents by a whopping 59-15!! And how many home runs were hit during those 7 games?? Only 12. Only two in the World Series.

And that is how the Red Sox played all season long. The Red Sox were 18th in the entire major leagues in home runs this year. Below the middle of the pack. Yet they maintained the best record in baseball for most of the 2007 regular season. This is the ultimate in "small ball." This is how you win championships.

Ironically...who led the MLB in home runs? Well, Milwaukee actually led the whole MLB. They finished second, out of the playoffs. The Yankees led the AL, and were knocked out in the first round. Home runs do not equal championships.

I don't know how many records were crushed by the Sox during this Series and Playoffs. I'll have to research this. I do know that I disagree terribly with the majority on who should be the MVP for this World Series. It was awarded to Mike Lowell. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Mike Lowell and think he was an invaluable part of the team.

But I have to look at what Jacoby Ellsbury contributed to this team, especially during the series. Becoming the third rookie in MLB history to have a four hit World Series game, and combining with Dustin Pedroia to have an incredible game three...in my book Ellsbury is the MVP of this World Series.

I wonder where Coco Crisp is going to play next year? I betcha it won't be in center field for the Red Sox...either that or J.D. Drew will be out of a job. We'll see.

In other really fantastic news, A-Roid has chosen to opt out of his contract with the Yankees. What does this mean? Primarily that our home team, the Texas Rangers, will not have to keep paying for him anymore. This will save the Rangers about 21 million dollars. I wonder what Tom Hicks will do with that money? Probably nothing productive for his team or fans. That's just his way.

Maybe he'll go buy another soccer team.

Well, I have to take Stephanie to a doctor's appointment, so that's all for now.

TTFN, y'all....how many months until April??

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sweep Looks Possible

The Rockies tried to make a game out of it tonight, but the Sox were just too much for them. The Red Sox are crushing all kinds of records during this post-season. Tonight, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, they had the first time ever that two rookies got three hits each in a World Series game. Ellsbury was the third player in MLB history to get four hits in one WS game. He was also the first rookie to ever get two doubles in one inning. This happened in their third inning tonight.

Heck, even Dike-K got a hit tonight, driving in two runs.

After being behind 6-0, the Rockies scored 2 in the sixth and three in the seventh to make it 6-5. Okajima, who had not allowed any runs yet in post-season play, gave up a three run homer. Things looked tense for a bit, but then Ellsbury and Pedroia struck again, and the Sox scored 3 more runs in the top of the 8th, then one more in the 9th. Papelbon came in in the bottom of the 8th and closed things out in his fashion.

The Red Sox now lead 3-0, and I'm not uncomfortable predicting a sweep at this point. Jon Lester will be honored with the start tomorrow night. Lester was having a great season in 2006 when the Sox were stunned as he received a diagnosis of cancer. This was the crowning blow in their 2006 collapse. This year, he has returned, cancer free, and has not lost a single game yet.

Sadly, since tomorrow's game starts at 7pm our time, once again, I will have to leave for work before the game is over. You can be sure that I will be "DVR-ing" this game, too.

I'm sleepy. And I have to get up for church in 6 hours. Hah.

TTFN, y'all!!

PS...I know it's not a common practice, but I seriously believe that Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury should be named co-MVPs of the World Series. Assuming they do go ahead and win...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sox Rock the Rox

Ok. I know. It's really corny.

But the Red Sox have taken a commanding lead in the World Series as they travel to Rocky Mountain High for the next game, scheduled in the Winter Wonderland on Saturday night.

The little guy, Dustin Pedroia shone again on Wednesday night, leading off with a home run, and becoming the first rookie in MLB history to lead off a World Series game with a home run. In fact only one other player has ever done that. MVP, maybe? Who knows? They are all performing pretty well. The first game wound up being a complete embarassment for the Rockies, as Josh Beckett completely shut them down, and the Sox bats went crazy. They were already ahead 6-1 when Rockies pitching had a meltdown in the 5th inning and the Red Sox scored 7 more runs, 3 of which were walked in by relief pitcher Ryan Speier. He faced 3 batters, walked them all, and was quickly removed. That would be the last scoring for this game. Final score, Red Sox 13, Rockies 1. The Rockies "Cinderella run" was abruptly squashed.

It didn't get a whole lot better for them Thursday night. The pitching was better for them, and, actually, this game was more of what I consider to be a "World Series caliper" game. Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez did a good job holding down the Red Sox, but still left the game with a 2-1 deficit. That would remain the score for the rest of the game. Curt Schilling was in his usual postgame mode, only allowing 1 run over 5 1/3 innings, with only 4 hits. My eyes kind of teared up when he left the game, as the Fenway Faithful gave him a roaring standing ovation. This was likely the last time Schilling will pitch in a Red Sox uniform. He will probably be a free agent after this season. We will miss him dearly.

Unless he winds up in Texas. Then we will get to see him pitch in a Rangers uniform.

Anyway...Okajima came in and pitched flawlessly for 2 1/3 innings, and the great one, Jonathan Papelbon came in one out early to pitch 1 1/3 inning, also pretty much flawless. He gave up one hit. He also picked off Holliday at first base to end the top of the 8th. Looked like Holliday kind of fell asleep or something.

The second game wasn't nearly the embarassment that the first game was, but the Red Sox still dominated. They've allowed only 2 runs to the Rockies. And they continue to outscore their opponents 45-7 over the last 5 games. They actually look better than the 2004 team.

I'm not ready to go out on a limb and predict a sweep, yet. It depends on what we see Saturday night in Colorado. They have to give up a major bat in Saturday's game, at least in the starting lineup. It may be that Francona gives both Youk and Papi a half game or something. My personal opinion is that Youk needs to play. Nothing against Papi, here, but his knee is in bad shape, and he probably can't field as well as Youk. And Youk's bat has been roaring during the post season. He's batting over .500 for the whole post season so far.

TTFN, y'all

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series Time

I should have been here sooner, I know, but I wasn't. Not sure why.

Sunday night became a glorious game as the Sox blew it open in the 7th and 8th innings. It stayed 3-2 for several innings and a very tense game that could have gone either way.

But an unlikely hero named Dustin Pedroia was majorly responsible for blowing it open. He hit a two-run homer in the 7th to make it 5-2. In the bottom of the 8th, the Sox scored one, then loaded the bases. I was running back and forth from the dispatch office to the conference room, where the tv was. I walked into the conference room to see the score had advanced to 9-2 and little Dustin Pedroia was standing on second base! He drove in 5 runs. I was just in time to see Youk blast one that hit the giant coke bottle over the Green Monster right in the middle. If he hadn't have hit that bottle, that ball might still be going!

Final score, Red Sox 11, Indians 2. The Sox outscored the Indians 30-5 over the last three games of the series.

Tonight, game one of the Series is going on at Fenway.

It began in grand fashion with Beckett striking out the first three Rockies.

Then, guess who?? Dustin Pedroia strikes again. Rookie hits a home run over the Green Monster (well, not exactly "over"...it hit the top) in his first World Series at-bat.

I'll be leaving for work in about 40 minutes. The score at this posting is 4-1 Red Sox.

I have tomorrow night off for a vacation night, so I will get to watch at least one complete game.

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Game Seven---Tonight---Fenway Park

What a game last night! The Red Sox dominated again, this time behind the bats of the lower part of the batting order! Papi and Manny hardly got on base last night, while, of all people, J.D. Drew got things started with a big bang with a grand slam home run! At one point, he was responsible for all 5 runs that had been scored. I believe he drove in some more later in the game.

Final score, Red Sox 12, Indians 2.

And Eric Gagne actually pitched well in the top of the ninth.

Game 7 tonight in Fenway Park.

You know...ironically, I originally predicted that the Sox would win the ACLS in 7 games. But I predicted it would be the Yankees, not the Indians.

Sadly, I will have to leave for work tonight before the game is over. Ugh. I'm going to be really tense.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

FDA Makes Earth-Shattering Announcement

In a blaze of scientific glory, the FDA announced yesterday that...

wait for it...

WE SHOULDN'T GIVE OVER THE COUNTER COLD MEDICINES TO CHILDREN UNDER 6!!!!!

Man. Am I glad they told me that. Because I never thought to, you know...

READ THE LABEL ON THE PACKAGE???

Our nation is getting dumber and dumber by the minute. How long has their been a statement on over-the-counter cold remedies that tells you not to give it to children under, not 6, but TWELVE? It clearly states that you should check with your doctor before giving, say, Dayquil, to a child under 12. All dosages on those medications are calculated for adults.

Granted there are some meds that are formulated for children. But even those have an age limitation on the label.

But we needed the FDA to waste who knows how many of our tax dollars (probably millions) to tell us not to do what the label on the box already tells us not to do.

Sigh.

TTFN, y'all. Oh...and be sure not to put your fingers in the rotating blade of your lawn mower, ok?

Friday, October 19, 2007

There Will Be A Saturday Night At Fenway Park!

Yes!!!! Huzzah!!!!

The Red Sox dominated in their own fashion Thursday night at the Jake.

Beckett was simply amazing. He went 8 innings, only allowed one run (in the first inning, after a really lame pop fly that three people couldn't be bothered to catch), and struck out 11 batters! ELEVEN!! Beckett is THE MAN!!

He jolly well had better win the Cy Young award this year.

Game 6 will be played at Baseball Heaven at 8 E.T. Saturday night. We were planning to go to the State Fair of Texas Saturday and watch Third Day play a concert that night, but not now. No way! I've seen Third Day. Several times. I've never seen game 6 of the 2007 ACLS. Gotta watch my Sox.

You know...it's kind of funny. Being down here in Texas, I don't run into an overabundance of Sox fans. But we always connect when we see each other. All kinds of barriers fall when you see another person with that telltale "B" on their cap or a shirt that says "I support two teams: Boston and whoever BEATS NEW YORK!"

I've met a clerk at our local library branch who is a Boston fan. So now, whenever I go to the library on Saturdays, he is there, and we talk briefly about the Sox and the season.

I also have quite the reputation at work for being a staunch supporter of the Boston Red Sox. So much so, that every night this week (until last night) everybody at work walks up to me and says, "What's the matter with your Sox??"

It's cool being recognized as the company's biggest Boston fan, but, honestly, that was getting depressing! Hehehe...I actually got tired of hearing that. But then, when I realized that it meant that, hey...people know. I'm a Red Sox fan.

That's cool.

By the way...this Texan is a card-carrying member of the Red Sox Nation. In fact, my first year's membership card says I'm a "Founding Member." How cool is that?

Maybe we need to change the name, though...to something like...

The Royal Rooters.

"'Nuf Said" McGreevey would be proud.

And we could all sing....

"'Tessie,' 'Nuf Said Mcgreevey shouted,
'We're not here to mess around,
Boston...you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound...

Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Red Sox!! You are the only only only..."

Thank you, Dropkick Murphys!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shake-up In New York

Well, it's official.

Joe Torre will not be returning to New York.

And who can blame him? They basically slapped him in the face with their offer. They offered him a one year deal for $5 mil. Geez. If I were him, I would have turned that down, too.

But that's the way baseball is. You get your team to the playoffs for umpteen years running, and they don't want you back.

There could be some drastic trickle-downs from this, many of which could actually affect the Texas Rangers very positively.

For one thing, A-Roid might be more apt to opt (hehe...."apt to opt") out of his contract, which would save the Rangers, oh...somewhere in the neighborhood of $21,000,000. Maybe they could afford a pitcher?

It is also almost certain that Mariono Rivera, aka "The Sandman," will opt for free agency. Could the Rangers possibly land him? I get chill bumps just thinking about that.

What about Jorge Posada? Is he a freebie after this season? Wow, could the Rangers ever use him!! A quality catcher...something they have not had since they foolishly let Pudge Rodriguez go.

The possibilities are endless. Never mind that this could shake up the Evil Empire so much that they aren't even contenders next year. *gasp*

After all, they really don't have any young players do they? All of their stars are getting old. Or worn out from illegal substance abuse. *cough*Giambi*cough*

Well, anyway....

Tonight is it. My stomach has been in knots since this morning. The Red Sox are in a must-win situation. They need to win this tonight or it's over for the season. And, to make matters worse, they have to play in the Jake one more night. But, on the positive side, Beckett is pitching. At least I hope it's positive. And last time Sabathia pitched, the Sox bats handled him easily.

We shall see.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ok. It's Time to Panic

Yeah.

I'm officially worried.

Boston's down 1-3.

But I keep telling myself that this is exactly how I felt right before game four of the '04 ACLS game with the Yankees. And we all remember what happened that year.

At least last night, the Sox carved a little history.

Youk, Papi, and Manny went back-to-back-to-back big flies. In fact, Manny's was truly a "big fly," as it went an estimated 451 feet!

That had never been done before in a championship series game.

Unfortunately, that was all they did for the night.

One night off, then we get to see Thursday night if the Sox will get a chance to play before the Fenway Faithful again this year.

TTFN, y'all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Yankees Go HOME! And STAY Home!!!

It was with great pleasure that I watched the Indians finish off the Yankees last night.

How ironic that a team that did not beat the Evil Empire once all season long, knocked them out of the playoffs.

At least one of the sportscasters opined that the Red Sox would rather play the Yankees with their "beat-up pitching staff" in the ALCS than the Indians. I don't know how the Red Sox team members feel about that, but I know how the fans feel. I don't know any Red Sox fans that want to be anywhere near the Yankees! I'm sure that there was great elation all throughout the Red Sox Nation last night as that last Yankee batter struck out.

So, the Sox face the Tribe on Friday night. In Fenway Park, of course. And let's see...not that it means anything, as evidenced by the series with the Yankees, but Boston's record against Cleveland this year is 5-2. A little less one-sided, and I don't see the Red Sox getting cocky. I do see them winning.

The Rockies face the Diamondbacks Thursday. The Rockies will win. I don't know if they will sweep, but they will win. We will have a Red Sox/Rockies World Series this year.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. Happens all the time. It's just a feeling.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Night of Praise with Dennis Jernigan

Saturday night, Christi, Stephanie, and I drove all the way up to Denison, TX, to take part in a Night of Praise with modern-day Psalmist, Dennis Jernigan. As always, it was an inspiring night. We sang most of the old favorites, along with some brand new songs, a couple even newer than the newest cd, "I Cry Holy." There were a few problems with the sound system at the church. At the beginning, Dennis couldn't hear his tracks from the monitor speakers (by the way, DJ uses an iPod for his tracks; this is an increasingly popular thing to do), and later, his powerful singing was simply blowing out the speakers and distorting them. But we still had a good time. Stephanie got to meet Melinda, Dennis's wife, and four of their kids were there...lessee...Asa, Ezra, Gayla, and Raina (not sure if I spelled those right or not), and Stephanie got to meet all of them, too. And DJ actually remembered her name! Now, that made her night, doncha know? I got a pretty good picture of Stephanie standing between Dennis and Melinda, so I'll post it here.



~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can't not write about the playoff results. I was disappointed that the D-Backs swept the Cubs. I was happy that the Rockies swept the Phillies, although, I must say I'm a little afraid of the Rockies. They are hotter than August in Texas right now, and have won 17 out of their last 18 games. Of course, I was ecstatic (and not in the least surprised) when the Red Sox swept the Angels. Manny was amazing. Sunday afternoon's game was close until the Sox blew it open in the top of the 8th inning. I almost felt sorry for the Angels. I said, "almost!"

Then the darned Yankees had to go and spoil it all by beating Cleveland last night. It was supposed to be straight sweeps across the board. But NO! We have to have another game, now. So, tonight...we'll be rooting for the tribe again. But you know what? I'm not the least bit afraid of the Yankees right now. This Red Sox team can handle them. I know the Yanks beat the Sox during regular season, but it's playoff time, now. The Sox are hot and out for rings. And it's time for New York's domination of baseball to be over.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

MANNY!!!! MANNY!!!!

It's been a few days. I'll bet everything thinks I'm not watching the Playoffs.

Hah! Am so!!

And I'm...what's that rock song say? "Lovin' every minute of it!"

Except for the Cubs being humiliated by the D-Backs.

Anyway. Boston is two up on the Angels after last night's GLORIOUS walk-off home run by Manny. Did you SEE that?? It might have hit someone on the street behind the Green Monster!

And Manny, being Manny, just stood at home plate with his fists raised triumphantly in the air as if to say, "That'll teach you to walk Big Papi to get to me!"

Red Sox win, 6-3.

Earlier in the day, I watched as the Evil Empire fell to the Indians, yet again, in 11 innings, 2-1. That was an incredible pitcher's duel. Fortunately, Andy Pettit doesn't take a loss for that game, because he pitched really well for the Yanks.

Shockingly, the Indians are up 2-0 on the Yankees. I'm not believing that. I'm lovin' it, but it's still pretty shocking.

Seriously, that home run by Manny was amazing. I replayed it about six times. In fact, I'm going to go watch again, now.

Here is a link to the video of the home run

Here's a longer clip of just Manny Hmm....did he ever actually touch home plate? Hahahah....

This clip is of a rather bizaar play where a fan stole an out from the Angels catcher. This young man was very popular for a while...notice who is right behind him? Yep. That's Stephen King!

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Buffy/Angel Fans Beware---Ripoff Alert! Ripoff Alert!!

For anyone who watches much television (guilty at some points), this week and the ones around it are very important weeks. This is the time for all the new shows to premier. Either new seasons of our old favorites, or totally new shows. This week, we enjoyed premiers of season two of "Heroes," season three of "How I Met Your Mother," a new season of "House," a new season of "Bones," and last night (thanks to the miracle of DVR), a brand new show called "Moonlight." Not "Moonlighting." That one died when Dave and Maddie finally got together. Which brings to mind a very important rule in television shows. NEVER (hear me?) EVER let the two main characters make that connection. It ruins the show. Let it stay just at the edge of what we all know could happen. Never cross that line. It makes for better tension and occasional comic relief in the show.

Okay, that said...the best of the returning premiers was far and above "House." He has fired all of his team at the end of last season (at least the ones who didn't quit), so he is all "Alone," which is the title of the premier. House can't function without someone to bounce ideas off of, so his boss and associate docter are begging him to hire a team. Meanwhile, he bounces ideas off of the janitor, going to the extreme of suiting him up in a white jacket and stethoscope. Wackiness ensues. He won't leave Cutty alone, and Miller kidnaps House's Gibson Flying V guitar. It's great.

"Heroes" was pretty good. Hiro has transported himself back to the 17th century and comes face to face with his own personal hero, the guy with the sword that he stole in the present day. Imagine his surprise when his "hero" from all the Japanese legends turns out to be an Englishman (David Anders--"Alias" fans will recognize him immediately as the infamous Sark) who fights dirty and really isn't very honorable at all. Claire and her family have relocated from Texas to some little town in California, and she is instructed to act normal. We'll see how long that lasts.

"How I Met Your Mother" was pretty much more of the same. Not that that's bad. It was pretty good, and surprise guest star Mandy Moore starred as a kind of biker chick. That was weird.

"Bones" was also good. We love the tension between David Boreanaz and Deschanel. They are a great team, and their forensic team at the "Jeffersonian" institute is complete. Hodgins and Angela are trying to track down the guy that she is allegedly married to, which interrupted their nuptials at the end of the last season.

Ok. Now to the last one. "Moonlight" premiered Friday night and we watched it last night. This is a brand new show, featuring a vampire in L.A. who fights crime. Ok, now, let's put our thinking caps on, boys and girls. Where have we ever heard that idea before? I'll give you a second.

Who said "Angel?" Did someone say "Angel?" Bingo! You get a cookie!

This show is one of the biggest ripoffs I have ever seen in my life!! I'll admit I liked it ok, I mean it was entertaining and all, but...C'MON!! Someone has spent a little too much time in "Whedonverse" to be trying to write an original tv show. They even had "Dracula" from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5 premier, "Buffy Vs. Dracula." And guess what...he played a vampire. Or at least a vampire wannabe. Aaaaand...the plot of the premier involved a cult of people who kind of worshipped the concept of vampirism. Hm....lessee they never did that in Buffy, did they?? Hmm??

The premier also featured a guy named Kevin Weisman, whom "Alias" fans all love to death as the adorable geekster named Marshall. He plays a camerman to Beth's reporting.

The show might actually make it. I don't know. But it is truly a humongous ripoff. We could still have Angel. It would have been better, because, well...Joss Whedon, you know? 'Nuf said.

The one premier that I recorded but have yet to watch is Stargate Atlantis. I'm going to try to watch that this season because I found out Jewell Staite is in it (she played Kaylee in Firefly/Serenity).

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, September 28, 2007

RED SOX WIN THE AL EAST!!!

Thanks to a win over Minnesota tonight, and some amazing help from the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox have won the AL East Division title for the first time since 1995.

The Orioles made an amazing comeback tonight, as they were down 9-6 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. They tied the game on a bases clearing triple, went into extra innings, and won the game in the bottom of the tenth on a suprise bases loaded, two-out bunt down the third base line. The bunt was perfect, the Yankees third baseman (was that A-Rod??) was playing too far back and had no chance to get the runner at the plate. Orioles win 10-9, Red Sox win the division, Yankees get the wild card.

The AL is finished. On the other hand, the NL is still quite the mess. As of tonight, there are still six teams in the playoff picture in the NL.

I wish I could see the celebration happening at Fenway Park right now. The Orioles announcers said that people were still sitting at the Park watching the O's game on the video board. I'm sure the place absolutely erupted.

A very happy TTFN, y'all.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back To the Best

Or at least tied for the best. In spite of losing to the Twins, and the Evil Empire winning tonight, the Sox are, once again, atop the Major Leagues, tied with Cleveland for the best record in baseball. They still haven't clinched the AL East, though, with only a handfull of games left. They are two games ahead of the Yanks with three games left. The elimination number is also two.

This is simply too nervewracking.

I so wanted Josh Beckett to get 21 wins, but that just wasn't to be this year.

I'm figuring, if the standings hold till the end, the Yankees will likely play the Indians and the Sox play the Angels in the first round of the playoffs. Unless the Sox fool around and lose the division, in which case they might play the Indians and the Yanks play the Angels.

With that scenario in mind, the Yankees probably don't WANT to win the division. I promise you, they don't want to play the Angels in the first round, or any other round for that matter.

Stephie and I made it to the last home game for the Rangers. It was a fun time, and we had great seats, thanks to our friend at church. The Rangers blew out the Angels, too. Go figure. The Rangers swept the division champs for their last home series, including a 16-2 rout in the last game. I think everybody hit a home run in that game...possibly even a few of the fans. And Michael Young got his 200th hit (becoming only the third player to do that five consecutive seasons since 1940) at home, which was very cool.

We almost cried as we left the ballpark. It just doesn't seem like it's already over. It just started.

"No, it didn't," replied Christi.

TTFN, y'all.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It Was A Busy Weekend

Boy, was I tired after this last weekend. Three Texas Rangers games in one weekend! And they even won two of them. That, in itself, is pretty huge.

The Red Sox clinched a playoff spot this weekend, and today, they gained a half game on the Evil Empire without even playing! The Yanks lost a makeup game to the Blue Jays, and the Sox are off today. So that makes them an even 2 games ahead of the Yanks with an elimination number of FIVE!

If they are trying to make this exciting, they are certainly achieving that goal.

Two divisions got clinched yesterday. The Angels clinched our American League West division, and the Injuns clinched the AL Central.

None of the NL teams are anywhere close to clinching. There are still NINE teams in that playoff race. Unreal. I'm pulling for the Mets and the Cubs and the Padres. Why, you might ask? Good question, because I really don't like any NL teams. The Mets, because I hate the Yankees. So if I can see one NY team win while the Yankees lose, all the better. The Cubs, because, well, hey. They're the Cubs. What else can you say. And White Sox fans are some of the meanest, rudest people I have ever seen. The Padres because they have Chris Young, who should still be with the Rangers, and for a long time, had the lowest ERA in the entire MLB.

One more week in the season, and yesterday morning at church, one of our members came up and handed me some season tickets and a free parking pass for the last home game of the season on Wednesday afternoon. Sooo....I guess I need to go to that game, eh?

Who needs sleep anyway??
~~~~~~~~~~

I wanted to mention here that we had an excellent message yesterday. Our pastor, Bill Burton, really brought the concept of mercy home to us in his message. I told him later (while we were watching the Rangers beat the O's) that my toes were still sore. He's been preaching through the beatitudes, and made some good correlations between the first three and the second three yesterday. Primarily for yesterday, putting the concept of being "poor in spirit" with being "merciful." The idea being that, if we recognize how desperately destitute we are withouth God, then we should have no trouble showing mercy to others in the same position (which is, of course, EVERYONE!). Good stuff. Hard stuff. And painful stuff. But it's what we need, and it's what God wants from us.

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Red Sox Make the Playoffs!!

It's been a momentous weekend!

The Red Sox clinched at least a wild card berth in the playoffs last night, when they had a rare ninth inning rally to beat the Devil Rays 8-5. The rally was magnificently sparked by a lead-off home run by Tek to tie the game.

It was fun listening to the end of the game on the Red Sox radio station (via mlb.com). The announcers said that there were about three times as many Sox fans as Devil Rays fans (they were playing in Tampa Bay, mind you) and started calling the stadium the new "Fenway South."

They still need 6 wins to clinch the division title. And the Yankees are not giving up easily, so it will go down to the wire.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Good Night

What a night it was!

While Stephanie and I watched the Rangers beat the Orioles at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the Red Sox soundly defeated the D-Rays, 8-1 in Tampa Bay. This was a badly needed victory for the Sox.

We also watched the scoreboard for the game between the Toronto Bluejays and the Evil Empire. The Jays had them down 4-0 in the bottom of the ninth, when the Bombers did that thing they do. But they didn't quite do it enough. They tied the game 4-4. It went extra innings all the way to the 14th, when the Jays scored one more and held off the Yanks for a final of 5-4.

The Red Sox move to 2.5 games ahead in the AL East and that reduces the Yanks elimination number to 7.

Life is good.

TTFN, y'all.

Down To the Wire

I, along with, I'm sure, thousands of other Red Sox fans across the nation, are extremely nervous right now. We're watching a nightmare that is similar to last season's collapse. Except this time, everyone except Manny is healthy.

I'm not sure what's going on with this slump. Last night, the Sox had a rest day. Apparently, so did them that shall not be named. I'm sincerely hoping that this day off gave Tek and Company a chance to breathe and regroup. Neither team has a particularly hard schedule to close out the season.

The interesting thing this season is that, if you look at the big picture, only two of the 6 division of the MLB have "magic numbers" of less than 9 or 10. The AL West, in which the Angels clinched at least a tie last night, and the AL Central. The other four divisions are going down to the last game. What an exciting, nerve-wracking finish. In fact, in the NL, if you count the three teams in first place, there are a whopping NINE teams still in the playoff race! Wow!

In the meantime, the other team that I watch, those pathetic Rangers, has managed to lose 9 out their last 11 games, to the point that a .500 season is now "dust in the wind." Sadly, at the end of their last home stand, they were something like five games under .500. Now, I think they are at least 11.

There was one night this week, in which both the Rangers and the Sox had one of those "what were they THINKING??" nights. The Red Sox were beating Toronto and they let Eric Gagne pitch in the bottom of the eight inning. Now Gagne was doing great as a closer for the Rangers. But, frankly, he is doing horribly in a Red Sox uniform. That night, he gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth, and the B-Jays went on to win 4-3.

The same night, the Rangers were losing 4-2 to the Twins. It was the top of the ninth and the Rangers were down to their last out (they were playing in Minnesota, "Don'tcha know"). I was listening to the radio on the way to work and heard Eric Nadel say that Brad Wilderson was in the on deck circle, getting ready to pinch hit. I believe I almost lost control of my van at this point. Apparently, Ron Washington has paid no attention to the season at all. Apparently, he has not watched Brad Wilderson bat. The wisdom of this managing decision (or lack thereof) totally escapes me. Wilkerson has had the nickname in my family, "King of Strikeouts" for the whole time he has been a Texas Ranger. And he certainly lived up to that nickname this fateful night. Of COURSE he struck out! That's what he DOES in clutch situations! Egad!

And they've extended Washington's contract for another year. Fortunately, Wilkerson will be a free agent after this season, and I'm pretty sure the Rangers have no interest in trying to keep him.

Duh.

Looking forward to next season, there are some crucial things that need to happen. First and foremost, Tom Hicks needs to sell the Rangers to someone who gives a flying you-know-what about WINNING! Second, Jon Daniel, the "boy wonder," has got to go, too. The only decent trade he has made since he has been GM was the Gagne deal, for which we got Kason Gabbard and David Murphy, and some guy named Elvis. We haven't seen him yet. Third, we need a first baseman, darn it! Obviously, we haven't had one since they traded Teixeira. We've had a mediocre catcher playing first base, or a mediocre outfielder playing first base. That doesn't work. Management had better go after a real first baseman during this off season. Last, and certainly not least, pitching, pitching, PITCHING!! The only winning pitcher on the staff has been Kason Gabbard. Vicente Padilla needs to GO!! He is a serious liability to the team's morale. Besides the fact that if he's pitching, you can count on a four hour game! And several hit batters. Millwood, the alleged "ace," is inconsistent at best. He has 5 good innings. Problem is, you never know when those 5 are going to start. Sometimes they don't start until inning 3, when they are already so far behind they can't catch up. McCarthy can't stay well. Kameron Loe, as much as I like him, just isn't starting material. Heck, let's go after Curt Schilling next season! He will likely be a free agent. He's struggled this season, but he's still got some good stuff, and, hey. He fits one of the criteria that the Rangers have obviously adapted in their accquisition philophy of late...he's over 40!

So there you go. I'm not an expert. But I've been watching baseball for...lessee...um...(takes off shoes)...over 40 years. I think that gives me a little bit of knowledge of the game, and what can make a winning team. The Red Sox have had it year after year (except for last year, but that was all circumstances that were uncontrollable). The Rangers have not had it. Not since their brief flirtation with champtionship in the mid nineties, with Johnny Oates at the helm, God rest his soul. And the Rangers will not have it. Not without some fundamental changes in management/ownership and managerial philosphy.

Oh. I almost forgot. One more thing that needs to happen before next season. They need to can Ron Washington and just eat that contract. Then they need to hire Trey Hillman. He's coming back home from Japan, where he has won multiple championships. I bet he could do good with the Rangers.

Stephie and I are going to all three games this weekend. All against Baltimore. I'm hoping we get to see Michael Young make another 200 hit season, for his fifth consecutive year.

TTFN, y'all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Drastic Fantastic

I'm not writing about the Red Sox today.

Instead, I'm writing about one of my favorite young performers, KT Tunstall. I fell in love with her music with her first release, "Eye To the Telescope." I was listening to it long before any of the songs made radio play, and now they're all over the radio. "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" became immensely popular, as did "Suddenly I See," which was my favorite track on the album, again, before it hit the airwaves.

Well, her new album was released last week (on 9/7). I'm not sure if the initial release was UK only (she is Scottish), or not. Yahoo! Music Unlimited currently has one song, "Someday Soon," which I have just listened to, and the UK Amazon site has a video of another song, "White Bird." The album is called, as the title of this post so aptly suggests, "Drastic Fantastic." The cover of the album suggests a little more electric guitarness on this album, however, both the Yahoo! song and the Amazon video are acoustic to the max. I love both songs, though. I'm going to try to put the link to the video here. Let's see if it works.

Video here

By Jove, I think it worked! Huzzah!

Oh, and, speaking of "Huzzah!" do y'all know what tomorrow is??? (That would be September 19.) Well, besides being the tenth anniversary of Rich Mullins's tragic death, it's TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!!! Arrrrrr.....

TTFN, y'all

Monday, September 17, 2007

So What? We're Still the Best!

So the Yankees won the series. (Ironically, the Sox outscored them, 20-13.)

So the Yankees won the series for the year, 10-8.

So what?! The Red Sox, on September 17, 2007, are still the best team in baseball. They have held that honor for almost 130 consecutive days. They have also been in first place 150 days.

That stretch is amazing, no matter what happens for the remainder of the season. Anything could still happen. This old man has been watching baseball long enough to know that nothing is over until it's over. The magic number for the Sox is 9. Kind of complicated, but this means that any combination of Red Sox wins and second place team losses adding up to 9 will clinch the division title. There are 12 games left for the Sox. That's little too close for my blood. But it makes for an exciting season finish. But the way this works is this: Let's say the Red Sox win tonight and the Yankees lose. Not likely to happen, since the Yanks are playing Baltimore. But, hey. Any given team, etc., etc... In that scenario, the magic number would drop by 2, making it 7. If both teams win tonight, the number only drops by one, making it 8. If, God forbid, the Red Sox lo...lo...*ahem*, well you get my drift, the magic number stays the same. Oddly, it never goes up.

The wild card race is even more exciting. Detroit is only 2.5 games behind New York, with a magic number of 11, and only 12 games left! This means the wild card race could very well go down to the last game of the season.

Well, neither the Sox nor the Yankees have a particularly tough schedule to close out the year. Unfortunately, the Yankees don't have to play the Angel any more. They are the only team with an overall winning record against the Yankees. However, I just noticed that Baltimore is ahead of the Yankees 8-4 in this years series, and they have two more series (serieses?) left play. Hah. GO O's!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On another subject, Stephanie seems to be doing much better today. We have some homework to work on tonight, so hopefully, that won't be a problem.

TTFN, y'all

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Prayers Needed

As I'm sitting here getting ready to watch the final game in the Fenway series between Boston and New York, we are having some serious issues with Stephanie. Those of you who know us know that she is diagnosed as "high functioning autistic." She has been having a pretty major meltdown today. This involves constant arguing when she doesn't get what she wants, to the point of screaming, slamming doors, etc. Seemingly normal teenage stuff, but it is typical of Stephanie during these fits. And it is really worse than "typical teenage stuff." This is the kind of behavior that we saw at about this time last year right before we wound up sending her to the Sundance Center here in Fort Worth that deals with mental health. As a result of that 6 week period, she is still seeing a psychiatrist on a semi-regular basis, and taking Abilify and Welbutrin daily.

We are kind of at our wits' end right now. We thought last year that we had figured out what was causing this, but now we aren't so sure. Granted, she just started a new school year, and I'm sure this causing some serious anxiety. But she has some great teachers who seem to be willing to go out of their way to help Stephie succeed. All prayers would be much appreciated.

TTFN, y'all

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Revenge Is Sweet

What a game this afternoon. Final score, Red Sox 10, Yankees 1. The only Yankee run was off of a Derek Jeter in the first inning. The Sox immediately answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. And it stayed 1-1 for quite a while as both pitchers shone. Beckett was the victor, though, when the Sox blew it open with runs in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. And this time, the defense held on. The crowning blow was the only home run for the Sox from Hinske in the bottom of the 8th. One downer was Youk getting hit in the left forearm/wrist with a pitch from Wang. The X-rays showed a contusion (fancy word for bruise??), so he should be good soon. Beckett got 7 Ks in the game as he became the only 19 game winner in the MLB. Here's looking for 20!!

Here's the box.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

NYY (84-64) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0

BOS (90-59) 1 0 0 0 1 3 4 1 X 10 12 0

W: J. Beckett (19-6, 3.20); L: C. Wang (18-7, 3.82)
HR: NYY: D. Jeter (10). BOS: E. Hinske (6).


If the Tigers hang on and beat the Twins, they will move to only 3.5 behind the Yanks in the wild card race.

One more game in this series tomorrow evening. I'll watch as much as I can before I have to go to work. :-(

TTFN, y'all

What Do You Know, the World Didn't End

Well, the sun came up this morning (I think...I haven't actually been out there, yet), and in spite of last night's nightmare (chronicled in the post immediately before this one), the Red Sox are still the best team in baseball and have been for 124 consecutive days this season.

And has been aptly noted, they can actually afford to lose this series. The Yankees can't. Detroit Tigers won last night, as well, and they are pretty close behind the Yankees in the Wild Card race.

Today's match-up features the only two 18 game winners in major league baseball, Josh Beckett and something-or-other Wang. Wang. Hehe. *ahem* Anyway, perhaps one of them (Beckett, hopefully) will come away as the only 19 game winner.

On another subject, I want to say that just because a book is on my "recently read" list over to the left, doesn't mean I recommend it. Case in point, Jamestown, by Matthew Sharpe. Don't waste your time. I mean it. It's a horrible book. I'll admit it made me laugh out loud a few times, but, overall, it's a waste of paper, time, not to mention the slight amount of energy it takes to read a book.

He's trying to write an amusing alt-history of the founding of Jamestown. The setting of this one is in the future, though, in a kind of "road warrior" setting. It has a Pocohantas and a John Smith and a Powhatan and everything. His Pocohantas is kind of a slut, though, and there's quite a bit of homosexuality in the book. It's really pretty crude and disgusting. Why did I finish it, you ask? I'm just kind of stubborn that way. I can't stand to not finish a book.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Series of the Year

Here we go.

I've got my chips and Rotel dip, the pizza's on the way, got my HD tv and AT&T U-verse.

And I've got my bottle of Rolaids.

The Red Sox are playing the Yankees at Fenway Park for the last series of the year for the two teams.

This is the series of the year. If the Sox can sweep this series, the Yankees may be knocked out of the playoffs.

I'll update as the night goes on.

________________________________________ 1st Inning


The Sox barely escaped disaster in the top of the first. The Yankees got the bases loaded, thanks to a bad play by Dice-K and an error by Lugo, then Dice hit A-Roid (can't say I minded that too much). But they got out of it with no runs. 27 pitches for Dice-K, who his struggling right now. Not a good start.

________________________________________ 2nd Inning

After two innings, and two Dice-K strikeouts, the Sox lead 1-0.
________________________________________ 3rd Inning

Hehe...Dice just struck out A-Roid.

*singing* Giambi made an error...Giambi made an error...

After 3 innings, Boston leads 2-0. It should be 3-0, but Papi made a bad, bad running mistake. Got thrown out by a magnificent throw from the Yankees center fielder.
________________________________________ 4th Inning

2-1 now. Melky Cabrera hit into a couble play, but it was a really close call. I'm not sure he was really out. Another K for Dice-K. Good bottom of 4th for the Sox. Score now 5-1.
________________________________________ 5th Inning

Wow. Dice just struck out A-Roid again. Plus one other...I think he has 6 Ks so far in this game. Nothing doing for the Sox in the bottom. Still 5-1.
________________________________________ 6th Inning

Pitching change. Dice K comes out with 120 pitches, 2 outs and bases loaded. Timlin comes in. Yanks get one, Timlin strikes out Jeter. 5-2. In the bottom, the Sox get two more. More troubled fielding by Giambi Juice. Maybe he forgot his dose of juice today. Youk gets an RBI. 7-2.
________________________________________ 7th Inning

Nothing doing for NY. Still 7-2. Ditto for Sox.

________________________________________ 8th Inning

Yankees doing what they do best. Giambi (must have gotten some juice between innings) popped a homer, followed by Cano hitting one as well. No outs and 7-4. And here we go. The score is now tied, and we have no outs yet. Papelbon is already pitching. This is what the Yankees are notorious for.

Horrors. Middle of the 8th, Sweet Caroline time. Yankees 8, Sox 7.

Red Sox get nothing. Mike Lowell got to first after a strikeout (Posada totally missed the ball), they brought in Crisp to pinch run. Youk flied out, then Crisp was thrown out trying to steal second. That was a majorly stupid call.

________________________________________ 9th Inning

oh no. Francona has brought in Gagne to pitch the top of the ninth. Might as well go to bed. *cry*

Wonder of wonders. Gagne got them out. So this is it. Bottom of the ninth, but Rivera is in.

Game over.

TTFN, y'all.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Buddy Guy

I'm going to try to experiment with some pictures, here. I've just read up on how to post pictures on the blog, so I'm going to try this. I got some good pictures of Buddy Guy and company last Friday night at Billy Bob's, so I'm going to try to put them in here. In case you don't know who Buddy Guy is, he's one of the premier blues guitarists from days gone by, still plugging away at 71 years old (I think that age is correct...70-something). Ok...that one is a little blurry, but it was a good shot of him in action. That one's better. Notice he seems to really like polka dots. When we saw him play at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in '04, his guitar had polka dots all over it, too.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, September 7, 2007

15 Games From A Clinch, 30 Over .500

Just got home from watching the Rangers beat the Oakland A's in Arlington, 5-3. It was a fun game, and Stephie and I sat right in front of Chuck Morgan's booth in the pressbox. Morgan is the voice of the Rangers at their home games. We also got broadcasters Eric Nadel and Victor Rojas's autographs in our game program. They are the radio announcers for the Rangers on KRLD.

But hey. This blog really isn't about the Rangers, is it? While we were watching the Rangers, we were intensely concentrating on the out of town scoreboard in left field. We watched with much glee as Jon Lester baffled the Baltimore Orioles and the Red Sox won 4-0. I was hoping that he might have thrown a no-no, but found out after we got home that the O's got 4 hits. The KC Royals made a valiant effort, but, alas, were unable to stifle the Evil Empire, losing 3-2. It was close, though. So the Sox remain 6.5 games ahead in the AL East, and their magic number to clinch the division is 15. They are also now 30 games over .500, at 86-56.

Tomorrow night, Stephie and I will return to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, to see Kason Gabbard pitch (ironically, we saw Gabbard pitch agains Texas at Fenway Park in July...now we get to see him pitch for Texas, as he was part of that disastrous deal the Sox made with the Rangers for Eric Gagne--disastrous for the Sox, great for the Rangers). Dice-K and the Red Sox will take on the O's once again tomorrow night.

Life is good when there's baseball.

TTFN, y'all!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Roll, Sox, Roll

The Red Sox continue to roll towards their first American League East Championship in this century. In fact, the first since 1995. After 1995, the East has belonged to the Evil Empire all but one year.

It's about time for that reign to be over. Am I counting my proverbial chickens? Not at all. I know what kind of things can happen. No one knows better than I after the dismal collapse of the Red Sox in 2006. I watched in horror as circumstances totally beyond their control launched them into a tail-spin that resulted in a horrific third place finish in the AL East. It all started when Varitek and Nixon went down on the same day. Then Manny got hurt. Then Papi got sick. And finally, the nail in the coffin...Jon Lester was diagnosed with cancer.

So, I don't dare begin to celebrate. But things are looking pretty good with less than a month to go in the season. The Yanks continue to struggle, and the Sox, even though they were swept by the Yankees in New York, continue to dominate. And they seem to be getting stronger as the season moves to a close.

We were all pleasantly stunned Saturday night as the rookie from Texas, Clay Buchholz threw a no-no. Then Lester shone the next night. Beckett is now one of two ML pitchers with 17 wins, and has reached a career high number of wins. I'm hoping he might make 20 wins this season.

And hats off to ex-Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, who, this week, became one of the elite number of pitchers with 3000 or more strikeouts. I like Pedro and miss him being a Red Sox. He went to New York, but it was to the NL New York, so that's ok. Unlike Johnny Demon. Damon! I meant Damon! Really, I did!

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

And Tonight, History Is Made At Fenway Park

Clay Buchholz, rookie pitcher, in his second major league start ever, has just become the first rookie pitcher in Red Sox history to pitch a no-hitter.

The Red Sox have defeated the Baltimore Orioles 10-0, as Buckholz struck out 9 and only gave up 3 walks. The last batter struck out looking.

Wow. What a day for Buchholz and the Red Sox. To help out, Youk hit a three run homer that bounced back onto the field from the Monster. He tried to stop at second base, not even aware that he had cleared the fence. Ortiz also contributed with a three run double, and Dustin Pedroia saved the day with a diving stop at second base to throw out Tejada at first base, in the top of the 7th, to save the no-no. He gets the play of the game.

The Sox really needed this game, after being swept in the Bronx, and then not quite making the come-back against the O's last night.

Unfortunately, the Evil Empire also won today, keeping the Red Sox lead to only 5, and maintaining their lead in the wild card race.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 31, 2007

White Night

If you were to look at my reading list of almost 1100 books that I have read since 1974 (how insane is that??), you would quickly see a pattern. Apparently, I'm a big fan of fantasy and science fiction. Authors who make repeat appearances on my list are the likes of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Tolkien, yes, J.K. Rowling, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephen King, Spider Robinson, and more recently, Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher. I believe I have read everything Jim Butcher has written, at least fictionally speaking, as of last night. (I put today's date on my list, but I just realized I finished White Night last night.)

White Night is Butcher's latest installment of the Dresden Files, an ongoing saga of a wizard in a modern world. Harry Dresden helps the Chicago police investigate crimes of a supernatural nature. His best friend (he wishes there could be something more) is Karrin Murphy, who works for the Chicago PD. She used to head up the "S.I." division (Supernatural Investigations), but got busted down in the last book because of some activities of questionable legality.

In White Night, Harry and company discover that some ladies are being murdered in a way that looks like suicide. The catch is that all of the ladies have some kind of magical affinity. The ensuing investigation results in a grand finale of epic proportions as three houses of the White Court of vampires duke it out in an underground cavern with Harry as the guest of honor. It left me breathless.

All of the Dresden File books are well worth reading, if you are a fan of this genre. White Night is the ninth book in the series. If you want to start at the beginning, find a copy of Storm Front. It can also be acquired as an audio recording with none other then James Marsters, of "Spike" fame from Buffy, as the reader.

Next up on the reading queue (that's a fun word to type...you could get carried away...queueueueu...) is Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.

TTFN, y'all

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Day of Mourning

First of all...

Dear Lord, please tell me, someone, that I did not wake up this afternoon to see that the dreaded Evil Empire had once again beaten the Beloved 5-0 to sweep this series?? Please??

Sigh.

Oh, well. *hitches up pants* The Red Sox are still the best team in baseball for now. And there is a three game series left at Fenway next month.

Ok. Now for some serious stuff.

I'm reading in the Gospel of John this afternoon, and I read the passage where the soldiers, led by Judas, come to arrest Jesus. I used to be really tough on Judas, until I realized that the poor man was nothing more than a pawn in God's plan. Yes, me made a choice, but that choice was pretty much cosmetic. Jesus, himself, said that it would have been better for Judas if he had never been born.

Anyway, over the years, I have heard people of the more "charismatic" persuasion use this passage as an argument for the mythical condition of "slain in the spirit." Mind you, it is my firm opinion that this is one of the most unbiblical of all of the "charismatic" beliefs. As I was reading the passage this afternoon (you know, where all the soldiers fall down to the ground when Jesus announces that "I am he!"), it occurred to me that it is impossible for this to be an example of "slain in the spirit." There are several reasons for this. First, the "Spirit" was not there yet. Jesus just said two chapters earlier that he had to leave for the Spirit to come. Second, these soldiers were not "in the spirit," anyway. In order for someone to be "in the spirit," they must be believers in Jesus Christ. In fact, at this point in history, the only person who existed who could be said to be "in the spirit" was Jesus Christ, himself! So there you go. Can I explain what happened to these soldiers at this point? Not really. But that doesn't matter. I can certainly explain what did not happen to them. And they most definitely were not "slain in the spirit."

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Great Day

I'm departing from baseball talk for a brief moment (even though the Red Sox have just finished an incredible sweep of the White Sox wherein they scored an amazing 46 runs to the opponent's 7!!) to describe what was an awesome Sunday morning at South Haltom Community Church.

We have a couple in our church that has been coming for a couple months, I think. Joe, who accepted Christ about a month or so ago, lives just across the street and down a house and was living with his girlfriend, Hope. Well, he started bringing her with him, and I guess they were attending the Thursday night meetings that a group called Mercy Heart also holds at the same location.

Just a little back story, here. Mercy Heart is an organization founded at Glenview Baptist Church in Fort Worth. It is a support/ministry group that focuses on ex-offenders and families with inmates. It's a prison ministry that ministers to those who have been released or those whose wives/husbands or mothers/fathers are in prison.

About 7 or 8 years ago (can't remember exactly), Glenview purchased an abandoned church building in south Haltom City and cleaned it up for Mercy Heart to use each Thursday night. I was involved pretty regularly leading worship at their meetings.

Finally, about 7 years ago, they started having church services there on Sunday morning. They wanted to church to be sort of separate from the prison ministry, so they made it a "mission" church and called it South Haltom Community Church. It's basically Baptist, just doesn't say that in the name.

So anyway, back to today. Joe and Hope started bringing Hope's sister, Bridget, along with them. Hope got saved two weeks ago. This morning, we had a very unusual ceremony in our church. Immediately after our music portion, Hope and Joe got in the baptistry with Mel, who leads our Family Relief Outreach and is heavily involved with Mercy Heart. Mel then presided over a wedding ceremony in the baptistry for Hope and Joe! They had decided to make their union a proper marriage. Immediately after the wedding, they were both baptized together, husband and wife!

The pastor, Bill, had a brief message which was, essentially, the gospel. Who could believe it, but right after that, during the invitation time, Bridget, Hope's sister, came up and gave her life to Christ, as well! Talk about an emotional time! It was awesome.

During the worship time, I used a rather unorthodox song. I'm sure someone has done this before, I have just never heard it. Last Monday afternoon, I awoke (I work nights remember? Not just being lazy!) with the song "You Are So Beautiful" running through my head. You know...the old Joe Cocker love song. Actually written by Billy Preston and some other guy I can't remember. As I was laying there comtemplating this Sunday's service, I thought, "What is keeping us from singing this love song to Jesus??" So...I learned it and put it in the service this morning, and segued straight into Chris Tomlin's "Enough." It was very effective. And when Joe and Hope heard me practicing the song before church, they asked me if I would sing it again after they got in the water. Of course, I did that for them.

It was a good time. God is good, all the time.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Red Sox Increase Lead

While we were watching the Rangers lose to Seattle, 4-2, last night, the Red Sox totally dominated the White Sox, 11-3 and 10-1.

Josh Beckett became the first 16 game winner in the MLB, as he got the win in the first game. And, as is the style of Boston, there was only one home run in that game, by Jason Varitek in the ninth inning. That's something I have noticed about the Red Sox this year, as they have rolled like a well-oiled machine over the MLB throughout this season. They have done it playing what many call "small-ball." They methodically defeat their opponents while mostly keeping the ball in the park. In fact, if you look at the team stats, the Red Sox are way down in the middle of the pack in the home run column. As is normal, some of the worst teams are leading the majors in home runs, such as the Cincinatti Reds, who are only a little better than the Texas Rangers (however, they are only 8 games out of first in their division).

The Red Sox are even in fourth place in total runs, almost a full 100 runs behind the Evil Empire, who lead the league in runs. The reason for that is that the Yankees tend to win games by really large margins.

Anyway, in the second game, Curt Schilling dominated over six innings, as they won 10-1. This game featured three home runs, two by Papi and one by Youk. Incidentally, the Chicago pitcher in game two was none other than John Danks. Rangers fans will remember him as part of the infamous "DVD" package that Hickman and the Boy Wonder weren't ever going to sell off or trade, because they were supposed to be the salvation of the Rangers.

How's that workin' out for you Hicks?? Lessee...you finally traded Danks and got um....Brandon McCarthy for him. Probably ok, because Danks has floundered in Chicago (Danks never got a major league start for the Rangers, by the way). Edinson Volquez (or however he spells his first name this year) has been just short of horrible (he has gotten several opportunities to start for the Rangers). He was the "V" portion of DVD. And Thomas Diamond, the other "D," well, he has spent this season on the disabled list and we have yet to see him start in the big show, either. This continues to cement in my mind that Jon Daniels, the Boy Wonder, has no clue what he is doing. By Hicks thinks he is doing just fine. I wonder if Tom Hicks actually watches the Rangers.

Ah, but this blog is celebrating the success of the Red Sox yesterday. 'Nuf Ced about the Rangers. (And someday, I will post a blog relating the fascinating story of "Nuf Ced" McGreevey and the Royal Rooters.)

Also, while we were watching the aforementioned badly failing team, the Evil Empire was in Detroit, watching it rain. For four hours! For some reason, the refused to call off this game, so it began about the time ours was hitting the ninth inning. Sometime between 9 and 10pm, Central time. Almost four and a half hours later, Carlos Guillen hit a walkoff three run homer to win the game for Detroit. Hehehe...I bet the Evil Empire wishes they had called that game for rain. And poor, poor Roger Clemens. Denied another win. But he didn't get the loss, because they were tied up until the bottom of the 11th inning! So....after a four hour rain delay, they wound up playing extra innings. I'm not sure what time this game finally ended. But these guys had to have been exhausted...that's over 8 hours, and four spent sitting around watching it rain.

Bottom line...the Red Sox increased their lead by a game and a half, putting them 6.5 ahead of the Evil Empire.

It was a good day.

And Stephanie got her face on the big video board at Rangers Ballpark after the 5th inning, during the "Birthday Parade." Cool. We have a picture. As soon as I figure out how to get it in this blog, I'll post it. Or I'll just post it on flickr and put a link in.

Mmm....I think the coffee's ready.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Birthday Bash

Tonight, we go to Rangers Ballpark to have our "Birthday Bash" for Stephanie. Even thought the birthday was last Sunday. Because the Rangers were out of town last weekend, so we couldn't do it then. The play the Mariners tonight. Maybe they'll score 30 runs again.

BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

*whew*

Oh, and in the top of the ninth in Chicago, the Sox are leading the Sox (wait....), ok, the Bosox are leading the Chisox 9-3 (they scored one run while I was typing this!) in the first of a double header because yesterday's game was rained out. They could conceivable gain a game and a half on the Evil Empire tonight...

TTFN, Y'all

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What the....???

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers did something that has not been done for 110 years. They scored 30 runs in one game. 30. Thirty. Three Oh. I can't help but laugh just thinking about it.

This happened in the first game of a double-header in Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. Here's a team that has had one of its most mediocre seasons ever, and they went to town on the poor Orioles.

What makes it even funnier is that they only scored in four innings! Five runs in the fourth, nine runs in the sixth, TEN runs in the eighth, and six in the ninth. Marlon Byrd had a grand slam in the sixth, which just happened to be the Sonic Slam Inning. That's right. Some lucky Rangers fan won 25,000 dollars plus a little extra because someone else hit a home run in the same inning. Then Travis Metcalf hit a grand slam in one of the other innings. There were lots of singles, though. It wasn't all home runs. Just hit after hit, salted with a few walks. It was pretty incredible.

When I got to work last night, someone asked if there wasn't some kind of "mercy" rule. Nope. Not in the bigs. No ten run rule. On the one hand, it would have been nice to save 20 or so of those runs for other games. They only needed four runs to win the game. On the other hand, though, they now have the modern-day record for runs in a game, AND the modern-day record for most runs in a double header, breaking the previous record of 36 when they won the second game 9-7.

Needless to say, Kason Gabbard got the win in the first game.

Sadly, Benoit blew a save in the second, then got the win when the Rangers came back. Reinecker would have had the win, even though he gave up five runs.

That brings up the subject of a badly needed rule in baseball. It should not be allowed to blow a save then get the win. There's rule that a pitcher can't pitch his way into a save situation. Why isn't there a rule that a pitcher can't "steal" a win by blowing the save? There needs to be. Maybe someday, when baseball has a real commissioner, such a rule will be instituted. But as long as Bud Selig is pretending to be a baseball commissioner, that's not likely to happen.

Oops. I went and got on a soapbox, didn't I? Dang.

Oh, well. Congrats to the Rangers for making history. It made an otherwise bad day a little bit of fun. It was otherwise bad because the Devil Rays beat the Sox 2-1, and the Evil Empire finally managed to beat the Angels. So the Sox are back to only 5 games ahead. But...they are still the best team in baseball. For now.

TTFN, y'all!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wakefield Delivers Again

Once again, Tim Wakefield has shut out the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Sox won 6-0 last night with Wakefield shining again, for what, I believe, is his second shutout in a row. And the Angels continued their domination over the Evil Empire, as they scored a run in the bottom of the 10th inning to win 7-6. This put the Sox back to 5 games ahead of the Yanks.

The Rangers and the Orioles were postponed by rain. In the meantime, the Rangers' first baseman hit two three run home runs for the Atlanta Braves. It's too bad Tom Hicks would rather "contend" than "win." I'm not sure he knows what that word means.

TTFN, y'all!

Chase Bank: Liars and Thieves

I got one of those annoying phone calls today from Chase Bank.

Now, I am on the "Do Not Call" list, but since I have a couple of Chase credit cards, they can call and annoy me, trying to sell me stuff like identity theft protection, insurance to pay my bills if I get hurt, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Let me tell you something about Chase Bank. Earlier this year, they were going to raise my interest rate to 31%! Yeah, you read that right. I was nowhere close to my limit, but I was late on one payment. I simply forgot to set up a payment online (I had gone paperless with them). But it was only once. It wasn't like I was habitually late. So I found a way to pay off my Chase accounts and will never use them again.

The other thing is this: Those annoying calls? They always come from India. It would be so bad, if the caller didn't identify himself as "Steve." C'MON!! STEVE??? I actually badgered one once until they admitted that the name they gave me wasn't really their name, but they wouldn't tell me their real name. This just agravates me to no end. It's bad enough that we are out-sourcing all of our jobs overseas, but don't lie to me! Especially when your accent is so thick I can barely understand you. I don't care if their name is Jeevan or Deepu, or Chopak, or whatever. That won't influence me against a phone caller. But lying to me will. I refuse to do business with a company that blatantly lies to me.

And Chase Bank lies.

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Good Day, Mostly

Last night turned out good for both teams that I watch. The Red Sox finished strong and managed to beat the Angels 10-5. Of course, that helped the Rangers, too, and they beat the Twins 5-0. Kam Loe had a strong outing, after coming back off the disabled list. Oakland lost, too, which means the Rangers actually gained some ground in the AL West. Lessee....they are only...um...*takes off shoes*...Hah. 17 games out. 5 behind the A's.

I say it was a good, "mostly." The one thing that kept it from being an excellent day was the Evil Empire beating the Tigers 5-2. So the Sox maintain a 5 game lead over the Yanks. I suppose it's going to come down to that last series beween the Sox and the Yanks, just like every year. But then, it wouldn't be baseball without that, would it?

Today is Stephanie's birthday. She turns 14 today. She has already opened her presents (at about 6:30 this morning), and has scored a new laptop, mouse and lap desk. Along with a new dvd player for her room and a set of Full House dvds (season 6, I think). All the grandparents are meeting us at church and we are going out to Bennigans afterwards, so she will likely get a few more presents and a little bit of cash, to boot. Should be a good day.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Split Decision

Yesterday's double-header with the Angels was a mixed bag. It looked for a few minutes, like the Sox had pulled off another miracle come-back. Then Gagne blew another one. Here's the deal. I liked Gagne as a Ranger. But I'm hating him as a Red Sox. That was a pathetic performance last night. Then that umpire made the worst call ever. Youk foul-tipped a pitch on the second strike and the up called him out on strikes, said he missed it. The camera showed over and over that the ball hit the end of the bat and changed direction. Francona was subsequently ejected, as was Youk. They had to pull Youk away from the ump. But, hey. The ump was flat wrong. And I'm proud of Francona for getting tossed on a call like that. I would, too. I've seen Rangers managers not argue calls like that. If I'm a manager and the ump makes a blatantly wrong call, I will get tossed. He needs to know how wrong he was. And frankly, I think the club owner, in this case John Henry, should be able to throw the ump out of his ballpark! Yeah, that's it! Henry should have come down and tossed out the ump. "And don't EVER come back to MY ballpark!!" Yeah.

Oh. I forgot to say that the Sox won the first game in the double-header handily.

Then after that was over, I had to endure listening to Jamie Wright lose a game for the Rangers. On a wild pitch. Egad.

So yesterday, two Red Sox pitchers threw brilliantly, only to have the game lost by another. Well, technically, Kason Gabbard isn't a Red Sox anymore, he's a Ranger. But he pitched very well and got no decision, as it was tied when he left the game. Same happened to Josh Beckett, who is trying to get his 16th win. He may have been behind when he left...can't remember. I just know they were ahead when Gagne took over.

Tonight's game...another knuckle-biter. It's currently the bottom of the 6th, and the Sox are ahead 6-5 after a 6 run fifth. This included a fabulous grand slam home run by Papi!! Everyone knew it as soon as he swung, too. He just watched it go, started trotting towards first, and tossed down the bat, as if to say, "So, there!" Hah!

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Mixed Week

This week, Red Sox fans were treated to two exciting finishes and one disappointment. In Monday's game, we saw Tim Wakefield take a no-no into the seventh inning. I didn't actually start watching the game until the 5th when I logged on and saw that Wake was throwing a no-hitter. I figured that as soon as I started watching, he would lose it, but it went for another two innings. It wound up being a two-hit shutout.

Then, Tuesday night, we were treated to a rare, ninth inning rally for a win. They were behind, 1-0, and a stat was announced that the Sox had only won something like 1 game all season when they were behind after the 8th inning. Well, anyway, Mike Lowell proceeded to hit one over the Green Monster, out into the street, to tie the game. This was after Manny struck out looking (on a pitch that was around ankle-high). After Lowell's blast, Youk struck out looking. I think his third strike really was a strike. Much closer than Manny's anyway. After Youk's out, Tek blasted a ground-rule double into the right field boxes. This brought up Coco Crisp, a healthy part of this balanced breakfast. No, wait. Sorry. I just always thought his name sounded like a breakfast cereal. And I'm certain that I am the first person to think that. Coco hit a nice single into right field. That's all we needed. Tek scored, and the game was over. Stephanie and I had a high five, and I went to work.

Wednesday afternoon, they weren't so lucky. The rally didn't quite make it, so they lost while I slept. Fortunately, the Evil Empire also lost, so no ground was lost in the standings. Oh, yeah. I think it was on Tuesday that the O's beat the Yanks 12-0. Life is good.

As I'm typing this, Detroit has beat A-Roid and company yet again, making three losses in a row. The Sox rested today and gained a half game. Today, they have a double header against the closest team to them in the MLB, the Los Angeles California Anaheim Orange County Angels. Did I get all the names in there? I was hoping for a really great matchup between Beckett and Lackey, but the Angels moved Lackey's start to game two. What a game that would have been!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Child Leaves the Nest

We have now successfully(?) moved one child out into the world. I guess the success remains to be seen. At any rate, Rachel is now an official resident at the Waterview Apartments on the campus of University of Texas at Dallas. She is officially a college student.

Her classes start this coming Thursday, August 16, almost two full weeks before Stephanie will start school this year. Rachel will be majoring in Psychology. I think she might have a minor in English.

Yesterday's (Saturday, August 11) move went very, very well. In fact, it went more smoothly than we could have asked or imagined.

We arrived at around 1pm yesterday afternoon (we chose to go late because the guys delivering Rachel's new bedroom furniture wouldn't be coming until after 4pm), and Rachel got signed in, paid her first ever month's rent, and got her keys. Yes, I said "keys." FOUR of them. She quickly figured out what three of them were for, but between her and all of her roomies, could not figure out what the fourth one was for. It wasn't until we were having dinner with our dear friend Lindsey (a long time P.A. at UTD) that we found out that the fourth key is for the clubhouse and study rooms.

Anyway, we got to the apartment (first floor---YAY!) and started moving stuff in. I got lucky and got a parking place for the van right in front of the building Rachel lives in. I took in a couple of things and came back out to find three P.A.s standing behind the van, asking, "Where are we going?" And they proceeded to grab stuff out of the van and carry it to Rachel's apartment! Without us even asking for any help! Wow!

Everything got moved in, arranged, and then we waited for furniture. When we first arrived, two of Rachel's new roomies were there, Melissa and Lauren. Melissa was just leaving for the day, so we didn't really spend much time around her. A bit of information, here...Rachel met Lauren and Kayla on orientation day, and they hit it off famously, so they requested to room together, and that request was, miraculously, granted. Lauren was adorable! We met Kayla later (she had gone back to get more stuff, including a couch that her dad donated to the cause), and she, too, was wonderful. Christi and I both felt very comfortable around both girls and their parents.

The furniture arrived around 5:30 and was set up quickly and efficiently by the Ashley Furniture guys. That's a plug, by the way...if I had not been supremely satisfied, I wouldn't have mentioned the name of the store. They were great. The bedroom suite is beautiful (I had never seen it...Christi and Rachel picked it out), and fits perfectly in her little room.

Rachel called Lindsey, she was free, so we took her to Chili's for dinner. Afterwards, we swung by GameStop so Rachel could get a memory card for her new PS2 that we gave her, and she found a used wireless guitar controller for Guitar Hero for $29. Then we dropped her and Lindsey off at the apt., gave big hugs and came home. Oddly, there were few tears. It was emotional, yes, and I'm getting some tears right now, as I type, but it all went so well, and we felt so marvelous about the whole thing. It simply felt, well, right. I don't think it could have gone any better.

Praise the Lord. And many thanks to all who prayed.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Who Is This Jesus?

There have been debates over the years, and will be still, as to who Jesus was. History does show that he was a real, breathing, walking person, who lived on the earth around the time our calendars changed from A.D. to B.C. Here are some words about it:

"This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God." These are the words of John, in his gospel, chapter 5, verse 18.

But if that isn't enough, hear the words of Jesus, himself:

"The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."

There it is, straight from the proverbial "horse's mouth." And I'm not calling Jesus a horse.

There is no getting to God without going through Jesus. Jesus is the judge. God has granted him that privilege/responsibility. Anyone who does not acknowledge and honor Jesus Christ, no matter how hard they try, or what lofty words they say, does not honor God. Hard words, but truth.




Well, the van is mostly packed and we will be leaving for Richardson soon. Here we go.




I had hoped to have good news to report this morning, but the Red Sox lost to the Orioles in the bottom of the ninth inning last night. At least the Rangers won, thanks to Frank Cat Ala Knot Oh. The Sox have now allowed the Evil Empire to creep to within 5 games of first place. They'd better wake up!

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Moving Rachel to College

Well, tonight is the last night that Rachel will stay at this house as her home.

Geez, that sounds so...final.

Tomorrow, we are moving her to her college apartment.

She's not going very far, though, so that's good. She will be about an hour from us, in Richardson. Going to Univerity of Texas at Dallas. But tomorrow is the day.
It's been creeping up on us for a while, but we've been thinking about it, too.

This morning, Christi started thinking about time and stuff. We've been together for almost 22 years, now. We've produced two wonderful kids, each with their own set of challenges.

Now, life will change for us. We will have Stephanie alone for a few years. I'm thinking that might be a good change for all of us.

We will miss having Rachel here and will have to kind of reconfigure our evenings. But, again...probably a good change coming.

We are proud, so very proud of Rachel. And, hopefully, we will remaing proud as she takes the world by the horns and tames it.

Or something.

TTFN, y'all.