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Random Friday Afternoon Thoughts

You know those weeks where the only good news is that it will end? If you don’t, you’re lucky. I’ll be only too happy to see this one gone.

Not so much personally; it’s been pretty run of the mill for me, and I’ve enjoyed not travelling and a couple of the projects this week. But close to a dozen people I know have been struck by some sort of misfortune this week, ranging from the relatively minor (serious car issues, sick infant, bombed job interview) to the more serious (evacuation, lost jobs, family health issues). In most cases there’s nothing I can do about it, and I’m usually better than average at not getting in a twist over what I can’t control, but when bad things happen to the good people you know and care about, it’s never fun. At least my brother and dad got some good news in their respective jobs.

Anyhow, couple of other items to close out this can’t-be-gone-soon-enough week:

  • Fire in NC:
    I woke up a bit late this morning, as my sleep scheduled has gotten completely out of whack this week, and was horrified to read Mark’s entry “Liveblogging the Apex chemical fire” on the first pass through my feeds. I took a quick cruise around my aggregator – I’m testing the new Google Reader at the moment – and as near I can determine everyone I know in that area is safe and sound – if sorely inconvenienced. I talked to John this afternoon, and despite winning the prize for living closest to the destroyed plant, he and the family are ok after evacuating their house and departing for the greener, safer grass of the next town over. My best to those that are affected by this disaster.

  • Best to the GNOME Crew:
    With folks like Jeff and Luis in attendance, it’s going to be difficult to miss this weekend’s GNOME Summit, not to mention the beers that would likely then ensue. I’m hoping to participate by proxy via your blogs however (in the sessions, not the beers), so keep us non-attendees posted. If any of you happen to be in Boston this weekend, and are interested in desktop Linux, I’d highly suggest attending.

  • Tigers!:
    Like a couple of the commentators, I find it mildly ironic that the only team overwhelmingly favored in the playoffs (rightfully so) – the Yankees – are the only team currently one up in their series. Whomever you root for, however, you owe it to yourself to watch some of the younger Tiger pitchers throw. While I believe that the Yankees will end up taking not only the Tigers but the whole shooting match because their lineup is one of – if not the best – I’ve ever seen, yesterday’s display from the starter Verlander (who’s 23) and the reliever Zumaya (who’s 21) was nothing short of spectacular. Verlander punched out the unfortunate A-Rod in the second or third inning yesterday with the bases loaded on three pitches: 99 mile an hour fastball on the corner, 100 mile an hour fastball on the corner, and perfectly executed curveball away. Then later in the game, Zumaya just destroyed some of the better fastball hitters in the league, with one pitch clocked at 103. To make matters more interesting, due an allergy he apparently blew out some blood vessels in one eye. I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather not have some guy with red eyes pumping 100 mile an hour fastballs in at me. As his teammate Zach Miner said, “Like he needs another thing to make him scary.” Anyway, if you get a chance, I recommend watching the Tigers.

  • The Postseason Demands Better:
    I won’t waste space here detailing how deep my antipathy for Fox’s primary color analyst Tim McCarver runs (I will never forgive him for his reaction to the Pedro/Zimmer incident), but I really have to agree with the NY Post (I know, I’m as surprised as you are) that in general the quality of the commentary on the games this baseball postseason has been sub-par. In Derek Lowe’s start against the Mets the other day, former Mets GM Steve Phillips, who was serving as color man, implied that Lowe had learned how to tail an inside two-seam fastball back over the plate against a lefthander from his new teammate, Greg Maddux. It’s true that Maddux does throw that pitch, but any Sox fan can tell you that Lowe’s been throwing that pitch for years. It was, in fact, the pitch he struck out Terrence Long with, Game 5 of 2004, to end the game and series, thus completing a comeback from 0-2 against the A’s. A semi-memorable at-bat, one would think.

    I don’t expect these guys to be perfect, or even non-stop entertainment, but I do expect them to do their homework.

  • Treadmill Training:
    I’ve never been a big fan of treadmills, but I’ve grudgingly come to accept that they are the lowest barrier to entry as far as getting daily runs in. But here’s a question for those of you that use them: do you find that they alter your stride pattern? Whenever I run outside now, it takes me at least half a mile to revert back to my normal stride length; treadmills seem to train me for shorter, less efficient strides. I asked my brother about it, and he said he hadn’t noticed this himself. Have any of you?

    And while I’m on the topic of treadmills, am I the only human whose foot/eye coordination is so abysmal that trying to watch the TV’s in the gym results in me nearly being thrown off said treadmill? I’ve never really had a problem with hand eye coordination, but I swear I can’t manage the seemingly uncomplicated task of running and looking up at the same time.

  • Weekend Excursion:
    After this week, I really need to get outdoors for some quality time. I’m undecided as to where to head, however. I met a couple last weekend from Nederland who assured me that Brainard Lake shouldn’t have too much snow, and may still be fishable. That’s a possibility, but I might head somewhere new. We’ll have to see.

Anyhow, enjoy your respective weekends and for those of you away from home, be safe.

Categories: Completely Off Topic.

  • http://tieguy.org/ Luis

    Very, very pleasant to get into John Harvard’s last night and see the Yankees down 6-0 in the eighth. Hope the Tigers can make it stick.

  • http://johnsimonds.com john simonds

    thanks for thinking of me. just got home and things seem ok, pending the epa tests on what the chemicals were that exploded. but the fact that the family is safe is the best news. being slightly inconvenienced is nothing compared to your family’s health and safety.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady stephen o’grady

    Luis: Jeremy Bonderman heard you :)

    john: good to hear, stay safe.