This might turn out to be a rather long post as I have a number of different subjects to cover. I'll alphabetize the categories as per usual so you'll be able to scroll down and catch the ones you're interested in.
We're in the middle of the "spring training shuffle". That's the dance where players are inserted into the lineup for an inning or two and then, before you can even register their names or what positions they play, they're taken out for looks at other prospects. When I was driving a taxicab, I listened to those pre-season games with a passion and took diligent notes so that - by the time opening day came around, no name was unfamiliar to me and I was ready with my own list of who I thought should be on the team.
Not so this year. I've listened in dribs and drabs here and there only, but will have the games on more often now and start paying better attention as we get closer to the date when the season starts up for real next month.
There've been a couple of significant changes that I've noted for sure ... 1) Brad Ausmus (catcher) is gone. He's back home in California playing for I forget whom. We had him for many years and I, for one, will miss him. A nice guy, and he brought a lot of leadership and stability to the team ... 2) Mike Hampton (pitcher) is back and has been given the nod over Roy Oswalt, it seems, for opening day. Two things I don't like about this. The first is that he's back at all! The Astros have a long history of letting our better ballplayers go just as they're entering their prime and then bringing them back when they're in their declining years. Such is the case with Mike Hampton. Plus, I don't like the fact that Roy's not currently scheduled to pitch that first game. It seems to me very much like a slap in Roy's face.
That'll actually work out better for me, TV-watching wise, because - as some of you might remember - I don't have cable and rely on Channel 20 (local) to show the games. Last year Ch. 20 had every Sunday game on, regardless of where it was being played. This year - outside of the first two weeks, where they will be airing three games - only the first Sunday of each succeeding month's game will be televised. Boy, that's a bummer!
The upside of this is I'll be able to watch Roy pitch on April 7th, the second of our 3-game set with the Cubbie Dubbie Dewies. And am I ever looking forward to that series! Especially considering what happened last year after Ike. I'm still miffed about that scenario!!
Saw the first one inside my house in months last night. Didn't have my killer spray immediately handy, and by the time I found it he/she had disappeared. Well, it's handy now!
Dancing With the Stars ...
Did anyone else watch the first two hours of season eight last night? I did! What fun!! There's a cowboy by the name of Ty competing, and my ears really perked up when he said, "You're never completely ready. It just becomes your turn." I thought that was profound, and I wanted to share it with you in case you missed it. Could probably do a whole post (or two) on just that one statement. (Btw, he didn't do very well. He and his partner might be one of the bottom two who have a "dance off" next week to see which couple will be eliminated. That's a new feature this year. I like it!)
Also entered is the co-founder of Apple computer. It will be interesting to see if he makes it into the second round. Says, with just a huge smile on his face, that he's having the time of his life, but it's obvious that this is an entirely new experience for him - and one to which he might not be able to adapt.
Shawn Johnson is in there. Remember her? The Olympic champion in gymnastics? At 17, she's the youngest - and perhaps the tiniest, at 4'10" - ever to compete. She did very well.
"Dancing" is rife with commercials, so whenever one came on I muted the sound and listened to the Astros. Btw, that first two hours is being rerun here in Houston Saturday night. I won't be watching again, but if you're interested you should check with your local programming guide.
Other TV programs ...
Is anyone watching "American Idol" this year? Not I. No interest whatsoever. They lost me when they added a fourth judge. How is it possible to have an even number of judges? I mean, I ask you!
Another series that has almost lost me entirely is "Smallville". Can hardly believe I just wrote that, but it's true. Getting too 'far out' for me. "House" is another one that I seem to have less and less interest in. I guess I'm becoming tired of a doctor who (seemingly) is more concerned about his own problems than those of his patients. He's brilliant, the stories are well-written and researched, but maybe I've seen enough already!
A series I am sticking with is "Ghost Whisperer". Convoluted as all get out, but the overall premise (as well as each individual episode) continues - for me, at least - to be quite alluring. "Masterpiece Classic" (PBS) is still among my favorites. "David Copperfield" is upcoming in this series.
So what's new for me? You're probably not going to believe this, but I have become interested in "Lost" ... isn't that a semi-shocker?? And "Two and a Half Men" is fast becoming a 'must watch' for me. Have you caught any of those episodes? Hilarious!
Wendy Booker update ...
She posted yesterday. Hooray! But boy, does she ever sound tired of what must now be a real grind. That's what it takes, I'm sure, to succeed at the level to which she has set her sights. Not for me, but more power to her!
I don't think she'll be in Nepal for another three weeks yet - more towards the very end of this month. I'll keep watching her blog for you. However, if you'd like to read more about her everyday activities - and I think she's now back in Colorado (altho she doesn't say where she is), here's the link to her latest post.
Where did it go? ...
I lost an hour Saturday night without even realizing it. (I still can't get my mind wrapped around these new dates for time changes. Is anyone else having this problem?) I was an hour late Sunday afternoon for the bi-monthly critique meeting of my group of writers. Ye Gods!
The good news is that these critiques have provided a much needed incentive for me to actively work on my autobiography as it relates to my many years of taxicab driving.
Well, that's it, folks! Long, wasn't it? How's your day starting out? Very well, I hope. Talk atcha later!