I've been playing a lot of bridge lately, it seems. Yesterday I played for the first time with Shyam (pronounced Shahm, as in yawn) Bhatia, who is going to be one of the other half for Rick Barrett's and my Swiss Team a week from Sunday at a Sectional bridge tournament. Bill Kiehnhoff and he have been playing together fairly regularly since both took a many year hiatus away from the game, and I thought it would be fun to have them on our team. Will let you all know how that turns out.
Shyam and I came in just out of the money yesterday, but it was a most enjoyable game. Many new bidding systems have come into existence since Bill and he were last playing the game, so he has some things to learn, but his basic understanding of the game is good. He is thoughtful and deliberate, and yesterday made an 'impossible' bid that - upon much further reflection by me - was absolutely brilliant!
There were what sounded like tremendous thunderstorms rolling in, so I took off out of there ... ... had one stop to make on the way home and didn't want to get caught in a drencher. As it turned out, the direction in which I was going was away from the storm (altho I didn't know it at the time). Steven, who is off for the summer, has been posting like crazy and writes about storms coming all the way up into Canada from here. Well, as it turns out, my house didn't get a drop out of this one, Steven, altho it sure sounded promising at the time!
[My electricity just went off for a few minutes, but the sun is shining. Perhaps I should go outside and see what's coming? Naah!]
Tonight, I'll be playing with Jeff Nuttall at Zilic's. It won't be our first time playing together. John has paired us up before. However, Jeff and I have decided that we'd like to try the 'partnership act' for real a time or two and see how it goes. We'll both be arriving at Z's early to fill out a convention card.
Tomorrow, as it's the second Wednesday, will see me mentoring Roop Prasad again. In addition to all of the above, Rick wants me to play with him for an hour on BridgeBase Thursday evening. We had about a one hour practice session last night. It was my first time playing bridge online. Different, and I could easily see how it might become addictive. I'll have to stay away from there. There are too many other things I am doing now to take me away from house-cleaning, record-keeping and throwing away items that should long ago have been relegated to 'nevernevertrashbinland'.
I called my son-in-law yesterday. When he answered the phone, I began our conversation with, "What the **** is going on with the Red Sox?" (They had just lost their 6th game in a row and had been swept by the Yankees.) He turned me off speaker.
Well, that's what it took, doncha know? Last night, the Sox beat the Detroit Tigers in their first of four series and the Yankees lost to Steven's lowly Blue Jays, who - all of a sudden - have decided to not disappear completely and become forever mired in the American League East's bottomless pit.
My Astros? Well, what can I say? They're in Florida for a four-game set against the Marlins, who are coming off of a very nice 3-game sweep of the Phillies. That Eastern division of the National League was - and for quite a while - thought to be fully secured by the Phillies. However, the Marlins - due to their win over my Astros last night - are now only 3.5 games back of the Phillies, with Patrick's Braves right on the Marlins' heels.
And so, what's been happening elsewhere within the National League Central? Well, Tammy's Cardinals - I think we can all safely say - have had far and away the easiest time of it, schedule-wise, and they've been taking full advantage of that fact. Chuck's Cubbies barely escaped a 4-game sweep by the Rockies out west and tonight will begin a 3-game set at home against the Phillies. No easy task there. Both teams will be fighting for their lives!
Has anyone been paying attention to the Washington Nationals? No one in 'our club' has a vested interest in that team, but ... ever since changing managers right around the All Star break, they've been winning games like crazy ... ... right now, they're 8-2 out of their last 10 and have won eight games in a row! Kind of hard to ignore a figure like that!!
A transformative moment ...
Steven has proposed the date of August 19th for everyone who is interested to participate in a 'first ever' meme. He gives explicit details here.
August 19th ... ... that's a week from tomorrow ... ... I'll have to think about it. Usually, tho, my realizations of life-changing moments or decisions come well after - sometimes years, even! - the fact. His idea is absolutely delicious and I can't wait to read what everyone else has to say! I'm hoping that I'll be able to contribute a post of my own but, as I said, I'll have to think about it.
That's all for today from Houston. Hope all of you are doing well. Let me hear from you. Meanwhile, I'll be following your posts and - while I might not leave a comment, will certainly be thinking about you and sending warm wishes your way.