Coming Out of Left Field

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ironic moment of the day

Seen while schlepping from one place to the other today:

A man parks his pickup half on the sidewalk, half on the road. He gets out of the car, walks over to a telephone pole, and starts to put up a sign.

The message on the sign? "No parking at any time".

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Residential recipe

Directions for moving from one apartment to another

Ingredients
One (1) empty apartment (new)
One (1) full apartment (old)
One (1) car
Several empty boxes, bins and bags, with total storage space not to exceed 1/2 of the space that would be occupied by the contents of the full apartment
Packing tape, not to exceed 1/2 of the tape needed to seal all boxes
Packing labels, not to exceed 1/2 the number of boxes on hand

Pack items. Load car. Drive to new apartment. Unload car. Unpack. Drive to old apartment. Repeat until a) the old apartment is completely empty of books, dishes, clothes, stuffed animals, computers, random pieces of paper -- anything that is or ever was yours, and b) every square inch of space in the new apartment is occupied by items that may or may not belong there.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Moving humor

For anyone who, like me and my wife, are racing against time to pack and move his/her belongings into a new place:

Murphy's Laws of Moving

The jokes will be even funnier after the dust has settled, physically and otherwise.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Petition of the day

Hat tip to Psychovant for the link:

Stop drive-through mastectomies

The Lifetime petition supports the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005, which if approved by Congress would (among other things) assure a 24-hour hospital stay for lymph node dissection, and a stay of at least 48 hours for a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

The postal credo

One probably has to have a lot of faith to be a postman. Well, at least our postman does. His religion has only a single commandment, but an important one:

Thou shalt end thy shift with an empty mailbag.

The postman, taking this commandment to heart, seems to have formulated two rules:

-- Make sure all letters end up in a mailbox or a mail slot, even if this means placing a letter addressed to X in a mailbox labeled for A, B, C and D.

-- Ignore any and all letters that require mailing, even though said letters are properly stamped and addressed.

The postman seems to feel that as long as he follows those two rules, some mysterious force will take care of the rest. (This is where the faith comes in.) The postman at our new apartment seems to be a fellow believer. When we went over the other day to drop off boxes, we found some forwarded mail waiting for us, plus a letter addressed to the upstairs neighbor, who has been living there for ten years.

I probably can't do anything about letters going out, but maybe if I put the neighbor's address on our mailbox, I can ensure we get all our mail.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fantasy baseball update

It's just after midseason, the Red Sox have fallen out of first, and I'm entrenched in third in the EA fantasy league, thanks to hitting slumps and inconsistent pitching (for both me and Boston). I don't know about Theo, but it's time for me to do some tinkering.

Dropped: D. Roberts (OF), C. Floyd (OF)
Added: A. Jones (OF), C. Utley (1B/2B)

Roberts and Floyd are expendable, since my starting outfielders are all doing well and neither player can play any infield positions. Now I can put Utley in at second, move Figgins to shortstop and make Phillips the utility player, allowing me to shift my three least productive batters on the bench.

If nothing else, I'll probably win the "most transactions by an owner" category. Too bad it's not worth any points in the standings.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

NH by the numbers

Some stats for this weekend's activities:

Hours spent driving to and from New Hampshire: 6

Number of family members (including soxfan and soxfan's wife) in NH this weekend: 9
Age, in years, of relative whose birthday we celebrated: 80
Number of original birthday poems read: 2
Amount of hamburgers, hot dogs, and pieces of cake with ice cream eaten by all: Lots!

Number of pictures taken with new digital camera: 24

Number of cows grazing in field near where we stayed: Between 10 and 15
Number of insect bites incurred while taking pictures of said cows: Approximately 20

Number of summer stock shows seen: 1 (Disney's Beauty and the Beast)
Number of actors who appeared onstage as the Prince: 2
Number of actors listed in the program for the Prince/Beast: 1
Number of audience members confused by the above: At least 1

Number of copies bought of the sixth Harry Potter book: 1
Number of times soxfan has already peeked at the ending: Once. No, twice. No, er ...

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Friday, July 15, 2005

What's in a name?

The new J.K. Rowling opus goes on sale tonight, and at least one person named Harry Potter will be standing in line:

Harry Potter and the undertaking counterpart (requires free registration)

This reminded me of a Russian man who had his name changed to Harry Ivanovich Potter two years ago (Russian law prevented him from dropping the patronymic), hoping that the cachet would help him win a regional election. Alas, his efforts failed, as Eduard Rossel was re-elected after winning a run-off vote.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

TV roundup

Some notes on what we've been watching lately:

The L Word
One of our housemates borrowed the first season DVDs, so we took the opportunity a little while ago to watch the pilot. After seeing it, the one word that kept coming to my mind was "choppy". The episode felt as if the editor had randomly diced and sliced the footage, tossed out any shots that lasted longer than 30 seconds, and shuffled the remaining bits around. My wife remarked that the movie "Go Fish", which as it turns out was also directed by Rose Troche, had also driven her crazy because of all the cutting.

I think it didn't help that the writers tried to cram a ton of plot into one two-hour episode (the Bette and Tina pregnancy attempts could easily have been stretched out over three or four episodes), and for some reason the episode chose exposition over demonstration. If Dana and her friends hadn't mentioned she was a tennis player, I never would've known. (I also never would've guessed that Jenny wrote very intense stories, and I still have a hard time believing that someone that naive and wishy-washy could.) Maybe in future episodes the dialogue will complement the action instead of replacing it.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Red Sox)
We saw this at a friend's house the other day. It was fun, though very over-the-top at times -- Carson K. was particularly, er, unsubtle -- and had some rather blatant product placement. (Our host apologized afterwards for not warning first-time viewers about the cheesiness.) The five of us who watched agreed that some of the players actually looked better before their makeovers. Fortunately all the Sox seemed to take everything in stride (with Johnny Damon doing a moonwalk when introduced in his new togs), and the kids' team featured in the episode were the recipients of new uniforms, equipment, and funds for repairing their hurricane-damaged field.

Best line of the episode: Carson K., to a kid looking for baseball shoes: "And could I also show you something in a sensible pump?"

2005 All-Star Game
We caught just enough of the game to see all five Sox players, who aside from Manny acquitted themselves well, and some nifty moves from the Baltimore double-play combination (Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada). The occasion also marked the first and probably last time I cheered for A-Rod. Wonders never cease!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Letter to the editor (Newsweek)

In a follow-up to Kim Severson's "My Turn" piece in Newsweek, the magazine printed four letters in this week's issue. Three of the letters were supportive, but the fourth was idiotic -- so much so that it prompted this letter to the editor from me:

~snip~
Re: Rob Larimer's letter responding to Kim Severson's "My Turn" piece: exactly which universe does Mr. Larimer live in? He may be right that there are more gay-friendly sitcoms, policies, etc., but to believe that gays and lesbians are accepted in every major corporation, university, city or state requires a huge stretch of the imagination, to put it mildly. Morever, his claims do not address the main point of Severson's piece -- that she and her partner, although monogamous and committed to each other, do not have the same right to marry that straight couples do.

Perhaps Mr. Larimer, as a practicing Christian, does encounter criticism for his "deepest beliefs". But if his lifestyle includes homophobia (which, unlike homosexuality, is a choice), it is not hard to see why.
~snip~

There's probably little chance of it getting printed -- I don't think Newsweek usually does rebuttals of rebuttals. Good thing I've got my little soapbox right here.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Red Sox quote of the day

"You have to enjoy that one because you're not going to see too many more of those."
Sox slugger-turned-speedster David Ortiz, who stole second base in the ninth inning of yesterday's 4-1 loss to the Orioles. It was his first steal of the season, and just the fifth of his career.

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Wishy-washy weather

On Wednesday, I packed, labeled and sealed a box of long-sleeved shirts, long pajama bottoms and blue jeans. The next day, the temperature dropped ten degrees, and the sky went so foggy you can't see any sun, just a solid grayish white everywhere (when it's not raining, that is).

Maybe I should box up some of my shorts and T-shirts and see if that makes summer comes back. I'd hate to cause another spell of rain, rain and more rain.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Awwwwwwwwww

Something I forgot to report yesterday -- there were a couple of kids at the wedding, including a little boy who spent most of his time giggling, running around, falling on the grass and generally being very cute. Later on in the afternoon, he started playing catch with a toy football. Since my wife and I both gravitate to kids (and vice versa), we both played with him for a few minutes.

Then his dad told him they were leaving, so he should say good-bye. I was the closest person to him at the time, but I was still pleasantly surprised when he turned to me and said, "Bye!" *melts*

Someday I hope we have a munchkin or two of our own who will either make people go "Awwwwwwww ..." or totally crack them up, depending on which one of us they take after. :)

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Weekend events

Another busy weekend for us, thanks to all sorts of things. Saturday afternoon, we went to the wedding of Rogue Slayer and The Girl. It was a perfect day for getting married: the weather was gorgeous, the food and the music were great, and both brides were absolutely glowing. RS's sister led a very touching ceremony, one which brought tears to my eyes a couple of times, and laughter a couple of other times. Between the talk and the dancing and the simply glorious experience of seeing two friends getting married (and legally!), we found it hard to tear ourselves away.

The rest of the weekend was more boring, but necessary. We did a couple of runs to the new place to drop off boxes of books, and picked up some more boxes so we can keep the process moving. One plus about having to move is that we've taken the chance to do some organizing. When I moved into our current place, I basically clumped my titles together, and aside from some obvious groupings (baseball, film, theater), they were all in a mishmosh. Hopefully, once we've unpacked and gotten some more shelf space, we can put sci-fi in one spot, children's fiction in another, and so on. Then they'd be in perfect order -- at least, until they started propagating and spreading all over the place. Books abhor a vacuum.

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Oh, &!#*

I knew the Supreme Court would probably have a spot open at some point, but I didn't expect this:

O'Connor to resign from Supreme Court

I don't know about anyone else, but this makes me extremely nervous. Bet the far right is salivating at the chance to install a justice who'll sway their way on cases involving abortion, same-sex marriage, and other "hot-button" issues.

Update: some petitions related to O'Connor's announcement:

Moveon.org: Protect our rights

Democracy for America: No rubber stamps

NARAL: Don't let anti-choice extremists win the fight for the Supreme Court

DSCC: We can make Bush listen

Human Rights Campaign: Join HRC's Team Supreme

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