Thursday, August 02, 2007

(Insert clever title here)

Just a few odds and ends from the past couple weeks...

Hangin' with Whiskey on the weekend

It was "Mullet Night" at the Ft Worth Cats (minor league baseball) on Sunday the 22nd. K and the kids and I enjoyed the game -- and our complimentary mullet wigs.

Sporting our Tennessee Tophats, M and I give a "thumbs up" to the mullet promotion.

We were amazed by how natural this looked on M.

K fashioned a pair of mullet wigs into a Princess Lea 'do.

Oh yeah, there was a baseball game, too... The Cats beat the Pensacola Penguins in dramatic fashion, 7-6 in 10 innings.
On Sunday the 29th, the kids joined K and me for a trip to Main Event to help celebrate my friend Lance's 50th birthday. Main Event is a bowling alley that also has Laser Tag and lots of other games. We each bowled two games -- the kids tried their luck without bumpers the first time around. I had trouble hitting my groove, but at least I was consistent-- I bowled a 99 and a 100. And K and I finished the second game with a tie score.

M tries to pick up a spare...

L takes her shot...

Yay! No one's a loser (except both me and K)

Should we talk about the weather...

We made it through July, and the mercury still hasn't hit 100 yet this summer. Who would've thunk it! But National Weather Service data suggests that we may not be out of the woods just yet... there have been several years when the first 100-degree day wasn't recorded until mid- or late August. There have only been two years recorded with NO 100-degree days (1906 and 1973). At any rate, it has been a cool summer, and that's ok with me.

At the movies with The Simpsons

This display at the Fort Worth Cats game helped psych us up for the Simpsons Movie.
I took L to see the Simpsons Movie a few nights ago. It was about what I expected it to be... a decent plot, typical Simpsons gags and writing, and lots of laughs.... which leads me to an interesting observation. Iwas probably one of the oldest guys in the audience. Most of the people in our theater looked to be in their late teens or early 20s. What surprised me was that nobody was really laughing much. I was sitting there chuckling my ass off every 30 seconds, but I had the impression that I was the only one there who thought most of this stuff was really funny. Was the generation behind mine brought up with no sense of humor, or did they just not get most of the jokes? (and it's not like they were that hard to"get".)

At any rate, you'll probably want to see it if you're a fan. I haven't seen that many new episodes of the tv series during the past five years or so... of the ones I have seen, some have been great and others have been pretty lame. But the movie is right up there with the best of the newer episodes.The animation is interesting; with the increasing popularity of CGI computer animation (Toy Story, Shrek., etc) it is refreshing to see a more traditional form of animation on the big screen. And with a bigger screen to work with, the animators were able to add more detail than viewers of the tv series are used to seeing. There are even a few subtle references to some of the earliest episodes of the tv series. Near the end of the movie,when Bart and Homer jump over Springfield Gorge on a motorcycle, watch for the crashed ambulance -- a reference to the "Bart the Daredevil" episode from the second season -- on the far side of the gorge. Check it out, y'all....

Surviving the trade deadline

Well, the Rangers emerged from Tuesday's Major League Baseball trade deadline with a few key names no longer on the roster -- Mark Teixeira gone to Atlanta, Eric Gagne to Boston, and Kenny Lofton to Cleveland. Teixeira was touted as the big name to watch in this year's trades, and the Rangers will definitely miss his bat in the lineup, but I was actually more disappointed to see Gagne leave. Good pitching is damn hard to come by, and I hope the Rangers don't end up regretting letting a quality closer like Gagne get away. As for Teixeira, it became obvious that he didn't want to be here; Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Gil LeBreton reported that Tex (and his agent) turned down an 8-year, $140 million offer from Rangers owner Tom Hicks. To hell with Tex; Atlanta can have him. Too bad we couldn't figure out a way to add some kind of trade clause where Atlanta had to take back Kevin Millwood also.

Teixeira's last game as a Ranger was Sunday, July 29, which Texas lost (appropriately) to the Royals, 10-0. Here's a shot of his last at-bat.

So the Rangers have pretty much written off the 2007 season (hell, they could have done that by the end of April), and it looks like it's time to start rebuilding for 2008. Then again, they haven't been playing THAT badly during the past couple months... the fact that they have played better than .500 baseball since early in June seems to have gone almost unnoticed. Too bad the season didn't start on June 1. Oh well, like we say every season... "wait til next year."
np: Robert Earl Keen - Death of Tail Fitzsimmons

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