Archive for the 'holidays' Category


Pirates games

During our trip to Pittsburgh we went to two Pirates games and saw the Pirates put together two come-from-behind victories.

On Thursday against the Mets, the Pirates found themselves in a 5-0 hole after 3 innings but scored 3, 1, 1, 2, and 3 runs in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, respectively, to win the the game 10-7.

Yesterday, the Pirates were losing 4-0 up until the 7th inning, when they scored 7 runs, all with 2 outs. That was a crazy inning. This is how the inning unfolded:

  1. Adam LaRoche flied out to right. (Nobody on, 1 out)
  2. Xavier Nady singled to left. (Runner on 1st, 1 out)
  3. Jason Bay struck out. (Runner on 1st, 2 outs)
  4. Jose Bautista singled to center. (Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 outs)
  5. Pinch-hitter Josh Phelps drew a full-count walk. (Bases loaded, 2 outs)
  6. Pinch-hitter Matt Kata hit a 3-run double to center (Runner on 2nd, 2 outs, 3 runs in)
  7. Nate McLouth doubled to right. (Runner on 2nd, 2 outs, 4 runs in)
  8. Jack Wilson drew a full-count walk. (Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 outs, 4 runs in)
  9. Freddy Sanchez doubled to left. (Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs, 5 runs in)
  10. Adam LaRoche was intentionally walked. (Bases loaded, 2 outs, 5 runs in)
  11. Xavier Nady singled to left. (Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 outs, 7 runs in)
  12. Jason Bay grounded into a fielder’s choice. (2 runners left on base, 3 outs, 7 runs in)

So, in just one half-inning, the Pirates went from losing by 4 runs to winning by 3 runs. In the bottom of the 8th, they tacked on another run and eventually won the game 8-4. This marks the 5th consecutive game in which they have scored 8 or more runs. Interestingly, the Pirates lead the majors in runs scored so far in August. Who are these guys?

Anyway, though I had prepared myself for disappointment, these games proved to be exhilarating and very satisfying. I couldn’t be more pleased. Maybe a walk-off home run would have been more exciting but a 7-run, 2-out rally is pretty good, too.

Amazingly, Sunday’s game was the 2nd game I’ve attended this year in which the home team scored 7 runs in the 7th inning, all with 2 outs.


The fate of the Pirates’ season

The Pirates have 46 games left in the season and their record is currently 49-67. The inquisitive reader may be wondering, “What has to happen for the Pirates to break their streak of consecutive losing seasons?” Well, since the season consists of 162 games, in order for the Pirates to have a winning season, they need to win 82 games. They currently have 49 wins and they need 82. Thus, they need to win 33 games out of their remaining 46. This means that their record during the remaining 46 games must be 33-13, for a win percentage of 0.717.

Given the Pirates’ performance during the 2nd half of the season, this seems pretty unlikely.  However, they have won 4 out of their last 5, so they’ve obviously turned things around a bit in comparison to a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, in order for the Pirates to have another 100-loss season, they would need to lose 33 or more games out of their remaining 46, which also seems pretty improbable.  Heather and I will be at their games on Thursday against the Mets and Sunday against the Phillies, so hopefully, these two games will net the Pirates another two wins.  It’ll be pretty depressing, though, if they lose both games.  In any case, these games will give me an opportunity to wear my Pirates jersey, which I don’t normally get much opportunity to wear since we live in Boston.


Happy Anniversary, Heather!

Today is our 5th anniversary. In some ways, it’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years already.  On the other hand, to an extent, it feels like we’ve been married forever.  Anyway, I’m very grateful for our time together and how Heather has enriched my life through her companionship and support.


New sandals

Since Adrian is showing off his new footwear, I thought I would write about my new sandals.

When I was in college, I had a pair of sandals that I wore all the time.  At some point, the sole began to separate from the upper and they were unofficially retired.  Since then, I hadn’t been able to find a pair of sandals that I liked and didn’t give me blisters.  However, during my last trip to Pittsburgh, my mom wanted to help me look for a pair of sandals as a Father’s Day present.  We looked all around Robinson Town Center and finally managed to track down a pair of sandals that I liked and seemed to fit me.  I’ve worn them all day 7 or 8 times since I got them and I’ve yet to develop any blisters, so it looks like they’re going to be a success!  Plus, they ended up costing $5 since they were on clearance for $20 and Sears had a $15 off deal if you opened a Sears charge.  Not bad.



Adrian shows us how to get enthusiastic about the wave

At the July 5th Red Sox vs. Devil Rays game:


This picture could fit into Liz’s set of pictures of her and Adrian’s trip to Boston over the 4th of July.  Adrian has a summary of the game on his blog, though he doesn’t mention the wave…



For those of you who evidently gave up posting comments on my blog for Lent, I just thought I’d point out that Lent is now over and you can resume posting.


Trip to Omaha in Google’s new “My Maps”

If, like me, you read websites like Slashdot and Ars Technica, you are probably aware that Google just came out with an interface for adding your own content to Google maps, called “My Maps”. Google’s description of how to access this feature and edit your own maps is here. Evidently, these are called mashups, for some reason. Anyway, I’ve been interested in geo-referenced photography for awhile, so I thought I’d give it a try. As a first attempt, I took pictures from our recent trip to Omaha and pasted them into the appropriate locations on the map. You can see my work here. I’m still learning all the features, but I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. A couple of issues that have come up:

  1. I would like the links I provide to full-size pictures to spawn a new window using the target=”_blank” statement inside the <a> tag. However, whenever I add it manually and subsequently save the map, the target statement disappears. If someone can help me figure this out, I’d appreciate it.
  2. I created the placemarks in non-chronological order. Now, I’d like to reorder the links to those placemarks in the bar at the left side so they’re in chronological order. However, there doesn’t seem to be any way to do this. Again, if someone knows how to do this, please let me know.

Please let me know if you have any ideas for how I could improve this. Thanks.

Update: I just revised the map. The placemarks are now in chronological order down the left column.  I have also added a few more placemarks and pictures, as well as comments for each placemark.  I hope you enjoy it.


My first photo competition

As some of you may know, I spent some of my spring break in Omaha, NE visiting my wife’s grandmother and assorted other relatives. While we were in Omaha, we went to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, which, for the size of the city, is an outstanding zoo. While at the zoo, I noticed a sign announcing a photo competition they were sponsoring. I had my Pentax K1000 on hand, so I thought I would take a few pictures and see if I wound up with anything worth entering in the competition. As it turns out, I got a couple of good pictures and entered one:


The best part of this picture, in my opinion, is the expression on the gorilla’s face:


Anyway, if you find yourself in Omaha between April 5th and April 15th, head over to the zoo and check out the picture, which will be on display in the Scott Aquarium. The winners are determined by the votes of zoo visitors, so remember to vote (for my picture) early and often.


Back to the grind

Obviously we’re back from the weekend trip to Maine. It was fun. I took my Wii and my advisor and officemates tore it up with Wii Sports. We had some interesting conversations and we had lots of fun playing in the snow. I think I dug the longest tunnel in the snow in my life. I started it for Elizabeth’s amusement, but I continued digging even after she went for her afternoon nap. By the time I quit, my clothes were all sweaty and the tunnel was like 6 feet long. It was cool.

That stuff was fun, but we did have two bad things happen:
1) I lost the case for our digital camera.
2) Our digital camera stopped working.

The camera had been doing weird things in movie mode for the last couple of weeks. It looked like there was some kind of interference – weird horizontal lines, etc. During the weekend, I took a picture of Heather and Elizabeth outside and then switched to movie mode. At this point, everything went black. The screen still worked (I could view pictures I had taken previously), but when I had the camera in photo mode or movie mode, I got nothing.

On Monday, after we got back, I tried to use the camera again and it didn’t give me anything initially. I tried pointing it at something really bright, because sometimes that had produced really dark, intermittent, kind of smeared out images before. This time, I heard a click and then the proper image appeared. I was able to take pictures again normally. Even the movie mode worked. I had no idea what had happened, but it seemed like we were back in business.

Yesterday, the camera didn’t work again. I don’t know what the problem is. Does anyone have any idea what’s going on? Has anyone heard of this sort of thing happening before? Is it something that can be fixed? If we have to buy a new camera, I guess we’ll have to, but if we can fix the camera for under $100, I might want to go that route.

So, now, I’m kind of in the market for a new point and shoot camera. I’ve spent a decent amount of time looking at cameras on already. Does anyone have any recommendations for other sites that I should look at? If this camera were only for me, I would consider getting one of these super zoom (aka SLR-like) cameras, like the Canon S3 or something similar. However, I know Heather’s not going to want to carry something like that around, so we’re probably in the market for something like our last camera, which is a Canon SD100 (in the Elph line).



Tomorrow we will be leaving for a ski trip sponsored by my research advisor, Craig Carter. For those of you who don’t already know this, I might as well say this now: my advisor’s brother, Chris Carter, is the creator of the X-Files. This means I have 2 degrees of separation with Chris Carter and probably only 3 degrees of separation with much of Hollywood.  Not bad.

Anyway, we will be going to Sunday River, which is a ski resort in Maine. The nearest town is apparently Bethel, ME. I was looking up the area on Google Maps today and I noticed that near Bethel are towns with the creative names: East Bethel, West Bethel, North Bethel, and, my favorite, Northwest Bethel. It’s probably just a matter of time before some disgruntled citizens on the western outskirts of Northwest Bethel secede and form a new municipality: Westnorthwest Bethel.

Anyway, since I won’t be near a computer (or internet connection) for a few days, I won’t be able to make any blog posts until Sunday night at the earliest. I hope you all have a good weekend without me.  If you’re not in the market for a car, I may be able to help you celebrate Presidents’ Day anyway.  I have a bunch of posts I’ve been working on but haven’t finished, so perhaps I’ll get one or two of those done on Presidents’ Day.  And maybe I’ll even have a picture or two to share…


September 2021

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