May 8, 2003

Horse Racing, Hockey, House-Hunting, and Haute Cuisine

My husband and I have an activity-filled weekend ahead of us, and I can't wait. We're planning another outing to Bay Meadows on Saturday afternoon, followed by our weekly hockey game on Saturday night. On Sunday we're going to see a few open houses in San Carlos and San Francisco, and then we'll have dinner with Terence and Kathleen. We're hoping that they can squeeze us in at the Slanted Door, but the backup plan (I think) is tapas at the Thirsty Bear.

The best part is, it's supposed to be SUNNY! And on Sunday (I've heard a rumor), we may hit 70 degrees (about 21, for those of you in Celcius-counting countries). Woo hoo! The rainy spring has been great for hiking around, pretending San Carlos is Ireland, but enough already. Bring on the sun!

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May 9, 2003

The Wild Plan

Well, the Wild beat the Canucks in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so we've had to revise our plans. I honestly didn't think they'd make it to the third round (though, to be fair, I didn't think they'd make it to the second round, either), so no there was no hockey-watching in our weekend schedule.

The new plan is to watch the Wild game on Saturday at noon, then go out house-hunting on the Peninsula (that should give us enough time to see two or three houses), and then go to our own hockey game in San Jose. We'll go to the track on Sunday, then continue up to the city for dinner with Terence and Kathleen. Whew! I'm glad we can squeeze it all in, and I'm not sad about not being able to house-hunt in the city—normally I'd do some research ahead of time and have a schedule planned out, and I didn't have time to do that this week. I figure we can look in the city again next month.

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May 15, 2003

The Call of the Wild

It must have been quite a picture: a grown woman in a bright purple rain jacket (on a brilliantly sunny day), struggling to run uphill against a 20mph headwind while wearing stiff 10-eye Dr. Martens boots on her (blistered) feet and two laptops, a power cord, and an orange on her back.

If it weren't for the Ducks-Wild game, I would have waited for my husband to pick me up in the car.

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January 19, 2004

Of Celebrity Poker and the NFC Championship

Was anyone else reminded of the way Mimi Rogers played poker in her head-to-head matchup against David Cross while watching the NFC Championship Game yesterday?

In case it isn't immediately obvious what I'm talking about, let me 'splain. Mimi Rogers was playing really well—while patiently explaining the mechanics of Texas Hold 'Em to idiot Scott Stapp— until the game got down to two players. At that point, she suddenly went from playing aggressively to playing defensively. She checked way too often, giving David a chance to bluff—and to get her to lay down several winning hands in a row. It was all about not losing rather than winning... so David won.

To my eye, that's what happened to the Eagles yesterday. Before the game, one of the CBS commentators (yes, CBS—there were pre-NFC game updates during the AFC game) reported that the Eagles were concerned with not losing a third straight NFC Championship. I turned to Al and said, "Uh-oh." Uh-oh was right. Whereas the Panthers came into the game with confidence, even braggadocio—and backed it up— the Eagles played tentatively, as if they were scared to lose.

As the Panthers' secondary pummelled the Eagles' wide receivers and a defensive lineman broke Donovan McNabb's ribs, my thoughts moved from Mimi to the time I hurt my tailbone snowboarding at Heavenly. I figured I could still board the next day, as long as I didn't fall down. Consequently, I fell getting off the chairlift—and every 5-10 feet thereafter—until I was a sobbing, hysterical mess who couldn't even stand up on the board long enough to clear the lift area. Oh, how I wish the Eagles had gone into the game intending to win—intending to shred the mountain, as it were—instead of trying not to fall down. Maybe then they would have bet big instead of checking.

Posted by Lori at 7:07 PM | Permalink
October 16, 2004

Let's Go Red Sox!

Every time the Red Sox make the playoffs, I get excited. Like every other Red Sox fan on the planet, I think, "this could be the year!" And then they go down—in a one-run heartbreaker, or in a 9-run blowout—and I start to wonder: is every other team in the league (especially the one that just missed the Wild Card) thinking, "Jesus, I can't believe we wasted a playoff spot on the Red Sox again." I also think of that time my friend Josie and I were watching the Broncos bungle yet another Super Bowl opportunity, back when we were in college in the 80s, and how Josie remarked, "THE BRONCOS DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO DO IN A SUPER BOWL."

And then I remember how the Broncos came back in the 90s to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and I keep the faith. There's always game 4, 5, 6, and 7. And failing that, there's next year. Go Sox!

Posted by Lori at 11:40 PM
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October 20, 2004

Yeah, Baby!

For everyone who said the Sox should take Bellhorn and Damon out of the lineup, take that! And that!

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October 21, 2004

And There Was Much Rejoicing

Go Sox!

Posted by Lori at 1:04 AM
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October 27, 2004

Red Sox 86 the Curse

In the middle of tonight's fourth game of the World Series, Al pointed out to me that it's been 86 years since the Red Sox last won a World Series and that they last got *in* to the World Series in 1986. Then Tim McCarver mentioned that the last time the Red Sox won, in 1918, they won 86 regular-season games. I said, "then it's time to 86 the curse."

And they did.


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May 26, 2005

Hockey Hockey HOCKEY!

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for Vancouver so I can play in my favorite hockey tournament (and my first hockey game since getting pregnant). I'll attempt to blog about the games via Al's Blackberry; if all goes well, you'll be able to read the posts at The Ice Hockey Escapades. More here when we get back.

Posted by Lori at 5:26 PM
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August 28, 2005

Fantasy Football, Anyone?

When I was in junior high and high school, I thought I wanted to be the first woman head coach in the NFL. I watched football all the time, studied the plays, knew all the signals that the officials used (my favorite, for some reason, was the signal for clipping), and went to see Wildcats in the theater (I now own it on video :). Somewhere along the line that dream died, probably when I went to college and got more interested in college football. I stopped watching NFL games consistently in favor of SEC matchups and New Year's bowl games. Of course, at some point I lost interest in all college games that didn't involve the University of Georgia, too, and by that time I'd lost touch with the NFL.

Anyway, the first year Al and I started going out I noticed that Sundays were taken up with football. Al had a subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket, and he'd often watch several games at once on his giant TV. I tried to get interested, but I had trouble following games with all the constant channel-changing, so I'd usually just go out and do my own thing while he manned the remote.

By the following year I'd realized that fantasy football was the reason Al was more interested in watching snippets of several games rather than all of one—when you follow specific players, how they're doing matters more than the outcome of any one game or the fortunes of any one team. That year I was working in the kitchen while Al participated in a live fantasy draft in the dining room, and I advised him to take Peyton Manning for his QB. He waffled, but I said I had a good feeling about Manning, so with his time on the clock ticking down, he followed my advice.

That year, Al won his league, mostly thanks to Peyton Manning.

The next year we moved to Philadelphia a couple weeks into the NFL season. I didn't have errands to run (or a car to run them with) while Al watched football on Sundays, and in any case, I was starting to feel left out of all the football frenzy. I wanted to watch too, and with the same fervor that Al did. Al suggested I join a public fantasy league so I'd have a vested interest in watching. It turned out to be a brilliant idea—I was hooked on football again in no time. (I also ended up with the best record in my league, though I lost in the second round of the playoffs.)

I played my first full season last year, again in a public league with an auto-draft feature. For the uninitiated, "auto-draft" means the league's computer chooses players for all the teams in the league based on either a ranking that each team manager specifies, or based on a general ranking of players based on the previous year's stats (e.g., Peyton Manning was ranked #1 this year). I did the same this year, choosing auto-draft again mainly because I see how much work Al puts into preparing for his live draft (which he's doing right now, incidentally), and I wasn't sure I'd have time to work that hard.

I am curious about the live draft, however, and while Al and I like playing in different leagues (because we can both have some of the same players on our rosters, and because I think Al likes having a second roster—mine—to mess with), we wanted to try playing against each other. For that reason, we started a custom league on Yahoo! that will employ a live draft. If you're interested in trying out fantasy football, are already in a league but want to try a live draft, or just want a second shot at drafting Peyton Manning or Shaun Alexander, we'd love to have you in our league, which is called the cherrypickers. Just click the link to join. Our draft is scheduled for Friday, September 2 at 6:45pm EDT (3:45pm PDT).

Posted by Lori at 9:44 PM | TrackBack (0) | Permalink
February 6, 2006

Player Portraits

OK, I'm a Steelers fan by proxy (I inherited my fandom from Al, though I've been a backer of Hines Ward since his Georgia days), and I'm absolutely thrilled that they won the Super Bowl. Yay, gadget plays! Yay, Hines Ward! Yay, Ben Roethlisberger! Yay, Jerome Bettis! Yay, Coach Cowher! But what I really want to know is:

Who took those fantastic portraits of the players????

Posted by Lori at 8:42 AM
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May 29, 2006

On My Way Back

I'm on my way home now, between flights at Chicago O'Hare. I'm waiting to see if Orbitz' "air traffic advisor" is right about late-afternoon flights being delayed by 45 minutes or more. So far, no posted delays on my flight to Philadelphia.

Unbelievably, I got all my game summaries for the Vancouver Tournament written and posted over at The Ice Hockey Escapades before I got home. That might just be first. The *overall* summary is that my hockey skills are better than I realized—I guess there's just something about playing in Philadelphia/the HNA that makes me feel like a loser on the ice—and that the hockey bug is back. Hope I can find more time to play with fun people like the Spitfires and improve my skating and hockey skills in general once I'm home.

Posted by Lori at 4:13 PM | Permalink
June 21, 2006


Al just sent me this link: Love at Sox sight: Site matches singles with common passion. Pretty cute. I especially love the paragraph about the screen names:

...the nicknames people assign themselves are uniquely revealing of devotion (bellhornswife12, StillNomahsGrl), dedication (Soxfansince1973), and certain priorities (SoxThenSex).
Posted by Lori at 11:50 AM
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June 22, 2006


Hannah and Austen are down in the basement playroom watching the U.S. play Ghana in World Cup soccer. I keep hearing Hannah gasping, "oooh! oh! errrg!" and both of them yelling "yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" I see the score at the moment is 2-1 Ghana; I'm hoping the U.S. can score at least one more so I can hear Austen shout "gooooaaaaaaal"!

Update: No goal. Ghana won. :(

Posted by Lori at 11:32 AM | Permalink
November 14, 2006

Next Up: Refactoring, by Martin Fowler

I am running on a ridiculous sleep deficit brought on, not by NaBloPoMo—which I've actually been keeping up with rather well, don't you think?—but by The Blind Side, which I've stayed up late (past 1:30am several nights in the last week) reading. If you've read Moneyball (and if you haven't, click on that link and buy it right now!), you know something not only about baseball, but about how Michael Lewis can suck you into a sports story and make you want to know MORE. If you've read Moneyball, you're probably a bigger fan of baseball, certainly a better fan of baseball, and possibly even a fan of the Oakland As, whether you live in the Bay Area or not. I'd say it's a good bet you're also a fan of Scott Hatteberg, even though he's with the Reds now.

In The Blind Side, Michael Lewis does for the NFL offensive lineman (and more specifically, the Left Tackle), football in general, and Michael Oher in particular what he did for the Oakland As, baseball, and Scott Hatteberg in Moneyball. Namely, he makes you stay up all night reading. He makes you poke the person next to you to say, "did you know linemen only made $90K a year in the late 80s? I didn't know that" and "oh my god HE KNEW THE MATERIAL" and a bunch of other random things, some coherent, some not. He's made football announcers and sports analysts everywhere talk about the blind side the way baseball announcers now talk about plate discipline and on-base percentage. I've been catching most of my football on the radio lately due to Sunday hockey games, but I bet when I watch on TV this weekend, some on-air analyst will circle the pass rusher and the left tackle and make a point about how a block made that pass possible, or how a missed block resulted in that ferocious sack.

At the same time he's raising the profile of offensive linemen and left tackles everywhere, in The Blind Side Michael Lewis is also telling the story of Michael Oher, a poor kid from the wrong side of Memphis with incredible natural ability but no future—until he ends up at a Christian high school and finds himself adopted by a rich, white, evangelical family who give him the love and support (and the advantages of being part of the upper class) that had been utterly absent in his life. You'll shake your head in wonder a few times, you might cry through some of it, and certainly you will laugh your ass off in the section about the Mumford-Briarcrest high school football game. And you'll probably be checking to see whether Ole Miss will be on TV this Saturday.

I feel like a much more educated football fan for having read The Blind Side, and I'm glad I met Michael Oher through its pages. I'm also more than happy to be finished with it because dammit, I need some sleep!

Posted by Lori at 11:46 PM
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November 21, 2006


The transcript of a recent chat with my husband:

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] husband: curt shilling is in the conf room by my office

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] me: no way

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] me: GET A PHOTO

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] husband: i'll try

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] me: do you know why he's there?

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] husband: he started a gaming company

[November 21 - 12:27 PM] husband: with todd mcfarlane, the guy who did the spawn comic books

[November 21 - 12:28 PM] me: ah

[November 21 - 01:43 PM] husband: i got a pix

[November 21 - 01:44 PM] husband: sent to flickr and phone

[November 21 - 01:44 PM] husband: kind of felt like a little kid

[November 21 - 01:44 PM] husband: todd mcfarlane took the pix

[November 21 - 01:44 PM] me: OMG!

Al and Curt

Posted by Lori at 1:57 PM
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April 5, 2007

A Victory For the Red Sox Nation

Those of us with cable (as opposed to satellite) will still be able to follow the Red Sox around the country this baseball season, thanks to a last-minute deal between iN Demand and MLB. Thanks also to Senator John Kerry (from Mass., natch) for the "whoa, wait a minute there" when the exclusive deal with DirecTV was announced a few weeks ago. Full story here: Baseball Keeps 'Extra Innings' on Cable.

Posted by Lori at 9:53 AM | Permalink
April 30, 2007

Dance, Dance Revolution Indeed!

It's the dance sensation that's sweeping the nation['s gym classes]: P.E. Classes Turn to Video Game That Works Legs. Rock on!

Posted by Lori at 10:26 AM | Permalink
August 23, 2007

It's Football Season

OK, I'm so behind with work and life that I haven't even BEGUN to edit my pre-draft rankings yet (or even looked up to see who's hot this year and who's not), but I figured I'd better get on the stick and join a fantasy football league sooner rather than later.

Since I prefer the non-default 2 WR, 2 RB, and 1 WR/RB roster format, I set up a custom league. It's called the cherrypickers (yes, again), but we'll be going with an autopick draft this year instead of a live one. Autopick suits me fine, as my style is to make a gazillion waiver wire moves throughout the season anyway, and I'm a bit too busy to plan for a live draft (see first paragraph, above).

In any case, if you feel like playing a little fantasy football and don't have a league yet, just click here to join mine. It's free (though I do recommend the optional $9.99 Stat Tracker add-on :). Hope to see you on the virtual gridiron!

Posted by Lori at 10:23 PM
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August 28, 2008

Fall = Fantasy Football

At the risk of having a lurker join the league and then promptly abandon their team (as happened last year), I'm going to announce that we have 4 open spots in our fantasy football league for anyone who might want to join.

You need have no particular skill or experience with Fantasy Football, but you must commit to ACTUALLY PLAYING and not just leaving half your roster on the bench during bye weeks. This is absolutely doable for anyone who spends Sundays watching at least one NFL football game or a portion thereof. If you don't care enough about football to watch, chances are Fantasy Football is not for you.

The cost is FREE, unless you get obsessive and need constant scoring updates without refreshing (in which case you'd likely buy the Stat Tracker for about $10; I thought I could go without it my first season, but I quickly caved).

Anyway, if you want a fairly casual league with an auto-pick draft, and you can commit to not abandoning your team mid-season, join the cherrypickers. Go to Y! Fantasy Football "join a league" page, click the Join Custom button, and enter the following info:

The league is now full! Thanks to all who joined.

Our draft will happen on or about August 31 (that's when I'll set the league to "draft ready"), but you don't have to do anything except edit your pre-draft player rankings, and then only if you want to. Y! automatically ranks the top 25 players for you, though it's usually good to rank at least 50. The Bigger Board gives ranking suggestions for 100 players if you need help.

See you on the virtual gridiron!

Posted by Lori at 7:05 PM | Permalink
November 17, 2008

Good Thing I'm Not Pregnant

I'm still working on the Working at Home post, so I'll just say here that tonight's hockey practice KICKED ASS, and that I hope I'll have a chance to write about it and other recent hockey adventures tomorrow. I already have a title for the post picked out: IN WHICH I GET ALL WAGGLY.

The only not-so-great thing that happened at practice tonight is that I fell forward while reaching for a puck, and I landed in such a way that my pelvic protector not only didn't protect my pelvis, but it also injured it. OW. All I could think of was, "wow, good thing I'm not pregnant." I'm *still* sore in the spot where my C-section scar is, even two hours later.

Posted by Lori at 10:12 PM | Permalink
January 4, 2015

Traction or Distraction?

Started back at the beginning—Week 1, Day 1—of the 10K Runner program on Friday. I probably could have started at week 5, which I usually do after a running break, but after a couple hockey injuries and being sick the week of Christmas, I figured it couldn't hurt to ease my way back in slowly. I did Day 2 this morning and forgot to take my inhaler first, and I was wheezing by the end. Technically the chest cold is over, but the goo and the shortness of breath... they linger.

Anyway, I'm starting on the treadmill for now because it takes less effort to go down to the basement in shorts than it does to dress for winter weather, and I need as few hurdles standing between me and a run as possible. Hoping to get back outside before long, though, as I prefer the mental stimulation of running outdoors to staring at the same items on the workbench across from me in the basement for an entire workout.

It was my experience last hockey season that I played better on the days when I ran in the morning; we'll see if that's still the case now that I'm blobbier and more out of shape, as I have not one but two hockey games this evening (one for the Freeze, and one with Al for an in-house league).

Managed to get in some yard cleanup in yesterday morning's drizzle and sleet before the sky opened up to a full-on downpour. Didn't make it to the back yard, sadly—just got the leaves in the alley and picked up the trash that had ended up everywhere when some animal gnawed through our neighbor's trash bags—but it's a start.

[I am mostly talking about the things I have accomplished this weekend and the things I have left to do because I am trying not to think about something work-related on a Sunday. (That's what I get for checking my work e-mail first thing on a Sunday morning.) It would have sucked just as much to get that email on a Monday morning, but least then it wouldn't have ruined a non-work day.]

Saw Big Hero 6 with Al and the Beaner last night (they had seen it together once before). The animation was really good, and I liked the comic book style and the concept of San Fransokyo. Still trying to get Al to watch Gone Girl with me (I read the book last year and saw the movie with my sister a couple months ago), but since it requires waiting until the Beaner goes to bed, and he's been finding ways to stretch his 9:30pm bedtime during the holiday break, we haven't been able to squeeze it in. I suspect Al doesn't really want to see it and thinks reading the Wikipedia article about it is sufficient.

Posted by Lori at 3:26 PM | Permalink