October 23, 2006

Croquet Pictures are Up

Head on over to the "Pictures" section and scroll to the bottom for full video coverage. Well, not video coverage, but you know what I mean. Maybe we can get full video coverage next time. What we need are sponsors.

Posted by Andy at 07:10 PM

October 22, 2006

Team Croquet

Quite unexpectedly, we had a great turnout for croquet today. 8 of us took to the field in teams of two in the middle of the afternoon to pit our skills against each other. The match was quite competitive for about a quarter of the course, and things opened up thereafter.

Teams Chiappa and Knapp jumped into the lead while teams Lawrence and Mosmiller languished for an extended period around one brutally-placed wicket. My partner and fellow CFS sufferer Ann-Marie, though new to the game, stepped forward with some brilliant shotmaking, keeping us at least within earshot of those in the lead. Apparently I have quite a fearsome reputation on the croquet field after all these years, and this drove the leading pairs to commit the most grievous infraction of the rules of power croquet possible.

They... ::gasp::... Cooperated.

The foul stench of cooperation is still clinging to my clothing like cigarette smoke. Joe Chiappa and Amanda Bange came away with the victory. G.B. and his wife Heidi battled with Ann-Marie and me for the coveted 3rd place position and wound up beating us out by one or two shots, leaving us in last place. Humiliating!

To be honest, Joe and Amanda would have likely come away with the victory regardless of the "cooperation" incident. Their lead was substantial, and though Ann-Marie pulled through with numerous miraculous shots, I was for the most part unable to hit the broad side of a barn this afternoon. G.B. seemed to be in the same predicament. I kept telling him to let his baby Maggie take shots for him, but he stubbornly refused.

Obviously all of these people who decided to beat me at my own game will be banned from ever returning. Hopefully they enjoyed their last burger feast at Rancho Mosmillero, because it's never happening again... at least until the next pleasant weekend when everyone is free.

Heidi, those banana-chocolate chip concoctions were fantastic. Amanda, thanks for the rolls even though you had to scoot. Kevin, your drink procuring ability is second to none, and that goes for Joe's ice-making ability as well. Mom and dad, you once again managed to provide a fantastic spread for us lazy croquet-playing bums. Thanks!

... but don't think for a minute that I will forget this last place humiliation. I will be back to take my revenge. You had better start practicing your water-shots now, because you're all going into the creek at our next encounter!

Posted by Andy at 11:43 PM | Comments (4)

October 07, 2006

Poor Yankees

Boo Yankees!Awww, Yankees lose in 4. What a shame... Ha ha ha ha ha. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!

Yankees lose, ha ha ha, ho ho ho, hee hee hee.

I need little musical notes to add to that last part.

Posted by Andy at 10:16 PM | Comments (2)

October 06, 2006

The Way to Croquet

Forget about that loser croquet set that I said I wanted for Christmas. This one is way better. I can't believe I ever wanted that other one.


Posted by Andy at 08:23 PM | Comments (1)

Croquet Equipment Goes Up a Notch

Behold, a power croquet player's dream. Now you know what to get me for Christmas. Hehe.

Posted by Andy at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

September 17, 2006

Fantasy Squidball

A few weeks ago, Joe persuaded me to join a no-skill required fantasy football league with several other friends. We missed last week due to lack of readiness, but our teams should begin accumulating stats today. My QB Payton Manning put up 43 against the Texans, so that aint gonna hurt.

More importantly, I created a stylish custom team helmet, thinking I could upload it to our league site. It turns out this is not possible, so everyone will have to settle for seeing it here:

Fighting Cephalopods

Subtle but effective, no?

Go Fighting Cephalopods!

Posted by Andy at 06:39 PM

September 03, 2006

Agassi Retires

Andre Agassi lost in the 3rd round of the US Open today to Benjamin Becker after a brilliant 21 year career. Agassi did more than just play tennis. Beginning his career as a rebellious kid and ending it as a confident, responsible role-model, he grew up on the court, and he invited us all to come along for the ride. I think that is what makes him so special.

Congratulations, Mr. Agassi, on a brilliant career. You will be missed.

Posted by Andy at 03:11 PM

August 28, 2006

US Open Begins

The US Open kicks off today. The tennis one, not the golf one. If I have to feel weird from a medicine, it may as well be during an event like this. I've had pretty good luck when it comes to televised distractions taking place during times of ill health. Heck, earlier this year someone decided to kick off the Winter Olympics on the very day I arrived home after my cancer surgery. Now if I can only shift the luck to actually preventing the ill health, I'll be in business!

Posted by Andy at 08:31 PM

April 05, 2006

Fear the Lady Turtle!

The lady Terps won the women's national basketball championship last night, defeating Duke in an overtime classic. I do not watch women's basketball at all, but I watched this and it was great. To be fair, I also watched their previous two games, which were also great. The women's game has progressed significantly in the past few years, and I sujspect I will be watching far more lady Terps games next year and beyond.

Posted by Andy at 06:51 PM

April 03, 2006

Equal Pay for Unequal Play

The French Open announced recently that equal prize money will be offered to both the men's and women's champions for the first time in its history. On the surface this is certainly a great thing. After all, women deserve equal treatment in any workplace.

What usually flies under the radar is that, in the major tournaments, women tennis players are on court for approximately two-thirds the amount of time as men due to the fact that women play 3-set matches compared to 5 in the men's game. Some would further argue that the competitive depth on the women's side is not on par with the men either. While true, I find the second case to be less relevant than the first, simply because we cannot expect women's tennis to achieve equal depth without the promise of equal pay.

The issue of court time, however, bothers me. Everyone recognizes the inequity of paying two equally qualified business-people the same sum of money when one goes home three hours earlier than the other. Why do we treat tennis differently? Male tennis players are subject to far greater risk of injury, must train harder, and dig deeper in order to find success at the highest level.

My comments might make me appear to be against women's rights in some capacity, but that could not be farther from the truth. I am all for equal pay for men and women in sport or otherwise. I just think those benefitting from said equality should have to earn it on relatively equal terms. Why can't a woman play a five set match just like a man? This commonly accepted restriction seems more sexist to me than the more noticeable money issue.

Feel free to prove me wrong. I am open to criticism.

Posted by Andy at 03:47 PM

March 25, 2006

Wow, Meissner Wins

Kimmie Meissner just won the skating world championship. I didn't even know they would have an event like this so shortly after the Olympics, but I certainly didn't expect this kid to win it all. How great is that?

Posted by Andy at 08:25 PM | Comments (4)

March 24, 2006

Wow, Great Tournament!

I debated watching another episode of Firefly before bed instead of watching NCAA tournament basketball, but I'm glad I picked basketball this time. Both Duke and Gonzaga losing on the same night despite having the nation's top two scorers... crazy! The Texas / West Virginia game had it all too, with victory decided as the clock expired. What's more, I now have a little bit more Firefly to watch before I run out of episodes, so I won on that level too! Ha ha!

Posted by Andy at 12:34 AM | Comments (2)

March 18, 2006

Ignominious Defeat

After doing some moderate complaining about not getting into the NCAA tournament this year, the Terps backed up their claims of worthiness by losing to bottom-seeded Manhattan in the first round of the NIT tournament. I hate to say it, but this really does provide a fitting end to a season dominated by poor on-court decision making and at times, bad luck. Hopefully next year's recruiting class will restore Terp pride.

Posted by Andy at 01:34 PM | Comments (2)

March 11, 2006

Terps Lose

The Terps lost big tonight to Boston College in round two of the ACC tournament, taking with it their NCAA hopes as well. I am disappointed of course, but they really didn't deserve it this year. I can't think of a single element of the game that this year's team truly mastered, including attitude in my estimation. I will join my fellow Maryland fans in hoping for a better recruiting class next year.

Posted by Andy at 12:48 AM

February 24, 2006

I was Wrong!

My country didn't completely fail me afterall... The US men's curling team won their bronze medal match with some excellent shot making down the stretch. In fact, they sealed the match with... wait for it...


Yes, they call something in curling "the hammer."

In other news, I am against the wall today physically, in what you might call full zombie mode™. I would appreciate any distraction assistance possible, whether it be stopping in, calling, or getting some emails or comments going. When the weather changes rapidly as has been the case often this winter, I really get hit hard, and when you factor in surgery and the stress of my current health situation it can get pretty brutal. I've been fighting pretty hard though and I'm staying on top of it, but it's always good to get a lift from external sources.

Posted by Andy at 03:42 PM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2006

My Country Failed Me... Sort of...

Well, my dreams were dashed today when both the US men's hockey and curling teams lost in the first round of elimination play. The curling team plays for the bronze tomorrow I believe, but hockey has another round yet to be played before medals enter into the equation.

I changed my strategy slightly today and was able to sit at the computer for a good bit longer. I'll just have to remember to get into what I have labeled the Reclining Command Center™ a good bit earlier after my morning routine than usual. I of course will be unable to test the viability of this approach tomorrow since I go in for the all-important blood draw, but I'll try it on Friday if things progress as planned. The itch from the support I had to wear through week 1 is still driving me insane, but at least now I have some Benadryl to treat it. I'd rather itch than hurt, that's for sure.

All in all a good day by recent standards.

Posted by Andy at 12:05 AM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2006

Kimmie Rules

I just watched fellow Marylander Kimmie Meissner nail her figure skating short program in Torino. At least to a skating novice like me, her performance looked fantastic. Nice going Kimmie!

Posted by Andy at 08:57 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2006

Sometimes It's the Little Things

After a week of itching and grunge, I was finally allowed to take a shower today. It was sweet I tell you. I was allergic to the material in the padding I was wearing so it might be a while for the hives to go away, but now I can finally return to a semblance of my wake-up routine that helps me get through days more like a regular human.

The Olympics are on more today as well after a week of rather poor NBC coverage. I was able to listen to and then watch the end of a really exciting biathlon finish during my morning routine, and the US men's hockey team is now embroiled in a fast-paced showdown with the Slovakian team. I don't know what's coming up later this evening, but I bet it'll be good too. I just love the Winter Olympics. For some reason I think I enjoy a larger section of the events, possibly because they are slightly more skill-based overall than in the summer games. I will admit that men's figure skating kind of weirds me out a little bit, but I really enjoy the many skiing events, the hockey, curling (who knew?), and even ice-dancing among others.

What impresses me most is the razor-thin margin for error in any top level competition, both for defining success with outright failure and for the differences in times between first and last place in a lot of the racing events. Take downhill skiing for instance. The athletes have to ride the line between wiping out on each and every turn in order to be competitive at all. Just watch their skis shaking, almost out of contact with the surface of the snow and you'll see what I mean. If a person bites too hard into the turns he or she can guarantee a safe run... at the cost of finishing last. That competitive risk, ever greater and more finely tuned as the skill level increases, resonates with me right to my core and is what makes athletics, and indeed competitions of most any kind, great and important as a part of human culture.

It doesn't hurt that most of the competitors are regular folks either.

Posted by Andy at 02:49 PM | Comments (5)

February 15, 2006

Olympic Hockey = Great

I have never been a fan of the NHL at all, but I absolutely love hockey when it comes time for the winter Olympics. It's just a better game. The ice is wider, fighting is simply nonexistant, and the level of play is always at a fever pitch. I still wish the US team didn't always have so much contraversy surrounding it, but I'm still gonna watch.

On the health front, I'm still getting by. I'm maybe slightly better each day. Nothing crazy but it's not all that bad either. I've had visitors a lot of days and that has been great too. I go to get the dressing removed from the surgery wound on Friday, but I'm sure I'll be posting about that when the time comes. I'm worried about the wait, because it killed me the last time and now I'm having trouble sitting up for extended periods on top.

One more thing - you may not be able to post comments or full posts to the site over the next night or two. If that happens do not be surprised, and just try again the next day. It'll be back to spec, hopefully with some improvements, shortly.

Posted by Andy at 04:07 PM | Comments (3)

February 13, 2006

Ooh, Curling

I'm doing about the same today as I have been. I seem to be in some physical pain here though, almost as if I'd been through some kind of surgery or something. Hehe. I'm currently checking out curling Olympic competition on one of the NBC satellite networks. It's kind of interesting, particularly when you have no better options available.

I continue to receive a ton of support from every possible angle, and once again I thank you for it. I've been worn down so much over the past ten years that it has gotten kinda easy to think I have been on my own and without a lot of hope. This situation has cleaned that thought out of my mind and then some.

Posted by Andy at 07:35 PM | Comments (4)

November 27, 2005

Ravens / Bengals Showdown

In a brilliant reprise of their tactical plan from week ten, the Ravens have put themselves in position to storm to the front of the AFC North by rattling off nine wins in five weeks to finish out the season. Billick wisely bowed to the Cincinatti offense in the first half, facilitating the Ravens scoring of "pity points" designed to pad sagging offensive numbers.

This strategy has also successfully masked the Ravens' true potential. When the Ravens rack up two wins in week thirteen, Houston won't know what hit them!

Posted by Andy at 04:37 PM | Comments (2)

November 13, 2005

Ravens Game Management

A lot of people are saying that the Ravens are "defeated" or "done for the season," but I think there is more to this team than meets the eye. Today, the Ravens supplemented their tried and true "3 and out" offense with calculated interception throws designed to tire out a Jaguars offensive squad through over-scoring. Now, with 1:55 to go in the 4th, the Ravens need only resort to careful clock management in order to overcome a 27 point deficit and surge to victory.

Posted by Andy at 04:04 PM

November 12, 2005

Year-End Croquet

I hosted what is likely to be the final croquet event of the year today, and though the turnout was disappointing, the game was played at a high level by the four of us remaining. Not unexpectedly, we had to call the game due to darkness, as we all got stuck getting past the half-way post. The terrain was brutal in that spot, and we were always in close proximity to one another, which facilitated lots of croquet-ball smashing. Since that is essentially the core element of power croquet, I would say the event was a success based on solely that level.

Posted by Andy at 07:16 PM

November 10, 2005

Tennis Season on the Ropes

My friend Amy came by again today to play tennis as we have been doing since the Spring, but we had to cut things short due to darkness. The frustrating thing of it is that the courts at the high school have bank lighting, only you can't turn the lights on anymore. I really want to call the school and see what is going on, but it's hard for me to make phonecalls at the time of day that would be required. Still, we got some good hitting in despite it being November and I was able to further hone by "spleen crusher" forehand, so I can't complain too much I guess.

Posted by Andy at 01:04 AM

October 09, 2005

Ravens Look Terrible!

Today's Ravens-Lions game was probably the worst football game I have ever seen. The penalties were bad enough, but I did not really expect the team to just throw in the towel as they did in the second half. It seems to me there is a coaching crisis in Baltimore.

Posted by Andy at 10:29 PM

October 21, 2004

Yankees Lose!

Boo YankeesYes, Boston wins the American League penant by beating the evil New York Yankees in 7! I don't care one way or the other about Boston, but as a true Orioles fan I hate the Yankees. Boo Yankees! I really had no confidence that this could happen to be honest after the Yanks rolled out to a 3-0 lead in the series, and that makes it even better! Ooh, this is sweet.

Posted by Andy at 12:22 AM