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25th-Jun-2016 10:31 pm - And Season Over
Julie's last softball game of the season was today. This was followed by a lovely pool party at the home of the parents of one of the coaches.

And much fun was had by all. :)
24th-Jun-2016 10:55 pm - Season Over
Katie's team lost their second playoff game tonight by a score of 5-4, as the home team scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to win it. But the girls came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie it up and came close to taking the lead, but were just one clutch hit short. I'm proud of them all for hanging in there, given that the other team was heavily favored by the seeding.

Katie had a good night reaching base three times out of four, although she was out at second trying to stretch it in the first inning on a close (and possibly questionable) call. But the coach sends you, you go. :) And she scored the tying run after reaching on a hit by pitch late in the game. This was immediately after I told her -- having seen girls on both teams jumping away from the plate on inside pitches that were called strikes -- that she should hang in there if she thought the ball was going to hit her, because it wasn't going to hit her hard enough to hurt her anyway. After Katie reached on the HBP, several of the parents looked at me and said, "Way to go, Dad." :)

But she had a good time this season, despite starting out knowing only one of the girls on the other team. And when the game was over, she was crying, not because they'd lost, but because she wouldn't be playing softball with her friends any more.

And while that's true, I think we'll be seeing some of them again. :)
23rd-Jun-2016 11:31 pm - Upset!
And an upset of the good kind, at least from the point of view of Katie's team. In today's playoff game, they defeated the Des Plaines Animals by a score of 6-2, knocking out the higher seed and earning the right to play in the semifinals tomorrow.

The girls all played really well today. I was impressed.
22nd-Jun-2016 10:17 pm - Julie's Softball Game
Today was the next-to-the-last softball game for Julie for the season. She struck out in her first at bat of the game, but -- due to some of the coaches having to work late -- I got to pitch the second inning of the game. Every hitter who came to bat in the second inning reached base, until they finally reached the inning limit of five runs scored. For coach pitch, this is what we call a successful inning. :)

Julie's team also scored the five run maximum in the third inning with a different pitcher (although some outs were actually recorded) and I am fairly sure that they actually won the game.

And there was much rejoicing.

We decamped to Portillo's for dinner where we ran into several of the other parents and coaches who had had a similar idea, so we took over a couple of large tables and waited out the downpour that had been threatening all day but which had -- happily! -- held off until the game was done.

Julie's coach made a point of coming over to us after the game and letting us know that Julie had improved greatly during the course of the year, that she was playing well, that she listens to what she's told, and that she is very coachable.

And these were all fine things to hear. :)
21st-Jun-2016 11:11 pm - Swinging For the Fences
Katie's coach was good enough to finance a round of batting practice at the local batting cages today, so Katie and I headed over to see what she could do. With some practice, she smacked the heck out of the ball, including one that hit the roof of the building that held the pitching machines.

Katie wanted to see me take a few swings, so I borrowed a longer bat and stepped into one of the slow pitch softball cages where I mashed a few balls. I had thought that the adjustment on my contacts would be a problem, since my lead eye is adjusted for close vision, but apparently not.

Katie's team has its playoff game on Thursday night. If they win, they play again on Friday.

Wish them luck!
20th-Jun-2016 11:55 pm - The Longest Day
Today was the longest day of the year, as the calendar flipped over into summer. It was also the first appearance of the Cardinals at Wrigley Field for the year, so it was a fine day to go down there and watch a baseball game.

Happily, the Cardinals won. This makes very little difference in the current standings, but it was nice to see them win at Wrigley for a change. :)

Sadly, the free shuttle bus to the remote parking is worth every penny that I paid for it. It took me fifty minutes after the game to advance to the corner of Addison and Sheffield; it was over an hour after the game ended when I finally got on a bus. Many people were behind me. (I suspect that many people joined the line nearer the front after I finally managed to make my way to the end of the line. They need much more line control than they actually deploy, given the space that they're trying to line us up in.)

And, of course, it's always pleasant to spend an hour or so ten feet away from a couple of fellows who were making up for not being able to smoke in Wrigley Field. *sigh*

But the Cardinals won, so...
19th-Jun-2016 10:49 pm - Blargh
There are too many things that are broken right now, both at home and at work.

But dinner was nice. :)
18th-Jun-2016 06:12 pm - Cheap Meat!
Well, relatively cheap, in any case.

We'd gone out to the mall for lunch and -- after prying Julie out of the mall's clutches -- were heading home when I suggested having sandwiches for dinner. Then I suggested we run by Mariano's on the way home, because their deli counter is usually better and cheaper than the one at the nearby Jewel.

And it was. The roast beef that I buy to satisfy Katie's preference was more than 20% cheaper, the corned beef was similarly cheap. Even the summer sausage was cheaper than at Jewel.

When the Mariano's opens up in our neighborhood next year, they will put a serious hurt on the local Jewel's business.
17th-Jun-2016 11:16 pm - A Little of This, A Little of That
Progress was made at work. In the process of making that progress, I completely spaced tonight's Windycon meeting. Oops.

The new tablets for Katie and Julie arrived today. These are better than the previous tablets and each girl has been warned to be very careful with them.

Katie lost the first of her bicuspids today. It is now sitting on her nightstand waiting for the Tooth Fairy to arrive.

The softball season is winding down -- just a week to go! -- and each girl has a game tomorrow morning, so Gretchen and I are in divide and conquer mode.

Progress is being made on the housebreaking of Ruby the Dog. Curiously, she seems to run upstairs to look for me when she needs to go outside and I am in my office working. I do not quite understand the thought process, because there is no door to the outside up here.
Yesterday, it was hot and sticky and we went to the swimming pool.

Today, it was cloudy and cool and damp. Katie darn near froze at her softball game. (Ok, it was 65 degrees according to my phone, but it was a cold 65 degrees.)

I wonder what we'll get tomorrow.
15th-Jun-2016 10:48 pm - Running Behind
I am now officially running behind on everything.

14th-Jun-2016 11:21 pm - Hulk Smash Puny God!
Or something like that.

It's being that sort of day. Work is making me crazy, resulting in my getting dinner at around 9:30 PM.

And then there's dealing with people who say things like "Just because Mr. X said that he supported a particular cause and took actions to support that cause, there's really no reason to believe that he actually supported that cause."

Of course, I'm talking about how President Obama promised to make it so expensive to build a coal-fired power plant that we would never build another one in this country.

Or something like that.

13th-Jun-2016 10:51 pm - Pitching In
After Katie's softball game today which, sadly, featured an enormous shortage of hitting by Katie's team (she was 1-2 with a single and a strikeout), they decided to have some extra hitting practice. At one point, I asked if I could try pitching to the girls.

This actually went pretty well for an old guy with bronchitis. After Katie batted and pulled a couple of pitches down the third base line, I had become a very popular pitcher. :)
12th-Jun-2016 09:49 pm - Picnicon
Picnicon went well today at the new site. Folks appeared to have a good time and it was a lovely park.

However, my bronchitis has caught up with me and I am going to bed now. :)
11th-Jun-2016 10:50 pm - One Step Forward, One Step Back
The new refrigerator arrived today and is happily installed in its space. The old refrigerator is in the garage, waiting to be hauled away by ComEd.

In solidarity with the old refrigerator, the A/C compressor on my car failed and needs to be replaced.

10th-Jun-2016 11:59 pm - Refrigerator Ready
The new fridge arrives tomorrow. Tonight's late night activity was cleaning off the kitchen table so that we have space to temporarily store the contents of the refrigerated side while the new fridge goes in. The contents of the freezer will go in the coolers. :)

This might work...
9th-Jun-2016 11:03 pm - Demo Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight
I have been working frantically with a programmer on the West Coast to try to get all of the styles correctly rendered on a grid that I'm supplying that he's displaying, sending the various bits of information through in JSON. After several iterations, it almost works.

If we can just figure out why the cells that rendered with a white background in the previous iteration now have a grey background...

8th-Jun-2016 10:29 pm - Ingressing
Yesterday, I picked up my Onyx Sojourner badge, having hacked a portal daily for 360 consecutive days. The biggest challenge there was at FilkONtario when I was at a hotel with no portal and had a phone with no data access. Fortunately, the Montana restaurant across the parking lot had both free Wi-fi and a portal, which meant they got a lot of my business. :)

Today, I added a Silver Explorer badge, which is not nearly so impressive, but which indicates that I've hacked 1000 different portals. This was most recently on the back of our trip to Balticon, which managed to add about 70 or 80 portals to my previous total and put me close enough that I was able to make it with the three new portals I hacked tonight while Gretchen drove us to dinner after Katie's softball game.

Which Katie's team won, 3-0, with Katie scoring two out of the three runs. Run, Katie, run!
7th-Jun-2016 11:56 pm - Softball Fever
When it isn't raining, there is a whole lot of softball going on.

I missed Julie's game yesterday while catching up on work. Today, I went to Katie's game (which was closer to home) and stood in as third base coach for a couple of innings until one of the regular coaches could get there. Tomorrow, Katie's got another game. And then she has games Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Julie has a game next Tuesday and what appears to be a double-header on Thursday.

6th-Jun-2016 10:49 pm - How to Generate a Cold Front
Decide it is too hot in your office and pull out the new pair of shorts that you just bought and put them on.

Worked like a champ!
5th-Jun-2016 11:00 pm - Reader's Waltz, Now With Added Music
My sister and some of my friends asked if they could hear Reader's Waltz which we wrote for Katie's teacher.

If this link works then, yes, you can. :)
4th-Jun-2016 11:36 pm - Reader's Waltz
Once again, at Katie's behest, we set out to write a song for her teacher, Mrs. Hanstad. After a round of interrogation of Katie and questions that Gretchen put directly to Mrs. Hanstad, we managed to put the song together and record it just in time to give it to her on the last day of school.

Happily, she liked it. :)
Lyrics inside...Collapse )
4th-Jun-2016 11:25 pm - I Wonder Where We're Filking Tonight
Balticon had a new hotel this year. In a bit of, well, interesting strategy, Programming -- much against Gary's will -- moved the filk room to a different room every night so that we could "try them out". We figured that Gary deserved to have a song written from his point of view about his plight.

Happily, Gretchen and I picked on a song that only has two verses in the original -- and a very singable chorus.

Note for the interested Programming Head for 2017: Gary would actually be quite happy to be in Kent, but it rhymed, so he is not responsible for that particular observation. :)
Lyrics inside...Collapse )
4th-Jun-2016 07:44 pm - Annoyed
This has been an exceedingly annoying day.

I expect that tomorrow will be better.
3rd-Jun-2016 11:41 pm - Yet Another Appliance Replacement
It has been becoming increasingly evident that our old refrigerator which we got when we bought the house nearly 20 years ago is moving toward the end of its working lifetime. We might be able to get the current problem fixed, but putting money into a 20 year old refrigerator is not the best investment.

So -- after a lot of online research -- we went out to the appliance store today and bought a new Samsung refrigerator. The girls are (at least temporarily) happy, because it will have an ice and water dispenser. Yes, apparently it was time for us to move into the late 20th century on this. :)

We also decided to get a fridge with french doors and a bottom freezer. We think this will work out for us, but I suppose we'll find out...

Now we just have to make sure that the old fridge keeps running for another week.
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