Monday, October 20, 2008

snow and rain and bright sunshine

though i could write about the graduate work i've done in the last week (and believe me, i did a lot in the last week or so), i think the most important thing i've done lately is attend and participate in ludfest 007, a celebration of all things lud (music, friends, food, and wiffleball). it really just doesn't get any better than spending time with old and new friends, playing a few games of relaxing yet competitive wiffleball, hearing the awesome guys from consolation champ play a few sets, singing some karaoke, having a few drinks, watching a couple movies, and most importantly, hitting a few bombs in batting practice and the homerun derby. anyone who follows the link to ludfest and looks at the homerun derby results will immediately notice how poorly i performed for the second straight year, but what they won't see is the fact that i pitched four batters into the semi-finals and beyond. it was an impressive year of wiffleball performance, shattering records in fact, but my pitching arm definitely had its biggest workout of the last few years over the course of friday and saturday.

eight days ago on a sunday morning when i needed a break from writing my dissertation (and didn't have ludfest to distract me), i sat down and wrote all day, this time not about environmental literature, but about the twins baseball offseason. what emerged was a lengthy document (~19 single spaced pages in word), which i then handed off to my good friend john for him to post to his blog. if you love baseball analysis, or if you love the twins, or even if you like me okay, then you might get something out of these posts on john's blog, though i do recommend breaking it up as you go. if nothing else, you should make a habit of checking out his twins blog anyway, and i promise not all of the posts are as long or boring as mine (i don't think it's boring, but i could see how/why someone would). so here are the posts in order. i'll keep writing there, and will try to remember to let everyone know to head over there as necessary. look for my world series prediction there sometime soon.

Part 1: 2008 Recap
Part 2: Evaluating Trades and Acquisitions using my CRAP method
Part 3: Twins Offseason Riches (what we could trade)
Part 4: Offseason Acquisition Scenarios
Part 5: Probability, Desirability, and Rankings: a Summary

having given you a bunch of wiffleball and baseball reading material, it's only fitting that i mention a song or two that you should check out. the featured song today is draggin the line by tommy james and the shondells. if you're interested in histories of bands, i highly recommend looking them up, even if it's just on their wikipedia page. as a former kid who played music with other kids (back when my band's name was one of: dry ice, under 18, limehouse chappie, i-29, the trinity project), i found it crazy that tommy james had to wait seven years before his music started to get a chance on the national scene. it was for reasons along those lines that i'm not still playing regularly: i just didn't want to wait when i could be doing graduate school full time (and boy, has that decision paid off: i'm rich, successful, and hardly have to do any work). well, the real point is, i like a bunch of songs by tommy james and have since the days when i would sing them in the back seat of the family suburban on the way home from my grandparents' house, listening to mike harvey's supergold on sunday nights. i even liked when other people covered his songs, though it caused a lot of confusion when i thought "i think we're alone now" was by tommy james and my friends said the artist was tiffany. i guess i didn't quite get the idea of cover songs in my nine-year-old roller skating days, but i knew i liked "walk like an egyptian" and "the final countdown"... still do.

draggin' the line by tommy james and the shondells

makin' a livin the old hard way
takin' and givin by day by day
i dig snow and rain and bright sunshine
draggin' the line

my dog sam eats purple flowers
ain't got much but what we got's ours
we dig snow and rain and the bright sunshine
draggin' the line

i feel fine i'm talkin' about peace of mind
i'm gonna take my time i'm gettin' the good sign
draggin' the line

loving the free and feelin' spirit
of huggin' a tree when you get near it
diggin' the snow and rain and bright sunshine
draggin' the line

i feel fine
i'm talkin' bout peace of mind
i'm gonna take my time
i'm gettin' the good sign
draggin' the line


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