Something Pithy Here

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop." -- The King of Hearts

I'm an adopted Texan. As they say, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" I post pictures and opinions as suits my mood, mostly because I can. Hooray Internet! 

So far I have three blogs here. By the Way is the oldest. I started it in 2003. I lost a couple of years to Vox because I was too lazy to bother to export when they shut down. I consider it an exercise in accepting impermanence. When I followed my husband to Singapore for his first expat assignment, I started (T)expatriate: A Southern Girl in Singapore. That covers 2010 and 2011, give or take. Next came Oslo, and (T)expat 2: Norwegian Boogaloo,  in 2012. Now I'm back home, and back on By the Way.

Pix live on Flickr. I toss links out on Twitter when I feel like it. I'm still not sure what to do with G+ but I kinda like it.


Filtering by Category: Sports


Last weekend we went to the Supercross. I got tickets for the MO as a Christmas present. They were good seats:

Good Seats

The whole thing is much more of a spectacle than I remember seeing in Atlanta many years ago. The top ten or so riders had WWF-style introductions with videos, theme songs and laps around the outside of the track to collect all the screaming encouragement from their fans.

The one thing we really couldn’t see much of was the starting gate, so our whole section stood up for the first lap of each race, trying to make sense of the muddle in the first corner, but it was not much use. Being right in front of the big jumps was easily worth the tradeoff of missing the holeshot.

This video is of the first lap of the first qualifying heat for the Lites:

One of the most surprising things was that we could feel the heat wash over us each time those Monster fireballs went off. This video shows the fireballs when James Stewart crosses the finish line to win the main event:

Finally, I cannot resist the opportunity for a great panorama shot, so here is the whole track as we saw it:

supercross panorama

(More pix in the Supercross pool on flickr.)

Gooooooo Gators!


That said, that was some horrible sports coverage. Did Fox forget there was a football game going on? Why no replays of the bazillion penalties? Why all the stupid camera angles on the few plays they did deign to show us again? What do they have against showing us a play clock? Weird (and very long) broadcast. Good result, though :-)

Indianapolis MotoGP, or How I Didn't Quite Escape Ike

The MO and I had been planning our trip to Indy to see the MotoGP for months, and when it turned out that Ike was bearing down on Texas as were scheduled to leave, we didn't think too much of it. At that point, the hurricane was still predicted to hit far south of Houston, and we knew that our neighborhood was not flood-prone, so our outdoor preparations were limited to not putting the trashcan out front for collection. We left a key with Prime Time Lou and the Fiberglass Badger so they could stop by and gather the mail and feed the cats, and off we went, visions of motorcycles buzzing in our brains.

Pagoda panorama from paddock area

By the end of Thursday, our first day at the track, it seemed that Ike had taken a distinct northward turn. G1 stopped by the house on his way home from work and took care of all the things we probably should have done before we left, tucking the potted plants up against the house on the porch and even wrestling the trash can up onto the back porch so it would hopefully not distribute its contents across the block.

Indy GP Paddock Day Mosaic 1

Friday morning, the MO heard that his company told everyone to stay home, and we joked about getting our vacation days back. We hopped into our rental car and headed out for a road trip up to Bluffton, in search of Deam ancestors (more about this trip on the genealogy blog later). By the time we got back to the hotel that evening, the news from Houston via friends' emails and texts was still "it's not even raining, damned media hype" but Ike changed that attitude quickly. Texts the next morning included news of a pine tree javelin through PTL's roof, houses and windows shaking for hours from the swirling winds, serious lack of sleep and widespread power outages.

Deams in Fairview cemetery, Bluffton, IN

Media coverage was at its most sensational, of course, and they had plenty of fodder. Every broadcast we saw focused on the JP Morgan building downtown, which lost a bunch of windows or an obliterated Bolivar peninsula, Galveston or Kemah. Every time we saw that downtown footage, we thought about how close that was to our house, and crossed our fingers. Flooding was Saturday's concern as the rain continued. We commiserated from afar and fretted about our neighbor's huge pecan tree, the big old oak overhanging our driveway, and the ancient ligustrum outside our bedroom window. (We call this shrub-turned-tree "The Old Man," since it has probably been in place as long as the house has been there. Maybe it was part of an original hedge. At any rate, it's sizable and not what you normally expect from a privet. We did have a laugh when we realized that a remark of ours about "finding The Old Man in our bedroom" had been overheard out-of-context by the folks next to us in the bar.)

Indy MotoGP 2008 Practice and Qualifying Mosaic 2

Sunday morning G1 braved the flooded highways and reported that not only was our house still standing, but also it didn't appear to have any damage. He sent some pictures from his cellphone and we were greatly relieved, but didn't get out of the hurricane experience altogether since Ike came right on through Indiana later that day. We had 40 to 60 mph gusts and plenty of rain at the track. We bought rain jackets and huddled with the rest of the fans in our section after the 125s finished an abbreviated race, trying to stay out of the worst of it and hoping that we'd get to see the GP race at all.

Front straight and paddock panorama view from our seats

After several hours of rain delay, the weather did let up enough to run most of that race (at the expense of the 250s) and it was thrilling. (Nearly) local boy Nicky Hayden led for over half the race and every time he came by on the front straight ahead of Rossi the crowd just erupted. Rossi is undeniably incredible, though, and patiently reeled in Hayden and finished first. Our seats were perfect, across from the paddock area, high enough to see the whole front straight and into turn one, and then across the track to turns 7 through 9, although you couldn't really identify anybody at that distance. I can't wait to go back next year, preferably without any hurricanes in attendance!

Lots more pix on flickr.

Rooooooooooooad Trip!

Road Trip

The MO and I headed to Dallas this weekend with Prime Time Lou and the Fiberglass Badger to celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary with a trip to Ranger Stadium in Arlington to see a Rangers baseball game. (Okay, given the, um, lack of splendiforousness of the Rangers, it was really all about seeing the stadium.) Which was nice:

Ranger Stadium in Arlington

We had great seats:


1. Stadium, 2. Minnesota Twins Warming Up, 3. Minnesota Twins Warming Up, 4. Minnesota Twins Warming Up, 5. Stadium

Turns out the Rangers are not really a very good baseball team. (I'm trying to be nice here.) I think we saw as many errors there as we saw at G2's high school game last week. But we did get to see the Red Ozarka Dot wipe out in a spectacular way:

The Red Ozarka Dot Wipes Out

We also went to see the Turner exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, which was really impressive. We did not, however, see the sculpture garden, because it was not included in the "see it all" pass we bought at the museum and we didn't feel like dropping $40 to fancify our stroll back to the car. This is what you can see from the outside:

The Sculpture Garden We Did Not Pay $10 To See

All the photos are on flickr here :-)


Holy Cow. I just watched an ENTIRE basketball game.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Final points:
Collegiate Metal Final Standings

My bracket:
Queen Courtin Bracket

And best of all, 7953 outta more than 3 million??? Okay!!
7953 outta > 3 million?!

Knowledge is Overrated

Prime Time Lou is one of the most generally-knowledgable sports fans I know, so this makes me feel pretty good:

Queen Courtin is in First Place

Naturally I don't expect it to end this way, but for now, let's hear it for the Deambats who pick brackets based on emotion and linguistics!


Ooh!! Thank you, Georgetown!
Thank You, Georgetown


OMG, this is just too funny!
Even Better!

I know PTL will win in the end, but at this point it sure is fun ;-) (Hee hee, I sure am glad I didn't pick Ohio State to the finals! What was I thinking, picking Georgetown? Pure dumb-bunny luck. That's okay. I expect it will all go horribly wrong in the next round. But I've had my moment!!! And I got like six songs on Metal yesterday (including Billy Squier (dammit, need that link-in-link thing), thankyouverymuch) at the Houser House, which is an all-time record for me, so maybe I should go play the lottery or something...)

What I Know about Basketball

You could easily write everything I know about basketball on a post-it note. So of course I set up a bracket when invited by the intrepid Fiberglass Badger to join the Collegiate Metal group on the ESPN site. I picked based on whether or not the school was UF and how much I liked the name, thus Gonzaga will lose by a mere two points to Florida in the championship game.

I have been informed that this was a very silly way to pick my teams, and all I have to say to that is
Go Gators!

(I found Lettering Delights today and for a dollar, I could not resist the funny gator alphabet. You have to use their proprietary browser hickey to access the stuff you download, but you can copy it out from there to other programs, so I guess it's not too restrictive. Kind of a pain in the butt, but they have some realllly cute stuff, and pretty much everything is only $1 this month.)

World Series In Person

So the MO came by tix to Game 4 and OH YEAH, WE WENT TO A WORLD SERIES GAME!

[All pix here: World Series 2005 photoset]

We got there early and walked around taking it all in. We lucked out and found a hidden souvenir stand where we only had to wait behind two or three other people. Most of the lines were more like 50 people long....
Minute Maid Park, pre-Game 4

Proof that it really was a World Series game :-)
World Series!

Before the game they had a tribute to Latino ballplayers, and honored a "Latino Legends Team." Pedro Martinez had the best suit and the most fun--he was dancing around the whole time.
Latino Legends

If you look closely, you can see President George Bush the First and the lovely Barbara. During the between-innings "Kiss-Cam" they got on the big screen and were very nice about it. It must be really odd to be watched everywhere you go.
President and Mrs. Bush 41

The Astros' starting lineup. A bunch of heros and a goat. I mean, I'm sorry to pile on, Mr. Ensburg, but jeeeeeeez.
Starting Lineup

Every time Berkman came to the plate the crowd went wild, and every time they pitched around him. Which was of course the sensible thing to do, but it really sucked if you were an Astros fan.
Almost as good as it gets

The scoreboard response to walking Lance....

It was lame to not be allowed to close the roof, but honestly, it was plenty loud with it open. I may have broken bones in my hands from clapping and I'm definitely hoarse from yelling. And the suites were quite reserved compared to the rest of the stadium....

Lyle Lovett sang a nice rendition of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch, as opposed to the horrible yodeling of Jon Secada's mangled Star Spangled Banner (my ears are still bleeding).
Lyle Lovett

And yea, there was a celebration, and lo, it was not for the Astros.
Happy Boys

But it was a helluva thing to be there!

[More pix at the MO's site.]

Wesley is an Astros Fan

The Wesley Willis song generator: Seeded with "Go Astros" and "baseball"

Go Astros

by Wesley Willis

Go Astros is very special to me.
You are the baseball king.
You can really jam harder like a magicist.
You can really get in the groove.


Right on brother.
I like you a lot in the long run.
I like you well.
You can really rock it out.


You really whoop the horse's ass.
You really whoop a llama's ass.
You are the best in the long run.
You are the best in the long run.

Rock over London,
Rock on Chicago.

Diet Pepsi - Uh Huh!

(If you've ever heard a Wesley Willis song, you'll have no problem setting the above to music.... Via The Generator Blog)

Note to NFL and Fox Sports

When the New Orleans-Carolina game has come down to less than two minutes and you're really hoping it will go into overtime because Jake Delhomme is the only fantasy player on your team that's been worth a damn so far this morning and you'd really like to give him a chance to rack up some more points for you in the Texas Deathmatch IV league, you do NOT, I repeat, do NOT want to switch over to the stupid Dallas game just because you happen to live in Houston!!! Really now, that should be SO obvious.

It's early yet

but BatGrrl is movin' on up!!

I had some bats a-swingin' yesterday. But tomorrow I'll be sliding back down, because my pitching staff is Not So Hot and put up lousy numbers today. But I will always have this moment to fondly remember.

The first few weeks are the most fun because the numbers shift so wildly. After a few months, everybody gets settled in and it's harder to move around much. But for now, some good news to offset this stupid cold that's got me down.

LAST Place???

I ask you, is it really necessary that my fantasy football team be in LAST place? I won the league two years ago. I was in the playoffs last year. Missing the draft and letting the computer pick for you is Not a Good Idea. Stupid computer picked TWO defenses and TWO kickers in the MIDDLE of the darned draft. Yikes. If I had gotten a good team, I was going to credit Mildred, but since my team sucks (43 points in two weeks! In a league with all kinds of extra scoring categories!) I'm blaming it all on Yahoo. Ptooey.

Meanwhile, Mr. Man is sitting across the room there crowing about having the top-ranked QB three weeks in a row. If his leg wasn't already broken....

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