An English sport in the US

Its amazing what you can watch on TV nowadays in terms of variety, and it also brings about ironic little moments too.

Earlier I was watching the NY Yankees beating up Chicago White Sox at baseball care of ESPN live from Yankees Stadium in New York. Hard to believe that 40 years ago, live coverage of anything from the US was quite something. Oh hell, I’m showing my age again lol! I’m also getting ever more addicted to baseball, but dont worry Kate, I have no plans to support ‘that team from New York’ lol! Red Sox are still my second love, though Kansas might be on the move in levels of support, for obvious reasons!

But now, wait for it, I’m watching cricket live from Florida! I know, shock horror, though I suspect most of the crowd are ex-pats from cricket playing nations, especially the West Indies, one of the teams taking part. There might be a few Americans there, but I suspect in the vast minority. Its only when you consider that about 100 years ago, one of the leading non national teams in the world was Philadelphia! My, have things changed since then lol!

Ah, New York. The one US city I really have no desire to return to, far too loud and lively for quiet little me. Not even knowing that Louise Brooks lived there for a while is enough to tempt me back lol! Its the one place that qualifies on that front, it has to be said. Yes, I set a story revolving around a ‘character’ that could be said to be based on her there, but Wikipedia is a wonderful thing for such matters. The everlasting memory I will always have of New York though, is a sad one. Yes, 25 years ago, I went up (with my partner) to the observation deck on one of the World Trade Center buildings. 14 years later, I saw that tower crash to the ground, an image that will probably live with me as long as I’m on this planet.

New York State, a whole different matter, will be going back there in April 2013 (Rochester), and a year later (Albany) as well. I plan next year to visit Buffalo as well, but go nowhere near NYC.

The video, well, this just seemed rather apt to me tonight, everything considered. If US Immigration want to make me a legal alien…that gives away the song surely?

College sports

For someone who never went beyond secondary school over here, and certainly never went to college in the US, let alone over here, I’m getting steadily addicted to college sports, even before the football season gets underway. Yes, I suppose I guessed they played baseball in college, just had no ideas of the details of how big it might be.

Yes, blame the European version of ESPN America for that, currently we are getting coverage of the College World Series, from Omaha, Nebraska, and the final series started last night. No, I’m not that addicted that I stayed up and watched, but saw the ‘as live’ broadcast earlier this afternoon all the same. Arizona won, and given South Carolina have won it (apparently) for the last 2 years, well a change would be nice! As no Kansas, or Oklahoma state team has been mentioned at any point, I assume they either dont play, or arent among the elite in this sport? Yes, I’m biased, as the Merry Brooks name on the forums might giveaway lol!

From what I gather, those areas might do better when the football season starts up. Oh goodness, I’m getting quite into this college affiliation thing, even with no real attachment whatsoever! Beginning to think I missed out on something, but its about 35 years too late to put that right now! Not that I was ever a great sports person, but anyway…softball might have been fun, who knows?

I dont know, is it all very serious, or is the college stuff slightly less intense than the major leagues? I suppose I shouldnt expect Americans not to be competitive about everything, but…?

Any US college want to make me an honorary alma mater lol? No, I know, but no harm in asking, is there? Colleges in certain areas of the country hold more appeal, anyone who cant work out where, well, I’m disappointed in you lol!

As I say, the tournament is being held in Omaha, and I thought for at least 30 seconds as to what the video should be. I could only think of one song that mentions Omaha anywhere in the song, and this is it.

An Eternal Flame

(For those who read both blogs, you’ve read this already lol)

Well alright, this wasnt the original plan for todays blog, but I suspect the weather has got in the way of the most important event of the weekend, so lets go to plan B.

Yes, for those who know, you’re right, this was going to be about a cricket match in Belfast tomorrow, between Ireland and Australia, but I suspect the chances of that happening are limited, judging by the weather here, and reports from Ireland.

A great shame, as it was our big game of the season, despite many other important ones coming up against Afghanistan, and others. Fingers crossed the game can happen, but no breaths being held on that.

So alright, second prize. As everyone probably knows, at the end of next month, the Olympics start in London. Currently the Olympic flame is touring the country, though I’m sure its enjoying the weather as much as we are lol. On Sunday, it comes to Huddersfield, the highlight of its journey? ;)  I wont be hear to see it, I’m working Sunday, and will be gone to work long before it arrives here. Funnily enough, its in Leeds on Monday, and I wont be there either, as I’m not working lol!

Would I have gone to see it anyway, probably not, I’m not one for big crowds in all honesty. Quite likely that you wouldnt see much anyway, and thats assuming all this rain simply doesnt put the flame out! And no, the forecast for the whole weekend isnt good!

But given the cricket situation, its an idea for the blog.

The music, well the title, as often gives a hint. An 80′s classic from the Bangles, more featured in wedding videos nowadays, but seems rather apt for the Olympic torch.

My first US National Park

Well, I think it is at least, dont remember doing any in ’87, but dont quote me on that, I’m assuming the Niagara Falls area (or White Mountains, NH) isnt one at least? On that trip, me and my partner took one train journey, at that time, my first outside UK and Ireland, from Boston to New York. Nothing terribly exciting there, in all honesty. The only reason we did it was because she didnt fancy driving into New York, and I never blamed her for that.

My first long distance experience of US rail travel, was a much longer journey, between Seattle and Philadelphia, with a change of trains in Chicago. I think the longest journey by train I’d ever done before, was London to Inverness (or reverse), and thats about 11 hours, or was back then. Now apparently the electric trains can do it in about 8 or 9, but those journeys were a long while back, when trains werent as powerful. Seattle to Chicago, about 44 hours on its own!

Doing it in January, as I was about to discover, only heightened the experience. Given the train leaves Seattle early evening, what happens is that you wake up in the Rockies, and yes, you’ve guessed it, in January, lots of snow! Thing is, trains still run on time, unlike over here when you get a few grains of the stuff lol! Where I woke up, was the Glacier National Park, and what a sight it was, I had never seen so much snow in real life, I guess it was several feet deep, but had no idea from the warmth of the train. But it looked an amazing sight, what little I saw of it, with astonished eyes.

Sorry, thats all I ever saw 0f it, what you could see from the train. So I probably missed a lot of good bits. What can be said is that Montana left its mark on me. Its called Big Sky Country for a good reason after all. But no, I’m not really likely to go back, lets just call it the public transit syndrome of being a non driver, and leave it at that! Its why that though I visit the US a lot, I’ve rarely seen much countryside in all that time, I do city trips for a good reason! There is also the snag that coach trips generally depart the cities early, and if you’re in an airport hotel for budget reasons…well, you get my drift!

That was one bonus last September, I got to see more of New England than just Boston, thanks to Kate, and so appreciated it was too. I suspect I will see more this September too, and looking forward to it. Next year I plan one day to take the coach to and from Buffalo, from Rochester, because the train timetable sucks for doing it that way around lol. I know, it will just be the Interstate probably, but at least I will see some country. I’m hoping to get to see some of Kansas next September, given that hotel rates in Wichita arent so high, so might be in town, and have more chance of coach trips around there?

But lets just say that for a Brit, for whom really cold weather was in the low 20’s F, to experience -25 F was quite something! Minot, North Dakota will always remain in my memories because of that. And yes, that was the mid afternoon temperature there! What the low was that night, I dont want to know lol!

I suppose one day I’d love to visit one of the Alaskan parks, but guess as I get older, its going to get harder for it to happen, especially as I’m cutting down on travelling beyond the mid west for the foreseeable future.

But yes, I will always remember Glacier National Park, and all that snow! The video, well, I dont think this was shot in January lol!

Songs that change music

Yes, I’m sure everyone could name at least several records that have done that for them, one of the obvious ones for my generation being Queen, and Bohemian Rhapsody. A sound that was not only very different, but singles just werent this long back in the days when you had to cram it all on to one side of a 45 rpm record! Yes, American Pie (Don McClean) was longer, but that took up both sides of the single!

Nowadays, with CD’s and the like, the whole length thing is irrelevant, but back then…

Me, I came through, and loved the whole flower power music scene, though I certainly wasnt into the sex and drugs of that era, I was far too young for that! For me, it was just about the music. To be honest, the first time that image, and look came into it for me, was the early seventies, as I started to enter my teen years, and yes, I guess puberty played a part. What coincided with that time was the start of something called glam rock. For my younger readers, try wikipedia for more details, something you couldnt do back then lol!

I’m not certain how big a Bowie fan I was, say compared to Sweet, Mud and Slade, but yes, his music was a definite influence. But for me, there will always be one song that launched the whole glam rock scene for me, and thats the video delight I have for you tonight. And yes, you see the blonde guy, by the name of Mick Ronson? Well he played a bigger part in all of this than he ever got credited for. Bit like Pironi with Adam Ant, I would say.

But this is just one of those songs that just appeared on Top of the Pops, and everyone went wow, and was talking about it the next day. It might not have changed music, but changed my musical perception, that is for sure.

Brainwashing helmets

Yes, I had a weird dream last night, or should I say this morning, given it was after I first woke up, about 6, and then went back to sleep again. The thing is, it was playing to my perversions. Well, the robot/brainwashing ones at least, though I guess the helmet could have transformed my mind into that of a twenties flapper, but I doubt that was the plan lol!

Dont ask me how I got there, I woke up (in the dream) laid out on a bed, with a helmet/cap (skintight, I should think) over my head. Basically I was told that this device was capable of disrupting brain thought processes, making me incapable of thinking for myself. It could then implant thoughts into my mind, and I would think they were my own. No, he didnt actually say he was turning me into a robot, but suspect the control levels would have been that level of intensity anyway.

Now, lets face it, at this point in time, most would scream, and try to escape, but I didnt. Has to be said, the look on his face suggested I”d confused him by that reaction as well. I didnt actually tell him to get on with it, but…you get my drift.

Annoying thing was, just as he was switching everything on, and was about to start the process, I woke up, aargh! And though I rolled over, and went back to sleep, I couldnt get into that dream, or indeed real sleep again. That might have been down to my arousal levels increasing dramatically, a very rare thing nowadays, but anyway…

Where that dream came from, no idea? I havent really thought along that route much in quite a while now. And as far as I know, devices capable of blocking human thought processes dont actually exist. Well, alright, I know some say that ECT would have much the same effect, but thats for moments, not a long term thing, as he seemed to be suggesting this helmet/cap thing would do to me. What I couldnt understand was why he was doing it to me, not some pretty young girl, but anyway…

Only shame was that I woke up before the process began! I know, it wouldnt have been for real, but…would have been interesting to know what it felt like at least. For someone with a robot fetish as big as mine, you’d think this might be a regular occurence in my dreams, but you’d be wrong, this was just the second time I’ve had a dream like this. Many, many years ago now, I had a dream where I was about to be turned into a robot, the electricity had just begun pulsing through me, and the alarm clock went off! Now that was annoying lol!

Its not something I deny, that I’d love one day to play out a really intense robotisation, or brainwashing scene, but I guess as I get older, its less and less likely to happen. Mind, I could jokingly say that my back, and knees are heading towards the perfect amount of stiffness for a robot anyway! I’ve had one or two vague promises to do the idea (one mentioned on this blog a while back), but they came to nothing in the end. I still hope that one day it might, but beginning to doubt it now.

Ah, the video clip. I have no idea what film this is from, who the actors are, or anything, but suspect its pretty dated, its black and white after all. Sadly the sound only kicks in halfway through the clip, so I have no idea what he is saying to her. And to a certain degree, it ends just when it gets interesting. The brainwashing helmet looks basic, but still, I wouldnt mind giving it a try. I suspect something far more exciting could be designed anyway.

Any mad scientists out there want to give the idea a try? They wouldnt need to look far for a ‘victim’ thats for sure!


I hate Simon!

No, I dont really, before he banishes all my stories from his website in a fit of pique. But alright, in a sense, he’s not my flavour of the month at present either. No, its nothing personal, its just the 3 week gap between updates that we’ve just had, and therefore the read load this week is, well, horrendous! A quick count up left me with 37 stories to read, though thankfully I’ve since found out one has disqualified itself by being a single posting of over 73,000 words! Even so, 36 isnt a lot better lol.

Will I get through them all, or will I just abandon some this week? No idea, I’ll see how it goes, and how the mood takes me. Plus, how large next weekends posting is, may play a part too. Given I’ll be out part of tomorrow afternoon as well, that will limit my time even more. Why, you might ask? Sorry, my body is getting ancient, and my back needs regular massages to keep me mobile nowadays. No, not that sort of massage, I’m a woman with no interest in sex whatsoever lol! 😛

I know, Simon has to have a break sometimes, and hey, he very much deserves them. But yes, I hate the backload when he gets back! Oh, just to mention, some hack writer has also posted the last chapter of her story this week at the EMCSA, nothing like a bit of self advertising.

Oh, dry humour in the video selection here. Given the story site is all about mind control, what could be more apt than just doing as Simon says! Yes, this video is ancient, from the sixties, and at least one member of the group is taking it less seriously than others!

The last day of a 3 figure number

Before you ask what thats about, its days to my next holiday! And will I need it by then, you bet I will! Yes, 100 days from today, I fly back to Boston, via Shannon, and team up with Kate. Sounds familiar? Yes, it should do, and I’m really looking forward to repeating it. In a sense, even more so, as I know her so much better now!

But please, dont ask for any more details about the holiday, I dont really know them. Well, apart from the fact that I return home the following Saturday via Dublin, thats about it. But in all honesty, for me, thats all part of the fun, not knowing.

Lets see, what dont I know? Where I’m staying is a good starting point as yet, I know Kate had plans on this front, but I’ve not got any details as yet. At some point she will have to give me my first night staying address, simply because the TSA like to know such things, but beyond that…? And of course, first nights stop, especially given possible plans for the Sunday, it doesnt follow thats where I’m staying for the rest of the week!

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to an NFL game live for the first time. But equally, maybe not! Tickets for Patriot games are like gold dust, and given its the first home game, even harder to get. Mind, when I saw their prices on the website, I thought they cost gold dust as well lol! Makes our football matches look reasonable, and thats saying something. But trying to tell her not to do it, no, I’m not that brave lol!

Red Sox only have 1 home game that week, the Friday evening before I fly back, so the only Fenway I might see is the far more famous dog! If I get to the NFL, I dont expect to see the Red Sox anyway, but not convinced how much Kate will listen lol!

As to what we’re doing for the rest of the week, nope, I’m none the wiser on that front either, but thats definitely part of the fun for me. One or two ideas have been tossed across the Atlantic, but which ones will be taken up, and what has been planned without me having a clue about, no idea! Should all make for great fun though, it has to be said.

One good thing for the week, and has been hinted at, is meeting up again with a wonderful man by the name of James. There is one more New Englander I’d love to meet too, but suspect she might like her privacy too much for that. Hope I’m wrong though. I’m sure she knows who I mean lol.

So in less than 3 hours from now (UK time), that magic number will drop to double figures. I will be asleep by then, but anyway… And yes, I know, 99 is still a pretty hefty number, but at least there are only 2 digits to it.

And alright, call it pre planning, or call it sad, whichever you prefer, but I know where I’m going for my next 3 breaks to America, and a short list of 3 only, for September 2014. Alright, circumstances might have changed by then, but if not, its all planned out. Next year is settled, just not booked. April is to Rochester, NY, and September is to Wichita, KS. There is a connection there that some might be able to make! 😉

Yes, technically its the wrong way round, but anyway…And on the latter, if I can find any possible way to get to Cherryvale, KS, then I will! Looks Mission Impossible for a non driver, but anyway… April 2014, I’m going to visit someone on his home territory in Albany, and also enjoy the history there.

Video, no music tonight. Lets just say this was one of the more ‘entertaining’ moments of the last Patriots season.

A picture of me!

Yes, feel free to run away now, if you’re so inclined lol.

The funny thing is, I thought I’d posted this on here, but seemingly I only posted it on my main blog, not this one. So as to be totally unbiased in scaring my readers, here is a ‘photo’ taken while I was in Seattle in April


Yes, you’re right, its not a genuine pic, I have no idea if its even possible to get to a point at that angle from the Space Needle, to be honest. Though that is genuinely me! What happens is, when you first enter the Space Needle at ground level, they take your picture in front of one of those screens. And no, I didnt break  the camera lol.

When you reach the top, and have done your trip around the viewing platform, there are a series of machines where you can view the picture taken, and have an option to having various views behind you, all strangely enough including the Space Needle in them. All quite nice, but this is the one I chose. The surprising bit was, you could have it emailed to you, for free! Now that was a nice surprise, believe me. You could buy a nicely framed one, but as I wouldnt do much with it, I settled for this.

To be honest, I like it, I dont often seem to get decent pictures of myself, but this one… No, I’m not going to win Miss World, not even the over 50’s version lol, and even if I desired them, I wouldnt wait for the rush of marriage proposals either. But short of a professional makeover shoot, this is probably as good as I get.

Yes, you’re right, no make up was involved in this picture, I’m just that way inclined, and besides which, I would rarely find the time, even if I could nowadays, which I probably couldnt, its been too long for that. And hey, I could hardly hold up the queue, even if I’d had any with me.

The song, well, its nearly as old as me! I dont know if I bought the record, or whether it was bought for me, but I once owned the original Piccadilly label 45, featured in this video. As I would have been 4 when this came out, I cant be sure which it was. I do remember playing it on record players for a few years after that though.

Shocking happenings

No, not me getting a large voltage jolt through my body, but if the offer is there lol… No, this is far more stunning than that.

For those who follow me, and my baseball addiction, you’ll know I’m a Mariners fan, for my pains. No other reason than they are a Seattle team, a city I like a lot, but anyway… The first baseball field I ever saw was this one, on my first bus ride into Seattle nearly 10 years ago now. Didnt mean much at the time, but anyway…ironically, because of the long delay with American Airlines this April, I still havent seen them live, but maybe one day, that will happen.

Anyway, thats not the point of this posting. As any general follower of baseball will know, the Mariners are no world beaters. Indeed in 2 of the last 3 years, they have been more of a basement dweller than anything else. But I love them, all the same. But it has to be said, that when they go into Texas, to play the mighty Rangers, you dont expect good results. Yes, the last 2 games, I sort of nervously peered at the website, hoping the defeats werent too painful.

Err, either they didnt get the message, or the Rangers just thought they were going to get a stroll in the park, because when I looked on the 30th, at the previous nights result, the Mariners had won 10-3. Not only was the win a shock, the Mariners reaching double figures was even more so. So alright, the next morning, I was expecting the dragon to have spurted flames, and taken their revenge.

Err, wrong again. This time the scoreline was even more amazing, 21-8 to the Mariners! I didnt think they acored 21 in a week, let alone 1 game, especially against the Rangers! But yes, it was true. They had a night off last night, probably to get over the shock. Seriously, it was so they could move on to their next series, starting tonight against the Chicago White Sox, but they might have needed the shock recovery too!

It wont last, it cant possibly last, but I wanted to enjoy this one moment while I could.

The video is probably what the Mariners management might have said to the fans after those games, it so rings true, anyway

The video, for anyone of a nervous disposition, is from the New Romantics era, just to warn you lol.